Until the 1940s Crawley was a small town until in 1947 it was designated a New Town, and 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 traveler 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.
Crawley marks the mid-point 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.
Trains run north to London, and south to Horsham, Haywards Heath and Brighton.
Regular fast trains run direct from Gatwick to London Victoria.
Fare and timetable information is available from South East Trains, tel. 08457 484950.
There are three relevant train stops for Crawley: Crawley Station, Gatwick Airport and Three Bridges. 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.
Gatwick Airport, a major international airport and one of the world's busiest, is situated just outside Crawley.
Within the town centre, to the station, county mall and even the football stadium you can comfortably walk.
Local buses run by Metrobus, noticeably 10, 100, 200, 300.
From and to the airport take the number 10 Fastway service which runs almost always as an 24h service.
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 only £1.60.
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.
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. Please note- despite being relatively close to Brighton, overt displays of homosexuality are not tolerated in Crawley. Casual racism and xenophobia are common.
Along the Highstreet are numerous 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 large number of cheaper takeaways in Crawley where you can order a meal for around £7 to £15 if you're on a budget.
Rat and parrot on the high street..ground and first floor pub with wide screen during the day for footie and a dance floor for night with rnb/pop music and flashy lights, rude boys, etc
The Grange hotel in brighton road,southgate
The Hedgehog Inn in Copthorne is a comfortable and affordable place to stay.
Other places of interest in the Crawley area: