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Crawley, midway between London and Brighton, sees a lot of passing trade, given its proximity to the M25, as well as the fact that Gatwick Airport lies on the edge of the town. A popular destination in its own right, it contains 13 residential neighbourhoods radiating out from the core of the old market town, and separated by main roads and railway lines. Each offers a variety of housing types – terraced, semi-detached, detached, low-rise flats and bungalows. The hub of each neighbourhood is a shopping parade, community centre and church. Each has a school and recreational open spaces too. The neighbourhoods are Langley Green, Northgate, Pound Hill, Maidenbower, Furnace Green, Tilgate, Broadfield, Bewbush, Ilfield, West Green, Gossops Green, Southgate and Three Bridges.
According to TripAdvisor, the top 10 things to do include a visit to Tilgate Park, Southern Pursuits off-roading, County Mall shopping centre, K2 sports complex, The Hawth Theatre and Broadfield Stadium, home of Crawley Town Football Club. Crawley Museum offers an intriguing display of Stone Age and Bronze Age remains that were discovered in the area, while the High Street becomes an annual focus of motoring heritage in November each year, being one of the official stops on the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.
Economically, the town has developed into a main centre of industry and employment between London and the south coast, enjoying continuous growth and investment to this day. Originally trading as a market town, the evolution of Gatwick Airport brought many opportunities for business in the aviation, transport, warehousing and distribution industries. Its large industrial area supports manufacturing and service companies, many of them connected with the airport, and the commercial and retails sectors continue to expand. The Manor Royal estate attracts a number of airport-related services such as logistics and catering, while corporation and private companies have built offices throughout the town. Companies headquartered in Crawley include Doosan Babcock Energy, WesternGeco, Virgin Atlantic Airways, William Reed Business Media, TUI UK and Dualit.
Crawley has 17 primary schools and six secondary schools – and all of these have a sixth form. Further education is provided by Central Sussex College, offering higher education courses in partnership with the universities of Chichester and Sussex.
The average house price for Crawley stands at £300,672, with flats selling for an average of £184,737, and terraced houses for £247,169. Clearly a sought-after area, if you are visiting Crawley for the first time, you may fancy booking a stay at The George Hotel (now marketed as the Ramada Crawley Gatwick). A restored 17th century coaching inn, it is only a short walk from all of the town’s main attractions and is said to be haunted!