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sights between Gatwick and London

We arrive in Gatwick early on Friday 4/7 and would like to do some sight seeing of this area of UK before traveling to London. Is there anything of interest along the south coast or the cities to the north. We are not opposed to renting a car for the day. I heard the Harry Potter studio is fun and my boys would be interested.. Any advice is helpful

Posted by
8889 posts

The Harry Potter studio is north of London (Watford). Do as a day trip from London.
Gatwick is half way between London and the south coast. You have the classic car/train dilema. You do not want a car in London, but some of the countryside (and castles) near Gatwick is only accessable by train.

I suggest three alternatives, all accessable by train from Gatwick, and with trains back to London:
1) Brighton, big town on the coast, due south of Gatwick - all London - Brighton trains stop at Gatwick. Google "Brighton Pavilion".
2) Arundel. Small town with castle. Website: http://www.arundel.org.uk/
3) Lewes, nice old town.

By the way if you want to visit the Harry Potter Studios you absolutely HAVE to pre-book. And with it being the school holidays for some, you may well already be too late.

Posted by
3086 posts

To the east of Gatwick 17 miles is Hever Castle, one-time home of the Boleyn family.
https://www.hevercastle.co.uk/
It is 13th century with Tudor additions.(And modern additions in the back buildings.)
This would be an easy drive from Gatwick, or could be done by taxi.
Local taxis:
Relyon Taxis telephone 01732 863800
Edenbridge Cars 01732 864009.
I suggest that you book a taxi in advance if you go this way.

There are a couple of train stations not far from Hever Castle.
If you went by taxi, you could take the train into London when you are finished.
Hever Station--One mile from Hever Castle.
Edenbridge Station--Three miles from Hever Castle.
https://www.hevercastle.co.uk/visit/opening-times-directions/

Farther to the east of Hever is Leeds Castle. Possible the most beautiful castle in England.

To the north of Hever is Winston Churchill's country home, near Westerham, Chartwell.
https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/chartwell

All of these are worth a look. I don't know how much time you wish to spend before getting on into London.

Hope this helps.

Posted by
4 posts

Is there any value in renting a car in Gatwick to travel to Brighton for the day, tour the Pavilion and enjoy time in the village? We will have luggage with us

Posted by
8889 posts

Is there any value in renting a car in Gatwick to travel to Brighton for the day, tour the Pavilion and enjoy time in the village? We will have luggage with us

No. Brighton is not a village it is a big town, parking will be difficult.
I count ~7 trains per hour Gatwick to Brighton, taking 25-35 minutes. No way could you better that by car, it would take best part of an hour even to pick up the car, and you would have to find somewhere to drop it, and transfer back to train.
Brighton to London Victoria is ~5 trains per hour, takes "from" 58 minutes.

For train times and prices see: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/

The only problem would be luggage, As far as I can see there is no left luggage at Brighton station (only about a dozen stations in the whole country have left luggage). A search for "left luggage Brighton" came up with these two:
https://www.citystasher.com/listings/?search_location=Brighton&filter_job_type%5B%5D=&submit=
http://keystay.co.uk/brighton-baggage-left-luggage-storage.html