Things to see and do near Gatwick

Legions of people flying from Gatwick stay in local Gatwick Hotels and Guest Houses the night before their flight.

They do this to avoid the risk of getting stuck in traffic on the morning of their intended departure and potentially missing their flights!

This then results in huge numbers of people staying in the Gatwick area looking for things to see and do during their short stay.

Most of the Gatwick hotels are actually located in Horley right next to Gatwick.

Horley is actually the closest town to Gatwick and lies roughly parallel to the main runway.  The next closest town is Crawley.

Being one of the closest Guest Houses to Gatwick, here at Springwood, we get asked by thousands of guests each year for suggestions on the best things to see and do near Gatwick

Here is our shortlist…

#1 Best places to eat and drink around Gatwick

Restaurants in Horley

Things to see and do near Gatwick - Eating out - Restaurants


ZenosItalian / 13 Massetts Rd, Horley RH6 7PR / 01293 772225

ShirazTurkish  / 11 Massetts Rd, Horley RH6 7PR / 01293 776309

White Lotus Thai / 167 Victoria Rd, Horley RH6 7AR / 01293 824474

The Curry BengalIndian / 25 Station Rd, Horley RH6 9HW / 01293 784255

Il SorrisoItalian / 2 Consort Way E, Horley, Gatwick RH6 7AU / 01293 432227

Curry InnIndian / 5-6 Massetts Rd, Horley RH6 7PP / 01293 784888


Ye Olde Six Bells – Pub / Church Rd, Horley RH6 8AD / 01293 825028 / Very old 9th Century Inn with cosy beamed ceilings

The Air Balloon – Pub / 60 Brighton Rd, Horley RH6 7HE / 01293 820188 / large comfortable modern chain pub

Fox Revived – Pub (3.9 miles from Horley – 10 minutes by car) Norwood Hill, Horley RH6 0ET / Sympathetically re-imaged traditional country boozer with a nice buzz and decent quality pub food

Archway Theatre Horley / The Drive, Horley RH6 7NQ / 01293 784398 / website

Under the railway arches in Horley, Surrey, you’ll find The Archway Theatre company.  It’s a fascinating little amateur theatre company with a 95 seat auditorium.  They run 10 full productions every year.

Gatwick Aviation Museum (2.8 miles from Horley – 6 minutes by car) Vallance By-Ways, Lowfield Heath Rd, Charlwood, Gatwick RH6 0BT / 01293 862417 /Website

Located at the end of the Gatwick main runway, to one side, a little village called Charlwood, Surrey.  The museum is home to a large selection of vintage aircraft from the ww2 era on-wards to early jet fighters like the De Havilland Venom.  During special event days, they are known to run up the engines of some of the aircraft to the delight of their visitors.

Crawley Town

Crawley is the second closest town to Gatwick.  It can be reached by bus or train from Horley, or from Gatwick.  It’s a New Town, so not much to say about it aesthetically.

County Mall – (5.1 miles from Horley – 13 minutes by car) Southgate Ave, Crawley RH10 1FG / Website

Crawley has a large shopping centre called The County Mall.  As shopping centres go, it’s not bad.  You’ve got around 70 shops – mostly high street names (including a few restaurants and cafes)

Crawley Leisure Park

Also in Crawley you’ll find in the Crawley Leisure Park, a Hollywood Bowl and a large Cinema, along with a number of chain restaurants like for example…

Chiquito  – Mexican (4.8 miles from Horley – 10 minutes by car) Crawley Leisure Park, Unit 4, London Rd, Crawley RH10 8LR01293 590070 / a Mexican chain restaurant serving up a menu of Tex-Mex classics. Plus… beer and cocktails.

TGI Fridays  – American (4.8 miles from Horley – 10 minutes by car) Crawley Leisure Park, 6 London Rd, Crawley RH10 8LR / 0344 692 0277 / American themed casual chain restaurant with a festive vibe serving beer, cocktails and a wide menu of American scoff.

Harvester  Grills and Salads (4.8 miles from Horley – 10 minutes by car) Crawley Leisure Park, Unit 4B, Crawley RH10 8LR / 01293 515085 / Known as a ‘child-friendly’ chain.  So expect kids to be running around!  Apart from that, the food is consistently not bad.  They typically serve grilled dishes, salads, burgers and steaks.

London (30 minutes by train – Gatwick Express from Gatwick)

London has everything including The Queen of England.  She lives in a place called Buckingham Palace.  American people tend to pronounce it Buck-in-ham Palace.  British people tend to pronounce it Buckinum Palace.  I don’t suppose the queen gives a darn either way!

There is a mainline railway station in both Gatwick airport and Horley, with a direct rail link to London

The Gatwick Express service from Gatwick to London Victoria is the fastest (takes around 30 minutes).  This service is only available from the station at Gatwick Airport.


In the other direction you’ve got Brighton.

Brighton is also known colloquially as “London by sea”, essentially because it’s a vibrant city in many ways similar to London, yet you’ve also got the added bonus of it being on the coast.

Things to do in Brighton – walk along the promenade – swim in the sea – check out the Pier – eat in one of 500 restaurants – enjoy a very nice coffee from ‘small batch coffee’ (they roast it locally). Plus… visit the Lanes – an intricate network of alleyways and small roads bustling with small antique shops, jewelers, trendy clothing stores and cafes.  And don’t forget the Royall Pavilion – The Royal Pavilion (also known as the Brighton Pavilion), was built in three stages (starting in1787) as a seaside retreat for George, Prince of Wales, who became the Prince Regent in 1811

Brighton Pavilion(29 miles from Horley – 44 minutes by car or 53 minutes by Train from Horley (change at Gatwick) 4/5 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton BN1 1EE


(10.7 miles from Horley – 22 minutes by car)  Selsfield Rd, Haywards Heath RH17 6TN / 01444 894066

Wakehurst, is a house and botanic gardens in West Sussex, England.  It is  owned by the National Trust but used and managed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Chartwell House

(21.4 miles from Horley – 36 minutes by car)

Mapleton Rd, Westerham TN16 1PS / 01732 868381

Sir Winston Chuchill lived here for over 40 years (from September 1922 until shortly before his death in January 1965).  It’s a country house near Westerham in Kent, England.

Hever Castle & Gardens

(16.5 miles from Horley – 36 minutes by car)

Hever Rd, Hever, Edenbridge TN8 7NG / 01732 865224

Hever Castle is located in the village of Hever, Kent, near Edenbridge.  Built in the 13th century, it began as a country house and from 1462 to 1539, it was the home of the Boleyn family.  So linked to Anne Boleyn, Anne of Cleves and Henry VIII and more recently the Astor Family.

So there you go, a good selection of things to see and do near Gatwick