Tilgate Nature Centre
Tilgate Nature Centre next door features amazing animals from around the world ranging from the much-loved meerkats, pigs and goats to weird and wonderful creatures such as tapir, capybara, macaws, chameleons, wallabies and reindeer.
Open 10am-4pm daily, last entry 3pm. Entry costs £3.50 for adults and £2.50 for children.
One free child entry to the Nature Centre when you book Santa’s Grotto.
Dogs in the Walled Garden
There are no dogs allowed in the Walled Garden where the event is held, although they are allowed elsewhere in the park. The only exception is for guide/assistance dogs.
Getting here and useful information
Tilgate Park’s Magical Christmas is an outdoor event and takes place in the Walled Garden next to the Nature Centre. The full address is:
Please follow the Tilgate Park’s Magical Christmas arrow signs which direct you from the main car park to the event. There are light up stars and fairy lights on the path up to the event in the evening when it is dark. The walk from the car park to the Walled Garden and Nature Centre is approximately 350metres.
If you’re coming by car there are two entrances into the park. If you are coming from Crawley town centre, the best entry is via Titmus Drive in Tilgate. If you’re coming from the motorway then leave the M23 at Pease Pottage (junction 11) and turn right at the roundabout on to Brighton Road (A23) and then right again at the traffic lights into K2 Crawley leisure centre. Bear immediately right on to Tilgate Drive instead of the K2 Crawley car park.
There are several parking options at Tilgate Park. The main car park is the nearest to the event and is pay and display between 9am and 4pm and free after 4pm. This car park is approximately 350 metres from the Walled Garden where the event takes place.
There is another pay and display car park by the lakeside and two smaller free car parks along Tilgate Drive from K2 Crawley.
Disabled visitors and getting around
There are a number of blue badge parking spaces in the main car park and there are a limited number of blue badge parking spaces by the Walled Garden. However, these are all available on a first come, first served basis.
Whilst every effort has been made to make as many areas as possible accessible, there will be some rides/spaces, i.e. the carousel that will not have wheelchair access. There are some slight inclines around the park and uneven ground however most areas are and suitable for wheelchairs and anyone unsteady on their feet.
This event is predominantly outside so please wrap up warm.
Tilgate Park does have a coach park in the main car park. Coaches must come via the K2 Crawley entrance on Tilgate Drive to avoid height restriction barriers.
It is possible to drop off at Tilgate Park and you can drive into the car parks without charge to drop off and then come out again.
Metrobus route 2 goes to Tilgate Park along Tilgate Drive, dropping passengers off at the main car park. This service is only available on Saturdays and Sundays. Midweek (Monday to Friday) the bus stops just short of the park at K2 Crawley – a 10-15 minute walk into the park.
The nearest train stations to Tilgate Park are Crawley and Three Bridges. Further public transport can be taken from here by either bus or taxi.