When my boyfriend first suggested a one week trip to England, all I could think about was London. I planned every hour of our four-day stay in the city and completely neglected that we would spend the first half of our stay in Horsham. After all, what could a small town in England have to offer, especially compared to London?
But since my boyfriend had to go to Horsham with business and I just tagged along, I thought I should make the most of it. So I went ahead and researched on Instagram, Pinterest, the web – you name it – to find out all the “hot spots” in this little old town.
As it turned out, at first sight, there wasn’t really much to be done there. But I did stumble upon a museum, a duck farm (and I LOVE ducks) and a weekly food market so it all seemed good in the end.
I didn’t get to check out everything I wanted though. The duck farm was actually outside the town and another dairy farm I was interested in was also kind of far. However, I adored this little British town. From its dreamy gardens, huge park, adorable houses and friendly people here is why I fell in love with Horsham.
I arrived at Luton Airport, London, at about 10:00 a.m. Then had to wait for an hour to take a bus that would take me to the Gatwick Train Station where I would take a train to Horsham. All this was a bit overwhelming, especially since I traveled alone. It didn’t help that every time I asked someone if I was on the right platform, or where I should take the train – almost no one had a clue. But around 14:00 I finally arrived at the small hotel we had booked: Premier Inn Horsham Hotel.
I simply adored this place! First of all the bed was high enough that I couldn’t reach the floor with my feet. I am a short person, but still, this hasn’t happened to me in a while. It might have been that I was exhausted, but that mattress and those pillows seem like a dream to this day. Needless to say, the first thing I did was take a quick nap before heading to pick up my boyfriend from his office.
I am such a huge fan of architecture, it’s one of the first things I notice and gaze at when visiting a new place. And Horsham had a lot to offer in this respect. From classy houses with neat little gardens, lush with greenery, to bigger, elegant mansions everything looked so typical of what you’d expect in a British town, in the best way possible.
I roamed the streets for 3 days and never got bored. I took countless photos of windows draped by spring flowers, doors in wild colors and gardens that never ceased to amaze me.
Horsham’s Food Market
As I was saying in my London article, one of the first stereotypes you hear about England is that their food is really not good. I beg to differ.
I too expected to adapt to a diet of fish and chips or different pies. But I was surprised to have so many options and not once go wrong with my choices. There’s a strong Indian influence with flavorful curries available even in pubs. But burgers and pasta are just as great.
However what I loved most about Horsham was its weekly food market that takes place every Thursday. Food trucks there make it very difficult to choose between pulled pork sandwiches, tacos or exotic dishes. And you will also find art sellers, vinyls and vintage music tapes and all sort of nick nacks that make for lovely presents for those at home. The only downside is that usually, the most popular dishes are the most delicious too. That means they are sold out in no time. So if you’re not there early, you might not get to choose.
A walk in the park is a must
I was never aware of how hugely popular parks are in the UK. Or how good they are at gardening for that matter. But every day I had to go through Horsham’s central park in order to get to the town center from our hotel. And I loved it!
One day I witnessed a “ferocious” fight between two squirrels, that ended up with one of them falling from a tree in a bush. She was fine, but I was left amused for the whole day. Another evening while I was showing my boyfriend what he’s been missing while working all day we bumped into another couple enjoying a romantic stroll in the park: a duck and her drake.
You could also have tea or lunch there at The Conservatory Cafe. I still regret not stopping by for an afternoon pick me up there.
Horsham Museum and Art Gallery
It’s the only museum that is actually in Horsham, so a visit there it’s a must! Just kidding, but if you have some time it’s definitely worth a visit.
The museum offers over 26 galleries to go through. They depict scenes from traditional British homes, curiosities, personalities from Horsham and pieces of vintage British fashion, among others.
They also have an old barn with old agricultural machinery on display. What I liked most was the museum’s garden. I was lucky enough to see it in spring when everything was coming to life. But I bet it’s just as beautiful in summer and autumn too.
Like most museums in England, this one also is free and the staff is so friendly! They will be more than happy to give you tips on what else it there to see in Horsham and London too.
St. Mary’s Church
A short walk from the museum, on one of Horsham’s most beautiful and colorful streets, is St. Mary’s church. I’d say it doesn’t really matter if you’re a religious person in order to enjoy a short stop here.
The building is beautiful and the huge stained glass behind the altar took my breath away. A lovely lady at the entrance offered to either give me some materials to read while I walked around the church or give me a tour herself. Of course, I took the guided tour. She seemed to have a lot of beautiful stories to tell, and I was not mistaken. She was so nice that in the end, suggesting I got married there. I had to let her down and tell her I live many miles away. Though a destination wedding someday doesn’t sound like a bad idea, ha!
Hidden gems of Horsham
Special mentions on my list of things to do or see in Horsham would be:
- A walk through Swan Walk – a small shopping center with a few brands such as H&M or Marks and Spencer. You can also find books and great natural shops with all sorts of nuts, seeds, and herbs.
- Waterstones – you will find lots of good titles, stationery, and gifts with great deals. They also have chairs and sofas where you could enjoy a read. Plus on the second floor, you can also grab a tea or something to eat. A lovely place for bookworms out there.
- Pound Land – If you are not from England, and it’s your first time visiting you might be just as excited about Pound Land as we were. As the name suggests, everything there is 1 pound. We stocked on Cadbury treats to bring back home.
- Causeway Street – It’s the beautiful street that takes you from the Museum to the Church and it’s probably the most photographed street in the town, thanks to its colorful houses.
- Pavilions in the Park – If you are a sports addict then this is the place to go. Plus if you’re staying at the Premier Inn Hotel, then you will be right across the street from this center that offers among others, a great swimming pool, gym and sports classes.
So if you’re ever in the area, make sure to stop in Horsham. It’s such a lovely, charming English town, with lots to offer for a small place. I am still dreaming of it and hope to return soon!