Best UK Airports for Shopping, Food, and Entertainment

    Best Airport Shopping in the UK

    Airports seem to be one of those things that fall into a love or hate category: with some people treating it as part of the experience of going on holiday, while others find it stressful.

    However, no matter what you think of airports, there’s no denying that some are simply better than others.

    With that in mind, we decided to rank all airports across the UK, to see which offer the best shopping, food and drink options, and lounges available. So, read on to discover the top airports (and their terminals), and see if it sways you when it comes to booking flights!

    Our Top 10 Best UK Airports for Shopping, Food, and Entertainment

    Check out our Top 10 list of best airports for shopping in the UK.

    1. London Heathrow Terminal 5
    2. London Heathrow Terminal 3
    3. London Heathrow Terminal 2
    4. London Heathrow Terminal 4
    5. London Luton
    6. London Gatwick North
    7. London Gatwick South
    8. Edinburgh
    9. Glasgow
    10. Birmingham

    So London Heathrow Terminal 5 takes top spot in our index. If you’re a big fan of airport shopping then you might just want to check out who flies from there! And read on to find out why we’ve ranked this as our top pick…

    UK Airport Index - Best for Shopping, Leisure, Food & Entertainment

    London Heathrow Terminal 5

    In the first four positions, it’s London Heathrow; with terminal five topping the list as the best airport to visit. The hub for British Airways, it has the most shops of any other airport terminal in the country, at a huge 43 – including designer stores Burberry, Bottega Veneta, Bulgari, Dior, Gucci, and more.

    With 15 food and drink stores, there are lots of options to pick from both before and after you head through security; and there are entertainment options such as arcades, too.

    Alternatively, if you like to relax in style, then choose from two different lounges, as well as a spa, where you can enjoy a range of treatments including manicures, pedicures, and massages.

    If you’re flying from any one of the terminals, make sure you book your Heathrow airport parking with SkyParkSecure, to get the best price.

    London Heathrow Terminal 3

    A base for major US airlines, Heathrow’s terminal three comes in second place for wiling away your time while waiting for your flight. Splurge at their 35 shops (the second most from all other airports and terminals), including several designer brands such as Cartier, Chanel, and Hermes.

    There’s also entertainment available, as well as 11 different eateries – including EL&N, which serve some of the most Instagrammable cakes you’ll ever lay your eyes on; as well as two lounges, if you want to rest up and take it easy.

    London Heathrow Terminal 2

    Heathrow continues to dominate our list, with terminal two in third place. Choose from 12 eateries, from chilled out coffee shops, to casual dining, and even caviar and oysters, if you want to splash the cash!

    If splurging is your style, then you’re in luck: Terminal 2 has the fifth most shops on our list, at 28, and whilst there aren’t as many designer shops here, you can still enjoy the likes of Saint Laurent, Burberry, and Gucci.

    Entertainment and lounges are also available; so, however you prefer to spend your time at the airport, you’ll be able to do so here.

    London Heathrow Terminal 4

    Heathrow’s terminal four makes it into fourth place, with 31 shops to splash the cash at, including several designer brands including Cartier, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, and Tom Ford.

    If you fancy grabbing some food or drink before your flight, you’ll find several coffee shops to pick from, as well as three pubs, and a restaurant. And the good news is, for those who want to travel in style, you can book yourself into the Plaza Premium Lounge.

    London Luton

    In fifth place is London Luton, the main base of Wizzair, and a popular airport for other budget airlines including EasyJet and Ryanair.

    Luton has the most food and drink options on our list, at a total of 21 – so whether it’s a classic English breakfast, a burger, or sushi, it’s got you covered.

    The shopping isn’t bad either, although it’s more on the budget end with classic high-street stores – the only designer brand here is Hugo Boss (but at least it’ll help you to save your spending money when you’re abroad!). Plus, there’s an airport lounge you can retreat to, if you want to get away from the crowds.

    Considering flying from here for your next trip? Make sure you book your Luton airport parking with us!

    London Gatwick North

    With several airlines flying out of here, including Air China, Icelandair, and Emirates; London Gatwick’s North terminal comes in sixth place for its leisure options (and if you want to save money on parking, browse our Gatwick airport parking deals).

    Shop at 32 different retailers (the third most on this list), including more upscale brands such as Boss, Jo Malone, and Reiss.

    If you’re feeling hungry, choose from 12 different food and drink outlets, or take advantage of the five lounges on offer, all of which offer food too – some complimentary.

    London Gatwick South

    Gatwick’s South terminal is in seventh place, offering flights with Turkish Airlines, Croatia Airlines, and Eastern Airways, as well as many more.

    Choose from two airport lounges if relaxing is your style before a flight; or stop for a bite to eat at the 16 different eateries scattered around before and after security. Alternatively, if you want to splash the cash, then visit the 24 different retailers, including Bobbi Brown, Harrods, and Ted Baker.


    Edinburgh is the first London airport to feature on our list, making it into a very respectable eighth place. It has the joint fourth most food and drink options, at a total of 15, including dedicated bars such as BrewDog and Fever-Tree.

    When it comes to shopping, you can pick up classic Scottish gifts from a couple of the stores, or if you fancy splashing the cash, head to Boss. Alternatively, if you want to get away from the crowds, there are three lounges to choose from – including one specifically for British Airways flyers.

    With airport parking options all across the country, you can also book your parking at Edinburgh airport with us – simply take a look at our prices to find out more.


    Glasgow makes it into ninth place, with 12 eateries on offer, made up of a mixture of coffee shops, fast food chains, and bars. If you’d prefer to shop, you have 17 places to splash the cash (although there are no designer brands here); as well as three separate lounges you can relax and unwind in. After all, you’ll be splurge on a lounge if you book your airport parking at Glasgow with us.


    Rounding off our top 10 list of the best airports, is Birmingham. Here, you’ll find 12 different eateries, including cafes, fast food, and even a prosecco bar, if you’re feeling fancy. You’ll also want to make time to browse through the 16 shops on offer or relax and unwind at one of the four airport lounges on offer.

    If you’re flying from here, you’ll also be pleased to know that we offer great deals on parking at Birmingham airport too, so make sure you book in advance.

    Best Airport Lounges

    We then looked at the data at airport lounges across the country, to see which the best ones are – and the good news is, is they’re consistently good across all UK airports.

    Brands that scored towards the top include No.1 Lounge, which can be found in Gatwick; as well as Aspire, at Edinburgh and Birmingham, and Plaza Premium, at Edinburgh and Heathrow.

    The vast majority offer complimentary hot food, soft drinks and alcohol, and all lounges offer complimentary cold food. You can enjoy free WiFi at all of them, and the vast majority also offer quiet zones, if you want to get some shut-eye before your flight.

    So, if you’ve been wondering which airport is the best to fly from for your next trip, hopefully we’ve helped you to make that decision with our index. Now all that’s left to do is sort your flights (if you haven’t already), and book an airport lounge with SkyParkSecure.


    This dataset ranks 26 airports and 63 lounges, based on how good they are for providing leisure. To do this, five different factors were used for airports, and seven different factors for lounges.

    Once the data for the factors was collected, the factors were then normalised, to provide each factor with a score of between 0 and 1. If data was not available, a score of 0 was given. The normalised values were then summed, to give each airport a total score out of 4.2 and lounges a score out of 7. The airports and lounges were then ranked from highest to lowest, based on their total scores.

    The factors used for airports are as follows:

    • Number of shops – The number of shops found in the terminal at each airport.
    • Number of food and drink venues – The number of food and drink venues found in the terminal at each airport.
    • Entertainment – If entertainment is offered at the airport, examples include arcade, play area etc.
    • Designer stores – If there are any designer stores in each terminal, designer stores are classed as well-known fashion brand shop.
    • Luxury lounges – Using the lounge index, a lounge is considered luxury if it scored over 6 in amenities offered.

    The factors used for lounges are as follows:

    • Complimentary hot food – Scores a Yes/No depending on whether hot food is included with the lounge ticket.
    • Complimentary cold food – Scores a Yes/No depending on whether cold food is included with the lounge ticket.
    • Complimentary soft drinks – Scores a Yes/No depending on whether soft drinks are included with the lounge ticket.
    • Complimentary alcohol – Scores a Yes/No depending on whether alcohol is included with the lounge ticket.
    • TV/other entertainment – Scores a Yes/No depending on if a TV is in the lounge, alternatively another form of entertainment is provided such as magazines, free PC access etc.
    • Free WiFi – Scores a Yes/No depending on whether WiFi is provided. If WiFi is already provided by the airport itself, they will score a Yes.
    • Quiet zones – Scores a Yes/No depending on whether a quiet area of the lounge is offered such as booths, library etc.

    The factors for airports were indexed as follows:

    • Number of shops – High values get a high score. Low values get a low score.
    • Number of food and drink venues – High values get a high score. Low values get a low score.
    • Entertainment – Yes gets a value of 1. No gets a value of 0.
    • Designer stores – This is weighted at 120% – multiplying the number of shops index by 120% if there were designer stores.
    • Premium lounges – Yes gets a value of 1. No gets a value of 0.

    All data is correct as of 06-Oct-23. The ranking data shown is a compilation of multiple data sources and may not be representative of real life. All data is correct with regards to the sources provided. The lounges have been ranked based on the number of amenities offered with the maximum score being seven. Additionally, a “-” in the Terminal column indicates that the airport only has one terminal.