The trouble with airports is that everyone sees them as a link; a checkpoint you need to pass through in order to get somewhere a little more desirable. Well, if you’re checking into Gatwick any time soon, it might be worth taking a look around its surrounding areas rather than zipping off on your next adventure.

At best you’ll be spending an afternoon touring some of Britain’s best kept secrets, while car hire allows you to decide on a suitable location as you travel. On the other hand, you might have a few extra hours to kill before your flight at Gatwick. In which case you could take a quick tour around the cities and towns nearby; an adequate replacement for spending all day in the on-site chain pub, perhaps?

The advice here is that an airport is often located at the most convenient place for all concerned. It’s designed to be accessible and you should always open your eyes to the nearby attractions before setting your sights elsewhere.

Without further ado, for those who have already looked into the offerings of car hire Gatwick has on its premises, you might want to consider a short trip to the following..


If you’re really short of time then Horley has to be your safest option. This little town in Surrey is situated south of Redhill and north of Gatwick itself. There’s a selection of pubs near the centre where you can settle for some British favourites, or you could try the local Indian, Italian, Spanish and Chinese offerings. You could do worse on Saturday afternoon then catch a fixture at the local football club, while the productions at Horley’s very own Archway theatre could come in handy if your plane gets delayed into the evening.

In fact, if you’ve booked up with a hotel near to Gatwick you might have found yourself within walking distance of the town centre. GPS your location and take a look around!


Located just 28 miles away from the airport, the seaside town of Brighton is another step up in terms of nearby entertainment. Its world famous coastline not only provides sun, sea and sand, you can enjoy many attractions along this picturesque strip too.

With award-winning restaurants, boutique shopping and heritage buildings like the Brighton pier also within walking distance of the coast, parking up in Brighton really is a no brainer.

Hever Castle

Aside from the nearby towns we have our attractions. You can drive to Hever Castle in the space of 30 minutes and enjoy the acres of green space on offer. Alternatively you could wait in a hectic departure lounge with a can of warm cola. Your decision, as always!

What makes this different from any other castle you can visit along the way? Well, the Hever is perhaps best known as the building where Henry VIII’s wife, Anne Boleyn, spent the majority of her childhood. Within its well-kept grounds there are several special events that place throughout the year, so it might be worth checking when your flight gets in.


With all the hustle and bustle inside Gatwick, it’s hard to think that you can travel to the Nymans estate in just under 20 minutes. Nowadays the site and its beautiful gardens are listed as National Trust property, so you’ll never have seen the estate in better condition past the 19th century.

The variety of floral displays and awe-inspiring views across West Sussex really puts the mind at ease, providing the perfect base point to decide what’s next on the agenda. From there you can go on to other areas of the county, like Worthing, Chichester or Crawley. When your behind the wheel, anything can reached! 


Max Pricer is a keen
traveller who frequently takes trips, both for business and pleasure. He now
writes travel related blogs in his spare time as well as walking his dogs and
looking after his baby daughter