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A handy guide to living in Horsham
Horsham is the perfect blend of old style and new substance, which is no doubt why it has been voted as one of the best places to live on multiple occasions. The town itself can be divided into a number of areas:
- The Holbrook district consists mainly of residential housing – both older style, detached properties and newer estates. A handy parade of shops houses a post office and newsagents, convenience store, small café, hairdressers and a beauty shop. The area also has its own pub; The Sussex Barn, a primary school and The Holbrook Club; a social club with a gym and extensive sporting facilities.
- Littlehaven boasts its own train station, just one stop from the main Horsham station situated in the town centre. The station has been in operation since 1907 and runs directly into London throughout the day, making this a popular location of choice with commuters.
- The Roffey area is located to the north east of Horsham. Originally home to just a few farmhouses and cottages, Roffey now contains a large number of houses and flats, many of which have been built within the last decade. Crawley Road runs through the centre of Roffey, providing access to Horsham in one direction and to the A264, which leads into Crawley, from the other.
Horsham Transport Links
One of the best things about living in Horsham it’s away from the hustle and bustle and the city, yet you can easily reach it when you want to.
Horsham is under 30 minutes by car to Crawley and Gatwick, making it easy to commute to work or to use a base from which to travel. The A24, A29 and M23 link Horsham to London and the south coast and there are many bus services that run from the centre of town and around the surrounding areas. If the roads are clear it is possible to arrive at Gatwick Airport in at little as 20 minutes and be walking along Brighton beach within 30 minutes.
Horsham train station offers a direct link into London. Trains run throughout the week and at weekends, with three direct services to London Victoria every hour and two to London Bridge, each arriving in around an hour. An annual season ticket from Horsham to any of the main London train stations currently costs £3,880, or £4,704 to cover zones 1-6.
Horsham is just 12 miles from Gatwick Airport and 40 miles from London Heathrow Airport and they take approximately 30 minutes and one hour by car, respectively. Trains and buses to both airports run regularly throughout the year.
Horsham boasts some great schools that receive excellent OFSTED reports year-on-year. Many of the Brock Taylor staff either went to school in the area themselves, or have children that are currently being educated in Horsham. We are happy to offer our own personal advice regarding schools in the local area if you would like to discuss this.
Green places and open spaces
The many fields, parks and open green spaces have no doubt helped to position Horsham as one of the most desirable places to live in the UK. Many entry points to the Down’s Link, a 37 mile (59 km) route open to walkers, cyclists and horse riders and linking the North Downs in Surrey with the South Downs in Sussex, are accessible from the Horsham District.
Where to eat in Horsham
The majority of Horsham’s eateries are found within the town centre itself. The Brock Taylor offices are positioned at the corner of East Street and Market Square; the location of the busy restaurant district. Most restaurants along this street are popular chains, including Pizza Express, Cote, Wagamama, Ask, Nandos, Strada and Giggling Squid. There is also a popular Japanese bar and restaurant, Wabi, and a collections of cafes and sandwich shops.
Away from East Street, the old town hall has been refurbished and is now home to Bill’s, a breakfast to bedtime brasserie that opened its first branch in Brighton and grew in such popularity that it has expanded into many chains across the south of England.
Hot drinks and snacks are served in the dozens of coffee shops throughout the town. There are both independently operated and well-known chains, including Costa and Café Nero.
Venturing slightly away from the town centre there are two fantastic curry houses on London road; Darchini’s and the New Curry Centre and in the Bishopric area you have further Chinese, Italian, Indian and fusion restaurants, including Sanmae, which offers food from all over Asia. Also worth a mention is the family-friendly, fun and lively Smith and Western, walking distance or a short taxi ride from the town itself. This American style diner specialises in chicken, ribs and adventurous cocktails – all in oversized portions.
If you prefer to eat at home, there are plenty of takeaways serving all of the usual pizza, curry and Chinese options. Most are located at the parades of shops throughout Horsham and will deliver for free.
Places to drink in Horsham
Horsham town centre is relatively laid-back but does offer a number of bars and pubs that are open throughout the week. Piries Bar is a small drinking hole tucked in the alleyway between the Carfax and Piries Place. The size is part of its charm – don’t expect to get a table, but do expect to make friends while standing and ordering a drink. Virtually next door is B52’s; a late night cocktail and shooters bar.
On the pub front, there is the popular Anchor near the Carfax, from which it’s only a minute or so’s walk to stumble on to The Crown, another popular town centre pub. Within the town, but further away from the centre, is The Black Jug, a more upmarket pub serving good food and good drinks, but without the noise and bustle of the town centre pubs.
The outskirts of Horsham boast many more pubs to suit everybody from young families with children right through to retired couples.
Leisure and entertainment
There is plenty to do in Horsham. Many self-employed workers run businesses from their homes and it’s always relatively easy to find a massage therapist, yoga teacher or reading club. Closer to the town centre is where the real action happens though.
Horsham has football, cricket, rugby, running and squash clubs – to name but a few. For health and fitness lovers in general, there are a number of gyms, the biggest being Pavillions in the Park, which is part of the DC leisure group that has centres at various locations throughout Sussex. Membership at one gym often entitles you to use the facilities at any, so it’s worth discussing options if you are likely to join. Pavilions in the Park has a fully equipped gym, swimming pool and offers fitness classes through the day and evening.
The Capitol Centre
Lovers of stage and screen can visit Horsham’s Capitol centre to see films, shows, pantomimes and exhibits. The Capitol Centre is conveniently located between the train station and the town centre.
Tucked away behind Horsham Park, Horsham Superbowl is open Monday – Sunday from 10am till late. Here you can make use of a bowling alley or try your hand at Laser Quest; a fog and obstacle filled arena where the aim is to ‘shoot’ your opposition team with a painless laser gun.
Hit the high street
Swan Walk is Horsham’s main, undercover shopping centre housing numerous high-street stores to keep the busy shopper occupied. Venturing outside leads to further shops, both chains and independently owned, including jewellers, art galleries, clothes stores and more. There is a large Dunelm Home Store and to the delight of many shoppers and residents, a branch of John Lewis at Home with a separate, large Waitrose, was opened in July 2015.
Just outside of the town centre is a small retail park that has a Currys and a Staples and if you venture a few minutes further by car to the Broadbridge Heath area, (link to Broadbridge Heath area guide) there is a larger retail park where you will find branches of Homebase, Halfords and Carpet Right.
As a market town, it is to be expected that Horsham has its own market! In fact, there are two. On Thursdays and Saturday from 9am till 5pm, the Carfax is filled with stalls selling local food and produce, arts, crafts, plants and flowers. Each Saturday, a more traditional market is held during the same hours in the Bishopric area, with stalls selling cheap (but very tasty) fruit and vegetables, clothing, food and more.