Things to Do In and Around Crawley


(image: Crawley Angling Society)

Crawley is a picturesque town located 27 miles south of the British capital. Despite it’s small size, it’s a giant as far as history is concerned. Its exact age is debatable, but West Sussex Info indicated that Crawley is certainly older than London – or most of the world’s cities for that matter – as it has been a human settlement dating back to the Stone Age.

Crawley developed steadily throughout the eons and it now possesses both natural and urban beauty. In this post I’m going to highlight some attractions in Crawley as well as its outskirts, and like mentioned earlier, it’s small so you can actually visit these places in one day if you head to Crawley for a day trip.


Explore Tilgate Park


(image: CC licensed)

Tilgate Park is built around the beautiful lake where it got its name. Although it’s not in the iconic Lake District which I’ve featured in another post , Tilgate Lake is as beautiful and stunning as its northern counterparts. It’s the perfect place to lay back and enjoy relaxing activities such as fishing and boating. There’s also a golf centre for visitors who bring their clubs along with them to the city.


(image: Go Ape)

Conversely, you can take a forest adventure if you’re looking for a more thrilling experience. The park has a zone with zip-wires, allowing guests to pass through the breathtaking natural scenery à la Tarzan. In another section, there’s a hedge maze that’s not too hard to navigate, but still exciting to accomplish.


Take a glimpse of the town’s past at Wakehurst Place


(image: CC licensed)

Wakehurst Place houses a Tudor mansion that dates back to the 16th century. The surrounding gardens are equally stunning which were built over the remains of an even older estate, according to an article on Britain Express. The present collection of greenery has more significance though, as it includes plants from around the world and there’s a seed bank that now holds 10% of all species of flowers.


(image: Britain Express)

See the iconic planes in the Wings Museum


(image: Wings Museum)

The Royal Air Force have lots of amazing planes in their possession and a portion of them are on display in the Wings Museum along with other war memorabilia. If you want to imagine how the British fought in the sky during the Second World War then this is the place to visit.


A veteran signs a piece of a bomber plane

(image: Wings Museum)

Meet the winged residents of Huxley’s Birds of Prey Centre


Doesn’t this photo remind you of Harry Potter’s pet owl?

(image: Shad the Cat)

Huxley’s Birds of Prey Centre is another must-visit place especially if you’re fond of bird watching. It is home to owls, hawks, eagles and many other fascinating species of birds. A blog post by Shad the Cat mentioned that you can even participate in the demonstrations and directly interact with their many birds!


(image: Shad the Cat)

Tips for Overseas Visitors: Getting to Crawley

Most foreign tourists enter the UK through either of its two major international air hubs, Heathrow Airport and Gatwick Airport. The latter is just north of Crawley.

As for getting around the town, public buses have trips at set intervals. Although you’re going to have to consider bus schedules as well as routes in your itinerary and add them to your overall travel time.

Alternatively, you can rent a car for more flexibility and convenience, more so if you take impromptu stops during your travels. As mentioned earlier, you can visit the town in its entirety during a day trip so it’s easy to squeeze in visits to other parts of the UK, such as Scotland and Northern Ireland. It’s efficiency is due to the town having an airport with flights to almost all other UK airports and like I’ve mentioned in another past post, it’s just a 15-minute drive from hotels such as the nearby Travelodge.

Just be sure to make the necessary preparations, as it’s one of the busiest air hubs in Europe. Book a parking slot beforehand to avoid getting delayed even before you enter the terminal. Gatwick Airport has multiple parking areas as shown by Parking4Less and there’s one that’s only a short walk away while others require a short transfer. Either way, it goes without saying that you must plan everything thoroughly to make the most out of your UK holiday.

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