Tilgate Park, Near Gatwick Airport
Tilgate Park is a stone’s throw from Gatwick airport, it’s a handy option for those stuck with a transfer day when the sun is shining.
It’s accessible by: train to Crawley or Three Bridges, then taxi to park, or bus to Tilgate shops, followed by 10-minute walk up Titmus Drive OR by Metrobus service 2 which runs to the park on weekends and Bank Holidays.
If driving there are a number of car parks. However, if you manage to get a space in the first car park on the left you don’t have to pay. It’s only a short walk up the hill so you can save yourself a few pennies!
There’s a good sized playground situated next to a Go Ape centre, which is open from 10am to 6pm in summer.
The park also has a nature centre/mini zoo, £3 for adults and £2 for children. The zoo didn’t contain any large species but they had a good range of animals such as Kangaroos, Meerkats, Reindeer, Monkeys etc.. It took us a couple of hours to wander around the area followed by a little run around the free maze next door.
We didn’t make much use of Tilgate park itself, but it looked like a lovely area to walk or cycle around. There is an opportunity to hire bikes if you don’t have your own. If you head over to the lake area there are also activities such as canoeing or fishing available. Plenty to keep the family entertained for a day.
There was lots of space for picnics, which many families were enjoying, but we opted for the only restaurant, Smith & Western. It was a large venue with seating both inside and out. The prices were a little expensive but all the meals were delicious and large portion sizes.