As well as being super close to Gatwick airport that it only takes 20 minutes on the bus to get there or 10 minutes by train, Crawley is great for so much more.
I used to live in Crawley (a long time ago) and my parents still live there so I get to go back and visit quite a lot.
Staying in the town centre is your best bet because you can stay in the Travel Lodge and be a short walk from all the supermarkets, shops, pubs, bars and restaurants to kill time before heading off to Gatwick.
If you are looking for cheap and good food then I would suggest going to the Jubilee Oak, it’s a Wetherspoons pub so go in knowing that you will get what you pay for but the food is great and they have a family area to take the kids. It is very close to where the market is held which is very close to the town centre. Part of the menu is called Small Dishes with is 3 for £10, we love the spicy chicken wings and the loaded chips so what my husband and I usually do is get 2 plates of the chicken wings and 1 loaded chips so that we have a plate of chicken wings each and share the chips. They have a great app so that you can order food from your table.
If you are looking for big portions at a reasonable price, All Days Cafe should be one of your stops. They do brilliant food and because it’s a family run place, everyone is welcoming. They have indoor and outdoor seating, its lovely sitting outside in the summer. It is located in a parade of shops between the market and the town centre.
Looking for somewhere to just sit and chill but not feel like you are in a town centre? Go check out the memorial gardens which are incredibly close to the town centre. It’s great sunny day of chilling with a picnic. I used to love sitting there in the sun during my lunch breaks with a book. You can hear some of the traffic but you end up super chilled out so you don’t really notice.
This is one of my favourite places in Crawley, it is Turtle Bay. Not only is the food amazing but they do 2-4-1 cocktails and play reggae music all day. I spent many an afternoon drinking cocktails and chilling out with a few cocktails. The staff are always great and chatty, we always have a good chat with them. They also have an app so you collect points which you can put towards food. It is a 30 second from the Travel Lodge so nice and close if you have one too many Haha.
Fancy just sitting in a nice little pub and watching life fly by, check out The White Hart. Lovely pub that is like a tardis as it doesn’t look big from the outstanding but feels like it just keeps going once you are inside haha. It is opposite The Jubilee Oak so close to the town centre.
This is a little bit of a drive from the town centre or you can get a bus but it is so worth it because they have a zoo! They have pigs, chickens, meerkats, cows, otters, ponies, reindeer, donkeys, owls and so much more. It’s only £4 for an adult and £3 for 2-16 year olds and free for up to 2 years old. If you don’t want to go in the zoo, you an always walk around the park which is absolutely beautiful in the summer, it has a cafe, a lake, Go Ape and loads of stuff to keep kids entertained.
I hope that helps you on your little adventure to Crawley and gives you a little insight into this lovely town.