Get outside: embrace the changing seasons

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing” – Alfred Wainwright (British fellwalker, guidebook author and illustrator)

We agree with Mr Wainright’s excellent point! Don’t let the beauty of each season pass you by and get outside (whatever the weather). – The changing seasons give the perfect excuse to find joy in the great outdoors – here are some of our top tips for making the most of the season’s colours whilst exploring West Sussex.


Whether you’re blowing the cobwebs away on the King Charles 111 Coastal Path or the Downs Link, cycling through the South Downs National Park, strolling along the UNESCO Living Coast or simply scattering leaves around parks, woodlands and gardens, take a moment to pause and interact with natures ever-changing hues and the rhythm of the changing seasons.

We always think that changing seasons are another way to find joy in the great outdoors, so, don’t let the season pass you by – here are some of our top tips for making the most of the season’s colours whilst exploring West Sussex.

Gardens and woodland

What better way to immerse yourself in the season’s changes than a visit to one of West Sussex’s many gardens? With stunning varieties of native and foreign flora, including rare and exotic species, you’re in for a breath-taking experience.

Borde Hill Gardens in autumn
Borde Hill Gardens
Autumnal colours in the park at Nymans, West Sussex
Nymans ©National Trust Images/Gary Coshan
Autumnal view across the lake at Wakehurst
Wakehurst Place
Trees with autumn leaves
Standen House and Garden

Have a look at our recent guide on some of the best hidden gems in the county or browse through the heritage and gardens listings here.

Walks and trails

One of the simplest ways to explore the changing seasons is to get out and explore the landscape! Our specially curated escapades by Vespucci Adventures are sure to take you on an unforgettable route (no doubt with a cosy pub stop along the way), or take a trip through an enchanting tree tunnel on a guided tour near Chichester with Sussex Walks.

For picturesque village walks surrounded by beautiful countryside, we love wandering the Downs around Storrington or exploring the walkways around lovely Cuckfield – don’t forget to stop for lunch at Tom’s Food. If you’re planning on staying over a few nights, why not enlist the help of Footprints of Sussex to help you plan a self-guided walking trip across the Downs?

For more great walking trails and inspiration, have a look at our walking pages.

South Downs Discovery - Devil's Dyke

South Downs Discovery

Vespucci Adventures

Vespucci Adventures

A couple walking in the South Downs, West Sussex

Pied A Terre

Woman posing with Alpaca

Dunreyth Alpacas

Explore on wheels

Exploring doesn’t end with walking; cycling also offers an exhilarating way to experience the natural world. Whether you choose to walk or cycle, the changing leaves of West Sussex beckon you to explore the changing season’s beauty. Discover the joy of outdoor adventures.

A group of cyclists queuing at Cadence Cycle Club's Hub

Cadence Cycle Club

Marmalade MTB

Marmalade MTB

Cyclist sitting on his bike overlooking the South Downs

Southern eBike rentals

Two cyclists riding through West Sussex countryside

Cycling for Softies

Discover a treasure trove of popular locations along the South Downs Way, offering breath taking landscapes, memorable experiences and wellness in nature. Browse through our curated list of top spots to discover the beauty of West Sussex, or explore our range of amazing outdoor activities. There’s a perfect outdoor adventure for everyone to cherish the beauty of West Sussex. So, don’t miss the chance to experience the wonders of nature in your own preferred way.


Remember to observe wildlife from a distance! Always respect natural habitats and follow any guidelines set by local conservation organisations.

Respect Protect Enjoy | Experience West Sussex

Sussex is an extraordinary county to visit and experience wildlife but don’t forget to tread lightly and leave no trace. Responsible dog walkers are very welcome in Sussex but taking responsibility for your dog is especially important when out and about in amongst our natural places and spaces. For more information see Take the Lead – South Downs National Park Authority

The Countryside Code (published by Natural England) is a useful guide to respect protect and enjoy our natural areas. The Countryside Code (

Being in or near the sea can boost your wellbeing. However, do remember to protect our coastline and marine wildlife whilst visiting us. A guide to marine conservation in West Sussex | Experience West Sussex. There are also useful guidelines for protecting marine mammals from The Sussex Dolphin Project.