Crawley Local Guide

Our Crawley Local Guide provides everything you need to know when you visit Crawley. Discover the best things to do, top activities, events and attractions.

Where is Crawley

Crawley is a historic town in the northeast of West Sussex, that is growing very fast. It has very good connections to the coast and London via road and rail.  It’s a popular place for workers who want to escape busy London and enjoy a relaxing atmosphere. Crawley is now home to over 100,000 residents. The town is becoming very popular due to its convenient location and potential for growth. Therefore, more businesses are being attracted to the town. 

Crawley Town

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How to get to Crawley

If you’re driving to Crawley, there a few routes that you can take. The town is located next to junction 10 of the M23, which is the most frequently taken road between London and Brighton. If you would like to get to Crawley from Brighton, you can go via the A23, which is a smaller road but which will get you directly to Brighton. If you’re getting to the town from Horsham or East Grinstead, you can drive along the A220.

Trains to Crawley

Destination Time Frequency
London Victoria 45 Minutes Every 15 Minutes
London Bridge 45 Minutes Every 15 Minutes
Gatwick Airport 8 Minutes Every 15 Minutes
Brighton 45 Minutes Every 30 Minutes
East Croydon 25-45 Minutes Every 15 Minutes

To get to Brighton, take a direct train that runs approximately every 30 minutes, or you can change at Gatwick Airport for a connecting train. To get the most accurate information about train times, check the National Rail services.

Living in Crawley

Crawley offers its residents the perfect balance of vibrant living in a big city with lots of green surroundings and the tranquillity of the countryside. The town has everything you could need: a shopping centre with high-street brands and original local shops, restaurants, bars, the best schools in the South East, magnificent parks and woodlands.

Things to do in Crawley

Crawley is the perfect place for outdoor activities and family fun adventures. Buchan Country Park and Tilgate Park & Nature Reserve are ideal for long walks, dog walking, nature, wildlife spotting and adventures with the kids. If you love adventures you would enjoy Go Ape, or Southern Pursuit. Tulley’s Farm offers an animal patch & play area, mini diggers & tractors, a farm shop, Maize Maze Fun Park and lots of seasonal activities. 

The Hawn Theatre is the biggest theatre in Crawley and presents local and world-famous artists performing music, dance, comedy, film, children’s shows, workshops and community events. There is something for everyone. The town also includes a cinema - Cineworld, with 15 screens and all the latest modern facilities. Other fun activities include Delta Force paintballing and Hollywood Bowl. 
If you love shopping you would enjoy County Mall that has something for everyone, from big high-street shops and food outlets to small unique boutique shops. 

Where to dine in Crawley

The town has plenty of restaurants with different cuisines. Here is our recommendation for the best restaurants in Crawley:
  • Lemon Grass – an authentic Thai restaurant with reasonable prices
  • Turtle Bay -  the best Caribbean restaurant
  • Ocean Trawler – the best traditional fish and chips around
  • Sage – café shop with vegan options
  • Royal Oak – best Sunday Roast


History of Crawley

Crawley has been a historical marketplace since the stone age, and evidence of an Iron Age camp has been found at Goff’s Park. There were discoveries of flint tools, Bronze age swords and burial mounds. During Roman times, Crawley was a centre of ironworking and it became established as a town in the 13thcentury. Once the road between London and Brighton was built in the 18thcentury, Crawley started to become an important town in the South East.

Three Bridges train station was built in 1841 and the Crawley station was created 7 years later in 1948. After the second world war, the government encouraged the establishment of businesses outside of London and in the surrounding counties. In 1946, Crawley was chosen as one of 6 towns to provide job opportunities and housing away from London. After the development of Gatwick Airport in 1958, Crawley was considered as the nearest urban centre.

Constant development and investment in this town motivated many people to move to this location, with excellent travel links to London, coastal towns and the rest of the country.


Famous People

Lots of famous people were born in Crawley, such as Dan Walker – TV and radio sports presenter. Alan Minter – WBC World Middleweight Boxing Champion in 1980. The Cure – Rock Band, formed in Crawley by Lawrence Tolhurst, Michael Dempsey and Robert Smith who all went to school and lived in Crawley.


Schools in Crawley

Crawley has 17 primary schools, 7 secondary schools and colleges.

Popular primary schools

  • Southgate Primary
  • The Oaks Primary School
  • Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Primary
  • Langley Green Primary
  • West Green Primary School

Secondary schools

  • Oriel High Schools
  • Manor Green College
  • Holy Trinity CofE Secondary School
  • St Wilfrid’s Catholic Comprehensive School
  • Ilfield Community College
  • Hazelwick School
  • The Gatwick School

Neighbourhoods of Crawley

The most popular neighbourhoods to live in are Maidenbower, Pound Hill and Worth.Crawley New Area
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Maidenbower is a modern, newer location popular with young professionals and families. The neighbourhood has a small shopping parade and a restaurant called the Frogshole Farm. 

Pound Hill and Worth have high ranking primary and secondary schools. In particular, Hazelwick Secondary School has an excellent reputation for achieving top grades for many years. Both locations have very easy access to Three Bridges train station and Gatwick Airport.

Crawley is definitely one of the upcoming locations in Sussex that’s worth visiting.
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