Crawley Area Guide
Explore Crawley and decide if it has what you are looking for in a town!
Crawley is an ideal area for schools and currently hosts 17 primary schools and four pairs of infant and junior schools. Many of them were opened in 2004 when the town’s educational system had an overhaul. All of the secondary schools have a sixth form.
Things to Do
Crawley is packed with things to do wherever your interests lie! There is Tilgate and Buchan Country Park for long walks, nature & wildlife interests, dog waking and adventures with the kids. The Southern Pursuits and Go Ape in Crawley offer something for those with an adventurous and outdoors spirit. The adrehanaline junky is well served. There are a number of beautiful outdoor spaces to enjoy including Ifield Mill Pond and Crawley Memorial Gardens. You will not be short of places to eat out, pubs to enjoy with friends and family and there is also a popular cinema complex. Crawley is a hive of activity so you shouldn’t be bored. You can also enrol in Kung Fu Schools or a local yoga studio.
Sites of Interest
The Alexander House Uptopia Spa is a particularly nice day trip to escape the tensions of everyday life. There are too many great parks to list but their beauty and green spaces will certainly appeal to the nature or outdoors lover. If you want the strengths of a town combined with the escape of the countryside Crawley is the picturesque town for you!
More About Crawley…
Nestled perfectly between the busy city of London and the seaside town of Brighton and Hove, Crawley offers residents the perfect balance of tranquil country living with the vibrancy of living in a big city.
Crawley has plenty to offer its residents from glorious parks and woodland to Olympic sized sports facilities and some of the best schools in the South East. If you are looking to relocate somewhere away from the rat-race but still be within an easy commute of the capital and have access to everything you would expect of a big city; Crawley could be just the place for you.
Where is Crawley
Crawley is found in the North East of West Sussex and is 31 miles south of Charing Cross in London and just 22 miles north of the seaside town of Brighton and Hove. Crawley is a historic market town which has blossomed over the last several decades and is now home to over 100,000 residents. With excellent links to the coast and the capital via road and rail, Crawley offers a happy medium for workers who want to escape the hustle and bustle of city living when their work day ends.
Crawley boasts a wealth of businesses and facilities and is a true economic and industrial hive of the south east. As the area becomes more popular, more and more businesses are being attracted to the area as they see the potential Crawley has to offer.
The history of Crawley
Archaeological finds of arrow heads and pottery show that Crawley has been a historical marketplace since the stone age but the discoveries of burial mounds, flint tool and Bronze age swords show that Crawley has a truly eclectic historical past. In Roman times, Crawley was a centre for ironworking and it became truly established as a town in the 13th Century. The building of the road between London and Brighton in the 18th Century is what really put Crawley on the map however.
The summer of 1841 saw the opening of the Three Bridges train station which brought many more visitors to the area. The Crawley station was built 7 years later in 1948. The 1940’s also saw the opening of Gatwick airport which encouraged businesses and travellers to view Crawley as an area of industrial and commercial growth.
After the second world war, the government wanted to encourage people and businesses to move out of London and in to the surrounding areas. In 1946, the New Towns Act named Crawley as one of the 6 towns names to provide work and housing away from the overcrowded capital. It’s excellent transport links was just one of the reasons why Crawley was chosen, and new communities were built in and around Crawley, Three Bridges and Ifield.
Rapid development encouraged more and more people to move to the area in the following decades and now Crawley is comprised of 16 residential neighbourhoods separated by the rail lines and motorways which provide such excellent travel links to the capital, coast and the rest of the country.
The surrounding area
One of the best things about living in Crawley is being surrounded by glorious nature and countryside while still being close enough to commute to the big cities surrounding the town. One of the biggest expenses of woodland in the area is Tilgate Park which offers walkers and explorers of all ages a chance to get away from it all in magical woodlands full of fresh air and nature. The park itself includes the Tilgate Nature Centre as well as a Go Ape centre which gives you the opportunity to experience to forest from the dizzying heights of the treetops. Go whizzing through the forest on a zipline or swing through the trees in the giant jungle gym. The park also has beautifully cultivated walled gardens, a pay area for the kids, Tilgate Forest golf centre and a café where you can get your breath back over a lovely cup of tea and a slice of cake.
The 16 residential neighbourhoods are served well by a range of religious buildings from a range of faiths so if you enjoy spending time in a place of worship then you will find your spiritual home here in Crawley.
There are plenty of schools in Crawley, all of which offer an exceptional standard of education. Crawley is lucky to be in catchment for the best performing high school in the area; Hazelwick School. This school has repeatedly performed extremely well as OFSTED inspections and continually breaks its own record for exam results year on year.
There are an ample number of doctors and dentists in Crawley to see to all your health needs without you having to wait weeks or even months for an appointment.
Crawley has excellent transport links to the nearby town of Brighton and Hove and also London and from there, there rest of the country. If you are wanting to travel by train, then Crawley station has regular and reliable trains every day to both the south and the north and the nearby Three Bridges station also has regular trains in the same directions.
Crawley pubic transport also include the Fastway bus system which offers a smart travel option for Crawley, Horley and Gatwick. Fastway has been specifically designed to speed past congestion hot spots via a system of designated bus lanes and sections of guided busways. The service is reliable and comfortable and a much more efficient way to travel than by car as you can avoid the long delays which rush hour inevitably brings.
Gatwick airport is a mere 4.1 miles away from Crawley and offers a plethora of travel options. While you can opt to get a short flight to cities such as Manchester or Glasgow, as Gatwick is an international airport, you can access flights to anywhere in the world. Gatwick Rail Station also runs the Gatwick Express which is a non-stop service to London Victoria and it runs every half hour.
If you are commuting or traveling to and from Crawley by car, then it is important to know they main routes in and out. Crawley is located just off junction 10 of the M23, which is the main road between London and Brighton and Hove. You can also travel to Brighton and Hove and London using the A23 which is a smaller road but still just as direct. Horsham and East Grinstead can be accessed along the A220, giving you even more options of towns to visit and places to work.
The neighbourhoods of Crawley
Southwest Crawley is the home of Bewbush and Bewbush Water Gardens. The water gardens include a large, idyllic pond with breath-taking boardwalk winding its way across the southern pond. A meandering walking route takes you through the garden to the equally tranquil Ifield Mill Pond.
The neighbourhood of Broadfield has a wide range of property typed including self-built properties, private estates and social housing. Broadfield is hugely accessible with easy links to A264 and A23/M2. From here you can find your way to Buchan Park, Tilgate Park and the K2 Leisure Centre in a mere matter of minutes.
Tilgate Park is a large area of forest and a nature reserve found in the Crawley neighbourhood of Tilgate. Here you will also find Tilgate golf course and a recreational lake which is used for a range of water sports all year round. Construction in this area began in 1955 and an array of beautiful houses are now nestled in this landscape. A further 125 acres of woodland have been earmarked as the potential grounds for a possible new university campus.
Neighbouring Tilgate is Furnace Green which whilst benefitting from all Tilgate has to offer, also offers a range of facilities of its own. Here you will find the Hawth Arts Centre and Theatre which puts on a wide selection of dance, comedy, arts, theatre and live productions every year- the panto is a must see! K2 complex is also nearby as is the Three Bridges train station.
The government’s Get Britain Building is directly responsible for the building of Kilnwood Vale which sits on ground that used to belong to Horsham District Council. The neighbourhood is still under development but when it is finished in will boast 2500 dwellings as well as schools, businesses and a brand-new rail station.
Also still under development is the neighbourhood of Forge Wood. Names after an area of ancient woodland in the neighbourhood, when completed it will provide 1900 new homes, schools, shopping centres and a community centre.
Ifield is a former village and house a real mix of traditional and contemporary housing. Here you will find Ifield Mill Pond which is considered one of the most important wetland site in Crawley. The conservation area in the neighbourhood is home to St Mary’s church which was built in the 13th Century.
Northgate was the second neighbourhood to be built in the New Town in the 1950’s and Crawley’s town centre is located here. Northgate hosts Crawley’s main shopping area as well as the central bus and train stations.
Three Bridges was once just a tiny hamlet town but is now situated at the centre of the intersection of the London to Brighton line. Three Bridges is the home to Crawley’s top performing school; Hazelwick School where former pupils include the likes of footballer and England coach Gareth Southgate and comedian Romesh Ranganathan.
These are just a selection of the unique yet harmonious neighbourhoods which come together to form the eclectic town that is Crawley.