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Europe > Britain and Ireland > United Kingdom > England > South East England > West Sussex > Crawley

Crawley

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Crawley is a town in West Sussex, on the border with Surrey, in the South East of England.

Understand[edit]

Crawley was a small town until 1947 when it was designated a New Town. Its population boomed in the 1950s and 1960s. The biggest influence on the town, however, is Gatwick Airport, which lays claim to being the 6th-busiest airport in the world.

While not known for its open-mindedness, a traveller may find lots to see and do in Crawley. From its wide range of mediocre chain shops to watching a good old-fashioned fist-fight in a car park, there's something for everyone.

Get in[edit]

Disused signalbox in Crawley

By car[edit]

Crawley marks the midpoint of the M23/A23, which links London in the north to Brighton on the south coast. The A217 leads north to Reigate, and the A264 heads east to East Grinstead and Tunbridge Wells, and west to Horsham.

By train[edit]

There are three relevant train stops for Crawley: 1 Crawley station, 2 Gatwick Airport station (technically in Horley) and 3 Three Bridges station.

While trains run directly and frequently from Gatwick and Three Bridges to Brighton, you will need to change in Three Bridges to Brighton when coming from Crawley Station. Fare and timetable information is available from South East Trains, tel. +44 8457 484950.

From Crawley trains run north to London, and south to Horsham, Haywards Heath and Brighton.

Regular fast trains run direct from Gatwick to London Victoria.

By air[edit]

4 Gatwick Airport (LGW IATA), a major international airport and one of the world's busiest, is just outside Crawley.

By bus[edit]

Get around[edit]

Within the town centre, to the station, county mall and even the football stadium you can comfortably walk.

By bus[edit]

Local buses run by Metrobus: 10, 100, 200, 300.

From and to the airport take the number 10 Fastway service which runs almost always as a 24-hr service (not on Sundays and public holidays).

By taxi[edit]

Taxis available, e.g. at the railway stations. Fares from the station to the airport are around £14 and take 10 min (if no traffic jam). However, the Fastways bus 10 takes about 20 min and costs £1.60.

By bicycle[edit]

Crawley is small enough to reach all ends cycling and in town centre there are parking facilities. Increasingly cycle paths are marked and signed, but essentially the whole place is built for cars and especially the Gatwick airport area is not meant for cyclists.

See[edit]

  • Goffs Park, Horsham Rd, RH11 8AX, +44 870 700 1390. There is a little model train Sundays in summer from 3PM, and the Crawley Museum with Stone Age and Bronze Age remains discovered in the area.
  • 1 Gatwick Aviation Museum, Vallance Byways Lowfield, Heath Rd, Charlwood, RH6 0BT (near Gatwick Airport), +44 1293 862417. Nov-Mar: F Sa Su 9:30AM-4PM; last entry 3PM; Apr-Oct: F Sa Su 9:30AM-4:30PM; last entry 3:30PM. Adult: £7.50, children (5-14): £2.50, under 5: free. Gatwick Aviation Museum (Q5527563) on Wikidata Gatwick Aviation Museum on Wikipedia

Do[edit]

Mostly, the town is known as a "shopping town" with the main attraction being the large County Mall. There are plans to open a new shopping center in Queens Square.

  • 1 Buchan County Park, Horsham Rd, RH11 9HQ, +44 1293 542088. 8AM-6PM. Mostly known and used by dog owners, is south of Crawley starting at the Broadfield outskirts stretching to the village Pease Pottage. It has two former hammer ponds and some nice old trees. Really beautiful in autumn and at springtime when the floors are blue with bluebells.
  • 2 Tilgate Park. It's on the south side of the town and is a large area with lakes, grassy areas and woodlands, with plenty of pleasant walks. Attractions include various gardens, a maze and a nature centre with a range of animals and birds which is well worth a visit. The nature centre charges a nominal fee but other attractions are free of charge. Tilgate Park (Q7802137) on Wikidata Tilgate Park on Wikipedia
    • Proms in the Park. Take in the classical music at the annual Proms in the Park at Tilgate Park
    • Tilgate Forest. Accessible from Tilgate Park and has miles of paths for walking and mountain biking. There are several signed short downhill mountain biking courses.
  • 3 Let's Race, 59-61 Brighton Rd, Horley, RH6 7HJ, +44 1293 826800. Formula 1 driving simulator.

Buy[edit]

  • 1 Crawley County Mall, Southgate Ave, RH10 1FP, +44 1293 611975. M-W F Sa 9AM-6PM, Th 9AM-8PM, Su 11AM-5PM. Probably the largest shopping centre between Croydon and Brighton offering the typical selection of bland chain shops you will find on every UK high street.
  • Crawley Town Centre. The rest of the town centre is not too bad for shopping either.
  • 2 Gatwick Airport South Terminal, RH6 0NN. 4AM-9PM. Has quite a few shops with extended opening hours accessible also to the non-flying public.
  • 3 Three Bridges. Has a few small shops, and also a Lidl, Iceland and a large Tesco Extra Supermarket. This area is a 20-minute walk from the centre. Three Bridges (Q2703259) on Wikidata Three Bridges on Wikipedia
  • 4 ASDA (Wal-Mart), Pegler Way, RH11 7AH, +44 1293 663400. M 7AM-midnight, Tu-F 24 hours, Sa noon-10PM, Su 10:30AM-4:30PM. Superstore in the town centre.
  • 5 Tesco Extra, Hazelwick Ave, RH10 1GY, +44 345 677 9179. M-Sa 24 hours, Su 10AM-4PM. Superstore near Gatwick Airport.

Eat[edit]

Along the High Street are pubs and restaurants featuring typical English pubs and bars, Italian chains like Pizza Express, Si and Bella Italia, two or three curry houses, Mexican, kebab kiosks and more. There are also a lot of cheaper takeaways in Crawley where you can order a meal for around £7 to £15 if you're on a budget.

  • Goffs Park Inn. Walk or drive the High Street southwards until it becomes Brighton Road, cross the railwail, still on Brighton Road until to the right turns Goff's Park Road. Follow Goff's Park Road until it ends onto another road and you see in front of you that nice pub, where you can sit outside and enjoy a pint with nice food.
  • 1 Taj Mahal, 2-4 High St, RH10 1BJ, +44 1293 526197. noon-2:30PM, 5:30PM-11PM. South of the High Street and west of Crawley railway station, this Indian restaurant serves great food in a pleasant and modern environment, at a reasonable price.
  • 2 Mo Lin (formerly Shin Mai), 3, 6-14 High St, RH10 1BH, +44 1293 519876. M-Sa noon-2:30PM, 5:30PM-11PM; Su noon-2:30PM, 5:30PM-10:30PM. This Chinese restaurant is just along the road from Taj Mahal, and serves good quality Chinese food. They specialise in sea food, although this is considerably more expensive than the rest of the menu. Best to go earlier in the evening if you haven't booked as it can get busy.
  • 3 LB1, 89 Gales Dr, RH10 1QA (3 minutes from Three Bridges Mainline Station.), +44 1293 525404. A restaurant and bar offering innovative à-la-carte English cuisine and a cocktail bar.
  • 4 Troy Kebab House, 43 High St, RH10 1BQ, +44 1293 615593. The best takeaway kebabs Crawley has to offer. The chili sauce, you will remember, perhaps not for the right reasons.

Drink[edit]

  • 1 The Jubilee Oak, 6 Grand Parade, High St, RH10 1BU, +44 1293 565335. M-Th 8AM-11:30PM, F 8AM-midnight, Sa 8AM-1AM, Su 8AM-11PM. Wetherspoon's pub.

Sleep[edit]

The Grange Hotel in Brighton Road, Southgate.

The Hedgehog Inn in Copthorne is a comfortable and affordable place to stay.

Stay safe[edit]

Despite its reputation you should not encounter any problems in Crawley beyond what you would expect in any town. Treat people with respect and you will be treated likewise.

Go next[edit]

Map of places with Wikivoyage articles nearby

Other places of interest in the Crawley area:

  • Nymans Gardens, Handcross
  • Wakehurst Place, Ardingly
  • Cycle to Crawley Down, East Grinstead or Forest Row by the Worth Way traffic free path. This is mainly an old railway line so gradients are modest.
  • Cycle trip to Horsham going for example through the Buchan County Park and following the small country road going through St Leonards Forest south parallel to the A264. Have a rest at the Green Dragons Inn in Faygate.
  • By train to Arundel and spend a day there.
  • By bus to East Grinstead, historic and friendly town.
Routes through Crawley
LondonGatwick Airport  N UK-Motorway-M23.svg S  merges with A23
LondonRedhill  N UK road A23.PNG S  Haywards HeathBrighton


This city travel guide to Crawley is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.