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Parking at East Midlands
Whether you want to be as close as possible to the terminal or want the cheapest option available, we can help you find the perfect parking space from a large selection of car parks. Compare the Meet and Greet, Park and Ride, long-stay and short-stay services available to travellers and fight the best deal for you. Pre-book today and save up to 60%!
8.7out of 10
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East Midlands Airport (EMA) served 4.5 million passengers on public flights in 2016 and is the 11th-busiest airport in the UK.
As well as holding licenses for civilian and instructional flights, it handles over 315,000 UK imperial tonnes (320,000 metric tonnes) of freight each year. This makes it the largest pure-freight hub in the UK.
East Midlands Airport is in Leicestershire, 3.6 miles (5.8 kilometres) from Castle Donington.
Its closest train station is East Midlands Parkway, which is 4.9 miles (7.9 kilometres) away. The Railink six-seater shuttle service takes just 10 minutes to get to the airport from the East Midlands Parkway, while the Skylink bus service links EMA to the main train stations in Derby, Nottingham and Long Eaton.
National Express coaches offer direct links from Sheffield and Leeds to East Midlands Airport. EMA is also easy to reach by car; major motorways link the airport to Stoke, Nottingham, Leicester, Derby and Birmingham.
East Midlands Airport began life as RAF Castle Donington in 1946. It stayed this way until 1964, when a number of local authorities clubbed together to buy the grounds. Prince Philip opened East Midlands Airport to the public in 1965.
The airport wasn't an instant commercial success, but this began to change in the late 1970s when it became a hub for cargo flights. Extensions in the 1980s and the 1990s improved its infrastructure and passenger services. Among these changes was a new business park, which is now home to hotels and offices.
EMA continues to cement its name as a major freight hub. The likes of UPS, TNT, DHL and Royal Mail have bases there.
Despite its small size, East Midlands Airport has plenty of the high-street shops you would expect to find in modern airport terminals. So, whether you fancy looking for bargains in the duty free shop, grabbing some bits you forgot to pack or you just want to unwind before your flight, EMA has what you need.
The terminal also contains some outlets you don't often see in airports. In amongst the big-name brands, you‘ll find a shop selling freshly ground coffee and homemade sandwiches. The bar and kitchen is also owned and run by a local Nottingham brewery. There’s even a spa to make you feel fresher after an early-morning rush to the airport.
Facilities at East Midlands Airport include:
East Midlands Airport has six car parks in total.
If you care more about convenience than cost, the Express Park or Meet and Greet service may be for you. Express Park is just two minutes’ walk from the terminal. It’s designed to meet the needs of business travellers for whom time is at a premium.
The 'Meet and Greet' service lets you forget about parking altogether. All you have to do is drive straight up to the terminal where a member of staff will meet you and park your car on your behalf.
The short-stay car park is closest to the terminal, with a transfer time of two minutes on foot. There’s no minimum stopover in short-stay, so it's perfect if you want to leave your car there for anywhere between 30 minutes and 24 hours.
Long-stay car parks 1-3 at East Midlands Airport are just five-to-seven minutes' walk from the main building. These car parks have a minimum stay of two days.
Long-stay car park 4 is seven minutes from the terminal by bus. Services run from this car park every 15 minutes. If you're leaving your car at the airport for four days or more, the airport's official website advises Long Stay 4 as the car park that offers the best balance between low cost and convenience.
JetParks is the furthest EMA car park from the terminal. It takes 12 to 15 minutes to get there by bus (which runs every 20 minutes). Despite this, JetParks is the cheapest option if you plan to leave your car at the airport for six days or more.
Out of all the EMA parking options, JetParks and Meet and Greet are the only two you have to pre-book, but it’s always wise to pre-book your space to guarantee it before you arrive for your flight.
EMA lists four ‘airport hotels’ on its website: Radisson Blu, Premier Inn, Holiday Inn and Jurys Inn. Despite this, Jurys Inn hotel is the only one on-site. It sits close to the entrance and is just five minutes’ walk from the main airport building.
Jurys Inn offers room service, free WiFi and use of the swimming pool, gym and sauna. It also has its own car park with 350 spaces – this happens to be the closest car park to the airport. The hotel boasts 12 large conference rooms, all of which are ideally equipped for business meetings or functions.
The Radisson Blu is a three-minute drive from the airport and can be reached via Beverley Road. It offers free WiFi, a stylish restaurant and 24-hour room service. The nine conference rooms are great for social functions and meetings with clients or colleagues, while there is also a car park on the site and the hotel offers 'Park, Dream & Fly' packages that allow you to leave your car in a secure car park for four, eight or 15 days.
The Premier Inn has a bar, free WiFi, family rooms, disabled access and even a Marco Pierre White restaurant. It also offers the complimentary use of its swimming pool and gym. You can purchase your room and parking together as part of what the chain calls the ‘Sleep and Fly package’.
The Escape Lounge is your chance to get away from the fuss of the busy airport terminal. It’s much like any other airport lounge in many ways, but EMA has included some nice touches, such as the free magazines and daily newspapers.
There is a complimentary buffet, which uses locally-sourced ingredients and, if you get to the airport in the morning, you’ll get to choose from a nice range of breakfast cereals, croissants and fruit juices.
If you fancy something a little stronger than juice, there’s also a complimentary range of alcoholic drinks in addition to the usual coffees and teas.
The EMA Aeropark is a wonderful aviation museum. It’s a great place to discover the rich and fascinating history of flight technology over the years. Go to the website for a list of exhibits at the Aeropark.
The Aeropark isn’t actually within EMA grounds, but the operators include it as part of their list of on-site attractions, so it is reachable. The museum is just 2.7 miles (4.3 kilometres) away from East Midlands Airport - so close that it provides a great vantage point from which to watch modern planes taking off at the airport itself.
During the summer, the Aeropark holds two 'Open Cockpit Days'. For a small charge, you get exclusive access to aircraft cockpits and, to keep the kids amused, there’s a bouncy castle, face-painting and classic aircraft flying sessions.
The Cloud Spa at East Midlands is open between the hours of the first and last departing flight each day, so you can treat yourself to a bit of pre-flight pampering no matter what time you are jetting off. You’ve got the choice of nail, brow, lash and massage treatments, as well as gel manicures that dry instantly and last for weeks, so they’ll go way beyond your holiday. There’s nothing quite like treating yourself to kickstart your holiday.
Shopping at any airport can often bring with it the temptation to buy things on impulse, only with the stumbling block of it being impractical to take your new purchases with you on your trip.
Thankfully, the 'Shop and Collect' service at East Midlands Airport allows you to buy as much as you want, leave it all at the airport and pick it up when you return. So, if you spot a few bargains at the duty free shop, you can make them yours without any hassle.
You can even enlist the services of a personal shopper to help you find the perfect gift for a loved one. They can help you pick out an outfit for your romantic getaway or business meeting – a service you only usually find at the bigger UK airports.
If you’re a fan of flying and looking for something a bit left-field to do at East Midlands airport, you can charter your own jet there.
Whether you want a romantic weekend away in Vienna or you need to get to a business meeting in Zurich at short notice, private jet hire gives those who can afford it the chance to bask in the full VIP treatment.
You’ll face a check-in time of just 15 minutes and flight schedules are designed to fit into your plans rather than the other way around. The airport's website states that if you book now, you could be in the air within as little as 40 minutes, so it keeps experts on-site to take bookings 24 hours a day.
Donington Collections is home to a wide range of vehicles from throughout racing history. The most famous of these is the Grand Prix Collection. There, you’ll find a complete assortment of classic Vanwall cars. The owners have committed an entire hall to McLaren F1 cars from the team's origins in 1966 right up until to the early 2000s.
There are also huge ranges of Williams F1 cars, racing motorbikes and even a military collection on site. If you’re into motorsport or automotive machinery, the Donington Collections are a must-see, located just two miles (3.2 kilometres) away from East Midlands Airport. It takes two minutes to get there by car via the A453.
Sat nav instructions: Donington Ln, Castle Donington, Derbyshire DE74 2RP
Elvaston Castle Country Park comprises 321 acres (130 hectares or 1.3 square kilometres) of historical gardens, woodland and open parkland. Elvaston Castle sits right at the heart of this grand estate. James Wyatt designed this tour de force of gothic-revival architecture back in the early 1800s.
The Grade II-listed building was the set of the 1969 film 'Women in Love', so you can experience film history as well as Gothic history.
The castle is 9.2 miles (14.8 kilometres) from East Midlands Airport. It takes 26 minutes to drive to Elvaston Castle via the B5010.
Sat nav instructions: Borrowash Road, Elvaston, Derby DE72 3EP
The Great Central Railway is billed as “the UK's only double track, main line heritage railway”. This makes it the only place you can still see full-size steam trains passing each other, just as they did during the golden age of the railways.
Steam trains run between Loughborough and Leicester every weekend and on bank holidays. They also run on some weekdays during the summer. While onboard one of these wonderful machines, you’ll find a first-class restaurant car offering five-course meals. You can take advantage of the railway's 'Drive a Locomotive Experience', attend a steam gala or take part in wartime- and Christmas-themed events.
You can go to their website to see a list of Great Central Railway timetables and fares. The railway is 9.7 miles (15.6 kilometres) from East Midlands Airport and it takes just 20 minutes to reach by car on the M1.
Sat nav instructions: Great Central Rd, Loughborough LE11 1RW
At the artisan distillery in Bawdon Lodge Farm, you can find 45 Gin School. If you love gin, there’s nowhere better to indulge your passion. During your time there, you’ll take a guided tour of the 45 West Distillery and enjoy choosing and mixing botanicals to create your own unique gin recipe.
If you’ve ever wondered how lavender and fennel gin (or any other blend) tastes, the 45 Gin School Experience gives you the chance to find out. After blending your herbs, berries, flowers, or spices, you then distil your gin and bottle it to take away with you.
The experience gives you an insight into the gin-making process as well as a chance to enjoy the distillery's delightful countryside setting - the perfect contrast to the hustle and bustle of a busy airport. If you’re looking to make the most of your layover and learn something new, this is just the tonic.
The distillery is 9.7 miles (15.6 kilometres) or 18 minutes’ drive from EMA, via Charley Rd.
Sat nav instructions: The Collection Yard, Bawdon Lodge Farm, Road, Nanpantan LE12 9YE
Nottingham Industrial Museum takes pride of place in the 17th-century stables at Wollaton Hall and Deer Park. The museum galleries pay homage to the trades that put the East Midlands on the map during the Industrial Revolution. You’ll see items reflecting the region's historical links with the industries that made railways, bicycles, motorcycles, tobacco, textiles and more. The museum is also home to a unique assortment of diesel trains and steam engines.
Volunteers run the museum and it’s clear these men and women have a true passion for what they do. Nottingham Industrial Museum is a fascinating place to spend a couple of hours and it is inexpensive.
The museum is 14.5 miles (23.3 kilometres) or 44 minutes’ drive from East Midlands Airport via the A453.
Sat nav instructions: The Courtyard, Wollaton Hall and Deer Park, Nottingham NG8 2AE
Donington Park is a world-famous motorsport circuit. Thousands of people flock there for weekends to see the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) and British Superbikes (BSB) each year. It also plays host to hospitality events, as well as things like toy and antique fairs.
Whether you’re into motorsport or want to catch one of the many events taking place there, Donington Park offers a great day (or even weekend) out. At just two miles (3.2 kilometres) from East Midlands Airport, Donington Park is also very easy to access.
Sat nav instructions: Castle Donington, Derby DE74 2RP
East Midlands Airport has one terminal that services all airlines, including popular budget companies Jet2.com, BMI Baby and Ryanair. To make sure your trip runs smoothly, you can find information about live departures here.
There are 12 airlines that fly from East Midlands Airport:
|Balkan Holidays||Main terminal|
|BMI Regional||Main terminal|
|Newmarket Holidays||Main terminal|
|Olympic Holidays||Main terminal|
|P&O Cruises||Main terminal|
|Thomas Cook Airlines||Main terminal|
If you’re using sat nav, you can get to EMA using the postcode DE74 2SA. The airport has a wide range of road links that ensure it is less than an hour’s drive from anywhere in the East Midlands.
The airport is close to the A42 (and therefore M42). This means it’s easy to access from Birmingham city centre. It is also linked to Stoke via the A50 and to Nottingham via the A453. The airport is just 50 minutes’ drive away from the centre of Stoke and 24 minutes from Nottingham. Derby is 22 minutes’ away via the Southern Bypass/A50. It takes 28 minutes to drive to EMA from Leicester on the M1 and A50.
EMA’s proximity to the M1 makes it easy to travel to Leeds and London. If you’re travelling from the M1, leave at Junction 23a or 24 and follow the many clear signposts for the airport.
The Railink shuttlebus service runs once every hour to and from East Midlands Parkway. The Railink takes an average of 10 minutes to get you from Parkway to EMA.
Skylink shuttlebus services also run to the airport from train stations in Derby, Nottingham and Long Eaton. These train stations link to others across the north and south of the country and you’ll find it easy to get to East Midlands Airport by train from wherever you are in the UK.
Skylink buses offer the main routes to the airport from nearby Nottingham, Derby, Loughborough and Leicester. Bus journeys from Nottingham to EMA start at Broadmarsh Bus Station and take 55 minutes. Bus routes from Derby start at the main bus station and it takes 40 minutes to reach the airport. You’ll find a lot more information about all Skylink services on the EMA “Bus Services” web page.
National Express coaches link East Midlands Airport with Sheffield and Leeds in the north. The same operator also provides links to Luton, Heathrow and Gatwick in the south from EMA.
If you’re travelling by train, you need to be aware that there’s no direct rail link to EMA. With this in mind, you should factor in the 10 minutes it takes for the shuttle bus to reach the airport, as well the time you may need to wait for it to arrive at East Midlands Parkway station.
East Midlands Airport has special pick-up and drop-off areas that you may use for a low fee. The airport’s website states very clearly that stopping in unauthorised areas poses a risk to your safety and that of others in the grounds. You risk a heavy fine by failing to park or stop in the right zones, so be sure to plan where to stop before you arrive.
If you want to avoid long queues, for a low fee you can book access to the Express Lane. This gets you through security and into the Departures Lounge much quicker than usual. If you’re travelling with children, they can use the Express Lane for free.
The Express Car Park allows you to drive right up to the terminal and avoid long transfers or delays due to public transport, making your journey even simpler.
Yes. Charging points are available in the Escape Lounge. The lounge also gives you fast, free internet access and quiet spaces to get on with any work you need to do.
Blue Badge holders can drop off and pick up friends or loved ones in the short-stay car park. You can leave your car there free of charge for up to 30 minutes. For stays of longer than half an hour, you can pre-book spaces in short-stay, JetParks and long-stay 1 and 4.
For a 20 per cent discount on the 'Meet and Greet' service, you should call the airport on +44 (0)800 083 8759.
East Midlands Airport does not allow smoking or vaping within any of its enclosed spaces. However, there is one designated outside smoking area before security and another one in the departures zone.
If you lose your baggage at the airport, you can contact EMA Lost Property on +44 (0)871 919 9000. If you’ve lost any possessions during transit, you can get in touch with the relevant airline using the phone numbers on this page.
No. There are no purpose-built sleeping areas in either the main terminal or the Escape Lounge. Despite this, many of the people who’ve spent the night there say the seating in the main area is quite a comfortable place to sleep. If you’re looking for more home comforts, Jurys Inn is a nice hotel just a few minutes’ walk from the main building.
“It’s so easy, I wonder why I had never done it before. I would recommend them to anyone!”