Bluebell Railway – step back in time, take your seat on board the Bluebell Railway and experience the romantic thrill of steam travel. Horsted Keynes is a popular station and stop-off point that has been perfectly restored and retains the evocative atmosphere of rail travel from a bygone era.
Cuckfield – a vibrant village that boasts some great independent shops. Fashionistas will adore Neilson boutique, foodies will be in heaven at Tom’s Food and lovers of beautiful flowers and one-off gifts won’t be disappointed in Tigers to Lilies. When you’re all shopped out, head to Cuckfield Museum, offering you a glimpse of the village’s intriguing past.
Arundel Festival – running from 19-28th August in the medieval town of Arundel, this multi-arts festival has been attracting visitors for nearly 40 years. Street entertainers play to the crowds and the whole town comes alive with music, food, poetry, theatre, art and dancing. Don’t miss the Dragon Boat race on the River Arun.
Chichester Festival Theatre – with a diverse programme of year-round productions and shows, this is the premier arts venue for West Sussex. Many famous actors have graced the stage here and the building itself is a design lovers’ dream with its modernist design. Backstage tours are also available.
Petworth House – dominating the pretty town of Petworth is Petworth House. This grand 700-acre estate is home to a vast deer park and gardens landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown. There are also some impressive works of art on show in the house by Turner and Van Dyck. A stunning cultural gem.
CASS Sculpture Foundation – lovers of contemporary sculpture and breathtaking natural surroundings won’t be disappointed as they peruse sculpture dotted throughout 26 acres of the Goodwood Estate. You’ll find over 50 sculptures, from artists including Sir Anthony Caro, Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, Rachel Whiteread, Sara Barker and Jake and Dinos Chapman.
Amberley Museum and Heritage Centre – discover the industrial heritage of West Sussex and the South East, at this 36-acre site that boasts a narrow-gauge railway, vintage bus rides, fully working vintage printing presses, demonstrations from traditional craftspeople and Connected Earth Telecommunications Hall.
Bignor Roman Villa – situated in the heart of the South Downs National Park, here you can walk amongst Roman remains whilst admiring the beautiful mosaics that have been perfectly preserved. In its heyday, theRomanVilla at Bignor took in 70 buildings and would have spread out over four acres – pretty impressive.
Ardingly Antiques and Collectors Fair – if you fancy yourself as a bit of an antique aficionado or just love rummaging through over 1,500 stalls packed with antiques, curiosities, vintage clothing and furniture, you haven’t lived if you haven’t experienced this fair, held five times a year in April, June, July, September and November. It’s the biggest event of its kind in the south east and a must-visit destination on any trip to West Sussex.
Ropetackle Arts Centre – this multi-award winning community run arts venue on the banks of the river Adur is Shoreham-by-Sea’s hidden cultural secret. Attracting a whole host of big-name performers, you’ll be treated to music, comedy, performance art and film.