I recently had a very early morning flight from London Gatwick and wouldn’t be able to catch an early enough train the next day to make the flight. The only option was to stay at the airport overnight. I didn’t want to pay for a hotel for such a short time so I decided to see if it was possible to sleep on the seats. Here I answer whether you can sleep in London Gatwick airport for free.

Is Gatwick airport open all night?

The airport is open all night so if you are planing on sleeping at Gatwick you’ll want to arrive late enough so you can just arrive and put your head down straight away. Gatwick is open all hours but as its not connected to main underground network but overland trains that will stop around midnight so get here before then. I got there just past 11pm. It was pretty empty but enough people to make not feel weird.

I’ve arrived at Gatwick where should I rest, north or south terminal to sleep?

I was flying out of North Terminal the next day so headed there initially but actually the North Terminal had almost no life at midnight and no other sleepers so I headed back to the South Terminal which was busier. The distance between the two terminals in the shuttle is only 10 minutes.

Here in the south terminal located before the security gates there are many seats and places to lie down. I did this in November so while it wasn’t freezing but it wasnt exactly warm.

Is it safe to sleep at Gatwick airport

To be honest it felt very safe. I didn’t have any issues. Everyone there is in the same boat and trying to sleep before there flight. I was disturbed at 4am by a kind cleaner that said he needed to clean the area. But just moved around the corner and that was fine and wasn’t bothered any further.

Is there Wi-Fi and plug sockets at Gatwick airport

Sure is! Free and fast as well. Plug sockets are not just located on the walls but also in dedicated areas so you will always be able to charge your phone.

If I stay at Gatwick airport overnight can I get something to eat and drink?

On arrival at South Terminal by train they’ll be M&S and a WHSmiths. These stayed open to around midnight. But opened up again in the early hours. I want to say 4am maybe. Other options include the vending machines dotted about or the free water fountains.

What to bring if I plan to sleep at Gatwick airport?

Assuming you dont have large luggage with you and your options are limited due to weight restrictions. Your best best is to bring a woolly hat and a light sleeping bag. This will be ample to get you through a few hours. The main issue I had was that floor was quite cold. So if you have something to insulate you from that ideal.

When can I go through security?

Your boarding pass will let you through security three hours before your flight. Once through in my case to the north terminal you have access to a while range of shops and restaurants for breakfast and coffee.

Having read this I think I would prefer to get a hotel

If that’s the case no problem as there are numerous cheap hotels. Best option we found are two Premier Inn hotels located right next to the airport. They can be booked for around £70 a night.

In conclusion it is certainly possible to sleep at London Gatwick airport, but make sure you are prepared to make yourself as comfortabale as possible. Hope this helped! If it did let me know in the comments below.

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4 responses to “Can you sleep at London Gatwick airport?”

  1. thehungrytravellers.blog avatar

    This year, with protesters blocking motorways and rail strikes etc, we’ve got into the habit of going to the airport the night before….but we’re far too old to sleep on the floor! The Premier Inn is surprisingly good, and actually if you are able to book some way in advance, you can do deals at under £60 for two, including breakfast. Really not too bad.

  2. qprgary avatar

    Blimey never in a million years could I see anything written about the old shell suit airport, the less time spent here the better. Well done to you

    1. lotuseaters.travel avatar

      Haha great comment

  3. junedesilva avatar

    I live about 40 minutes drive from Gatwick Airport so it’s unlikely that I’ll have to sleep there – thank goodness! I think my days of sleeping on floors are definitely over 🤣 unless it was absolutely necessary. Very informative post for those that need it.

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