When thinking of destinations where there are plenty of sights to see, Gatwick Airport is probably not the first location that springs to mind. However, with a reliable hire car and an up-to-date satnav, you can find plenty of interesting places to visit that are within easy reach of the airport.
To help those who are staying in the area for a day or two, whether due to a stopover in between flights or for other reasons, we have prepared a list of ten sights that we think are well worth seeing when you are here.
Take Advantage of Cheap Car Hire at Gatwick to Make Exploring the Area a Breeze
While it is true that the opportunities for sightseeing are a little limited in the immediate vicinity of the airport itself, you can find many interesting places to visit that are easy to reach with a car. Take your pick from those we have listed below or do a little research and find some more of your own.
1. Gatwick Aviation Museum – Located a stone’s throw from the airport in the adjacent village of Charlwood is the Gatwick Aviation Museum. Here you can see a fantastic collection of vintage British aeroplanes, including a Lighting, Harrier, Hunter, Sea Vixen and Shackleton. At the time of writing, the museum is actually closed for renovation but is expected to open once more in March or April of this year.
2. St Michaels Church – St Michaels is a grade II listed building located in what used to be the village of Lowfield Heath. We say used to be as the village was demolished to make room for the airport and the church is pretty much all that is left of Lowfield Heath nowadays. However, don’t let that put you off visiting as it is undoubtedly an attractive building, with beautiful Victorian stained glass windows.
3. Buchan Country Park – 170 acres of woodland, meadow and heath, less than 10 miles by road from the airport, make Buchan Country Park a great place to visit for those who wish to see something of the glorious West Sussex countryside during their stay. If you decide to arrange your car hire from Gatwick airport, you can be there within 20 minutes of getting behind the wheel.
4. Brighton – Not in Gatwick of course but for those who rent a vehicle during their stay it is easy to reach nonetheless. Just under 30 miles of well-maintained road and you will be by the sea, in one of Britain’s most famous coastal towns. Must-sees in Brighton include the Royal Pavilion, Brighton Pier and the Lanes. The first two are self-explanatory while the last is a collection of narrow lanes, home to many fascinating shops.
5. Hever Castle – Actually in Kent, the next county over, Hever Castle makes our list due to the fact that it is only 17 miles distant and is one of the most interesting places to visit in the area. The childhood home of Anne Boleyn, one of King Henry VIII’s unfortunate wives, the castle and grounds are a beautiful sight to behold and well worth the short journey from the airport.
6. National Trust Nymans Estate – The beautiful gardens on the estate, now run by the National Trust, were created and developed by 3 generations of the Messel family, before being made famous by Colonel Nymans. Whether you are a keen gardener or simply love to look at beautiful flowers in tranquil surroundings, a summer visit to Nymans is a must. Just 20 minutes by car from the airport, you will not regret paying a visit to this lovely estate.
7. Lowfield Heath Windmill – This beautiful old windmill is actually located in Charlwood nowadays, owing to the fact that the village of Lowfield Health, where it was originally sited, was demolished to make way for the construction of the airport. A grade II listed post mill, it has been restored to full working order, making it a fascinating place to visit. However, it is only open to the public on the last Sunday of every month so you might have to plan your journey around the opening times if you really want to see it.
8. Tilgate Park and Nature Centre – Less than 10 miles south of the airport is Tilgate Park, which has a history that stretches back to Norman times. With a nature centre, golf course, restaurant, walled garden and fishing lake, Tilgate Park is so much more than just another beautiful open space.
9. Chessington World of Adventures – It will take you around 30 minutes to drive there but it is well worth the journey, especially if you are travelling with your children. A zoo containing over 1000 exotic species and one of Britain’s largest theme parks are just two of the many attractions you can enjoy at Chessington World of Adventures.
10. Archway Theatre – If you are staying at or near the airport overnight, consider visiting the tiny theatre in nearby Horley that is situated under the arches of the local railway line. Even if you don’t fancy watching a play, it is a sight you won’t mind travelling a couple of miles to see. If you have arranged car hire in Gatwick it will only take you a few minutes to get there.
There are many other sights that you can see during your time in the area, especially if you choose to rent a vehicle in which to get around. Whether you are travelling alone, with your partner, or with the whole family, you will find many attractions to keep your amused.
For the best car rental deals in the area, please don’t hesitate to call us on 0800 012 6771 or use the online search facility on our website to locate the perfect vehicle for your needs. We aim to ensure that all of our customers get great value for money and first-class customer service every time they book a rental package through us.