Discover things to do near Gatwick Airport
Itineraries and travel inspiration for things to do near Gatwick Airport
There are plenty of things to do near Gatwick Airport, whether you’ve got a few hours or a few days to spare.
Part of the Garden of England, West Kent is a vibrant area on Gatwick Airport’s doorstep. Our carefully curated itineraries will help you make the most of your time around your Gatwick Airport flights.
Land at Gatwick Airport and discover West Kent
Instead of following the crowds to London, spend a day or three exploring the quintessentially English countryside and historic villages of West Kent. It’s packed with things to do close to Gatwick Airport, and well connected to the capital. There’s a great foodie offering too, with a glut of vineyards, breweries and food and drink festivals.
Refuel at cosy English pubs as you paddle a kayak along the River Medway, hike through the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and check out West Kent’s cluster of stately homes, castles and gardens. You’ll soon see why everyone from Tudor royalty to 21st-century movie directors has fallen in love with this Instagrammable corner of southeast England.
Stately homes and gardens to explore near Gatwick Airport
King Henry VIII whiled away many a day courting Anne Boleyn at Hever Castle, and the childhood home of Henry’s second wife will capture your heart with its battlements, moat and 1,000-year-old yew tree maze. At Chartwell, you can peek into the private life of charismatic British prime minister Winston Churchill; the country home looks as if the Churchill family has just stepped out for a walk.
The changing tastes of 700 years – and a very important dog kennel – are on display at Ightham Mote, a deeply romantic 14th-century manor house with towering chimneys and leaded windows reflected in a mirror-like moat. Film buffs might recognise the splendid rooms of Penshurst Place from The Princess Bride, The Other Boleyn Girl and Wolf Hall, and everyone will appreciate the gardens; they’re utterly charming in every season. Speaking of gardens, don’t miss Sissinghurst Castle Garden, a poetic blend of formal geometry with tumbling roses and honeysuckle, figs and vines.
West Kent towns within easy driving distance of Gatwick Airport
The pretty town of Sevenoaks buzzes with restaurants and shops. Tonbridge has a medieval castle and river walks, while the stylish Regency town of Royal Tunbridge Wells is home to the only natural spa in southeast England. Follow a heritage walking trail, sample the iron-rich waters of the Chalybeate Spring – then wash away the taste with a hot chocolate, cream tea or coffee in one of the locally owned cafes and restaurants that jostle for space along the colonnaded promenade of The Pantiles.