A rainy day out in West Sussex

We all know how unpredictable the weather can be in the UK, which can make planning a day out or getaway particularly difficult. Whilst West Sussex might be famous for its beautiful coastline and countryside, you don’t need to wait for a sunny day to make the most of what the county has to offer! From traditional country pub lunches and speciality coffee shops to independent cinemas, stately homes and ancient roman palaces, a rainy day is the perfect opportunity to discover something new in West Sussex.

We’ve put together some of our favourite activities for discovering West Sussex in wet weather to help you plan your day out.

Bognor Regis to Angmering

If you’re looking for a day of adventure, head to Out of Bounds in Angmering and take on climbing challenges, adventure golf or rounds of laser tag. With activities both indoor and outdoor to suit all ages and abilities, you’re sure to have an action-packed day out.

When you’re in need of a refuel, head to Hotham Park Café in Bognor Regis and enjoy a hearty lunch. With everything from traditional breakfasts and sandwiches to stone-baked pizzas or coffee and cake, there is something to suit everyone in this local’s favourite that looks out across the popular Hotham Park.

Alternatively, stop off at The Spotted Cow in Angmering for a traditional pub lunch with a bit of a twist, enjoying dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. The pub has a history as a smuggler’s meeting place, so see if you can spot the historical device that would have been used for dividing contraband!

Arundel

Step back in time and discover the South East’s industrial heritage at Amberley Museum and Heritage Centre, with craft demonstrations showcasing traditional professions, vintage trains and fire engines, and the beginnings of electricity. There are activities throughout the year from vintage scooter and car shows to children’s explorer days and even ale festivals.

Just a short walk down the road will take you to the classic higgledy-piggledy pub, The Bridge Inn. The cosy pub makes an ideal spot to retreat from the rain and enjoy a homecooked lunch. Plus, on those chillier days you might be able to warm up by a log fire.

If you’ve got some time left, why not head into Arundel’s town centre and peruse the independent shops dotted along the cobbled streets, or visit the grand,19th century Arundel Cathedral and take in the stunning architecture?

Horsham to Crawley

Head off the beaten track and find Dark Star Brewery nestled into the village of Partridge Green. Here, you can enjoy a tour and sample some of the beers that they’ve been crafting for almost 25 years. Next, look in on our friends just down the road at Stan’s Bike Shack for a cup of coffee and perhaps a slice of cake – we promise you won’t be disappointed!

The woodland nooks surrounding Horsham and Crawley make an ideal retreat if you could do with some R&R, so why not drop into Cisswood House to enjoy an afternoon of pampering treatments?

The day’s adventure isn’t over just yet – make your way into Crawley and sample the exhilarating flavours at Fatboy’s Joint, a quirky eatery serving up authentic Afghan food and artisan burgers, before heading to local theatre, The Hawth. From live music and theatre performances to musical workshops and family activities, there’s plenty for everyone on the theatre programme.

Chichester

Step back in time and learn the ancient history of the Romans at Fishbourne Roman Palace and visit the first garden in Britain. Marvel over the largest collection of mosaics in the UK and imagine life as a Roman over 2,000 years ago.

Head to Tinwood Estate for an afternoon tour of the vineyard and learn more about the process of growing grapes and producing wine in the south of England. Sample three glasses of Tinwood’s signature sparkling wine at a tutored tasting, and maybe even take a bottle home with you.

End your cultured day out with a visit to Goodwood’s Farmer, Butcher, Chef, an exciting restaurant that combines the estate’s tradition of farming and butchery with high quality dining. Sit back near the cosy fireplace and admire some of Goodwood’s memorabilia before enjoying a meal that, quite literally, incorporates some of the freshest produce around.

Worthing

See what’s on and discover more than just the big screen at Worthing’s renowned Dome Cinema. Surviving over 100 years, including two world wars, the impressive Edwardian cinema doubles as one of Worthing’s most beautiful and historic buildings.

Continuing the historic theme, drop by one of the oldest pubs in the area for lunch at The Corner House. With a delicious selection of sandwiches, salads and classic pub dishes, as well as a popular Sunday lunch and children’s menu, you can settle in and watch the world go by.

South Downs National Park

Visit Petworth House and discover more than 900 years of history, including artefacts such as the earliest known English globe in existence, as well as a vast art collection. Look out for costumed characters on your visit and see real historic conservation in action. Alternatively, you can explore the halls, chambers and collections at Elizabethan stately home, Parham House, and discover its history right from the era of Elizabeth I through to its responsibility as a shelter for wartime evacuees.

If you were looking for a more relaxing day away from home, why not book yourself into The Spread Eagle Spa in Midhurst? Indulge in some relaxing treatments and take a dip in the indoor heated pool as you listen to the rain on the windows outside.

Finish your day with a late lunch at The Swan Inn, Fittleworth, where dishes are created with quality, local produce to reflect the seasons.

There are so many things to see and do around West Sussex that it makes a great place to visit all year round. If you’re looking for more inspiration, have a look at some of our guides and itineraries listed on the website. We’d love to hear what your favourite rainy-day activities are in the county, so tweet or tag us in your photos using @ExpWestSussex.