If you live in Central Texas you should seriously consider taking a flight from Austin, Tx to London Gatwick in the UK. You can find some great deals on direct flights through Norwegian Airlines. The great thing about flying into Gatwick is the fact that once you land you are a 35-minute train ride into the center of London with all that London has to offer. Spend a day exploring the sights, see Buckingham Palace, Parliament and Trafalgar Square -all within walking distance of one another. If you are only spending a day head back to the airport to one of the many fabulous hotels that Gatwick has on offer. The next day you can head out to just about any major city in Europe. From Gatwick you can get to just about anywhere in Europe return for under $100. I opted for Belfast this trip and flew Easy Jet.
If you are planning a trip to Europe, I would suggest considering London Gatwick as a possible layover as it is so easy to get into central London from the train station at Gatwick. If you have a few hours to spare you can easily get on the train and be at London Bridge station in 30 minutes. From there it is two stops to Charing Cross which is a block away from Trafalgar Square. If you can't check into your hotel right away or if you just have a long layover leaving your luggage is safe and easy at the Left Luggage Station. Buy a ticket for the train ( mine was approximately $20 return for off peak hours).
See the Sights....................
Gatwick has an abundance of hotels to chose from. I opted to stay right at the hotel for convivence sake. Upon arriving from Austin, I left my luggage and headed out to see the sites. When I returned after a packed day, I was ready to relax, and the Hampton Inn at Gatwick provided everything I needed. Clean, comfortable room, excellent staff, great bar and a wonderful cooked breakfast in the morning. I highly recommend staying here if passing through Gatwick.
After a a few days in Belfast I returned to Gatwick late in the evening and stayed at the Bloc Hotel right in the airport. This is certainly a clean hotel with first rate linen, but the size of the room was just not accommodating and having no access to coffee in the room is just harsh. I would not opt to stay here again.
Gatwick has every amenity that you can imagine. There is every imaginable connection to London via bus, taxi, or train. If you opt to hang out at the airport there are restaurants, bars, lounges and coffee shops. If you want to shop that’s available too. I have flown in and out of Gatwick many times over the years and it has become one of my favorite airports. Next time you fly to Europe consider Gatwick as your airport of choice.
One last note be aware when traveling from Gatwick we Brits have a strange gate notification system. There is no gate posted on your boarding pass. Once through security passengers patiently watch boards waiting for the gate number to be posted. Once it is it's a mad dash to the gate. Have fun and happy travels.................
Exploring our world one trip at a time......................................