Writing by Peter Hilton

Forge Wood to Gatwick

How to walk to London Gatwick Airport (LGW) 2022-08-09 #travel

My walking route from Forge Wood to Gatwick

On a recent trip, I took an early-morning flight from Gatwick Airport (LGW), South of London. Instead of arranging transport at an unsociable hour, I visited an old friend who lives in one of the new Forge Wood housing estates in Crawley, and left for the airport at dawn. On foot.

The following sequence of photos shows the 40 minute 3.3 km route walk from Forge Wood to the airport (omitting the first few hundred metres from my friend’s house). It’s probably possible to shorten this 40 minute 3.3 km route, perhaps by keeping left/West of the reservoirs, on one side of the sewage works or the other. Maybe next time.

I enjoyed a pleasant walk, through some pretty flower-decked woodland that has survived the encroachment of those outlying airport car parks that you don’t see when you arrive at an airport by train. I didn’t really have to walk to the airport, but I did appreciate arriving and feeling exceptionally stress-free.


Cross the B2036 Balcome Road, and continue straight ahead along Steers Lane:

Looking down Steers Lane from Balcome Road

Continue along Steers Lane past the new estate on the left, and the building site on the right:

Halfway along Steers Lane

Shortly before the end of Steers Lane, stop to say hi to the donkeys on the right:

Two donkeys

Turn right on Radford Road:

The end of Steers Lane at Radford Road

After 200 metres, turn left (no photo) up the road to the sewage works:

The road to the sewage works

After 200 metres, bear right past the information board into the woods:

The entrance to Gatwick Woodlands

Bear right:

Woodland footpath

Continue into Upper Pickett’s Wood:

Upper Pickett’s Wood

Continue on the boardwalk:

Woodland footpath boardwalk

At the public footpath sign, continue on the boardwalk:

Wooden public footpath sign

Continue along the path:

Woodland footpath

Continue on the boardwalk:

Woodland footpath boardwalk

Bear left off the boardwalk, then bear towards the right:

Woodland footpath boardwalk

Arrive at the raised boardwalk from the opposite direction to this photo, and follow the path out of the wood:

Raised boardwalk at the exit from the wood

Go through the gate to the reservoir, and bear right:

Reservoir entrance

Follow the edge of the reservoir around to the left:

Path alongside reservoir

Watch the rabbits ahead run into the bushes:

Barely visible rabbits running into the bushes

Bear right and through the gate, into the wood:

Reservoir exit

At the footpath signs, continue ahead into the wood:

Woodland entrace with bluebells

At the fork, bear right:

Woodland footpath fork with bluebells

At the footpath arrow, continue straight ahead:

Woodland footpath with arrow

As you approach the car park fence, you may see trains or even the red Gatwick Express:

Approaching an airport car park and the railway

Follow the path to the right, along the fence:

Footpath arrow

At the footpath sign, continue along the path, past the bus stop on the other side of the fence where you could get a bus to the terminal if you could get past the fence:

Car park bus shelter

Go over the first caged footbridge:

First caged footbridge

Continue to the second caged footbridge, and go over it too:

Second caged footbridge

Continue along the caged path:

Caged footpath

Continue along the caged path:

Caged footpath

Emerge from the caged path, and follow the footpath diagonally left across the road:

Footpath exit

Cross the diagonal zebra crossing:

Zebra crossing

Follow the next footpath sign, with the trees on your left:

Footpath sign

Continue straight ahead, then turn left on the tarmac footpath:

Footpath sign towards terminal

Continue on the tarmac footpath under the car ramp, towards the terminals:

Footpath under the car ramp

Continue straight ahead:

Footpath towards car rental offices

Continue straight ahead, past the car rentals on your left:

Car rental offices

Arrive at the South Terminal entrance:

South Terminal entrance

At this point, after my early-morning 40-minute walk, I checked in my heavy rucksack, washed and changed into a clean shirt for the flight, and dumped the old t-shirt I wore for the walk. And now I don’t have a Scala t-shirt any more.

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