Must-see in West Sussex

Creating unforgettable memories in West Sussex is easy when you have so many unique and inspiring places to visit on your doorstep.

Whether you’re celebrating with friends and family, on an exciting solo journey or looking for special moments together, we have some amazing landmarks, breath taking viewpoints and lovely attractions to share with you.

Here’s a list of our favourite ‘Must sees’ in West Sussex to get you started.

The South Downs National Park

Devils Dyke viewpoint
©National Trust Images, photo by John Miller

Devil’s Dyke – This ancient landscape with distant views of the sea holds mythical secrets that date back over 10,000 years to the last ice age. Pull on your walking boots, pack a picnic and immerse yourself in these impressive natural surroundings.

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Kingley Vale ancient trees

Kingley Vale – The gnarly grove of twisted yews at Kingley Vale is straight off a film set and includes “some of the oldest living things in Britain”. The spectacular panoramic views of the coast from the peak are well worth the climb. Come early or later in the day to enjoy the full atmosphere.

Bignor Hill starry nights

Stargazing at Bignor Hill – Gaze up at the star-covered skies from this Bronze Age burial site that’s beautiful in darkness and in light. If you’re planning to visit by day, you might not see stars but instead, you can catch a glimpse of nature with roaming fallow deer and sights that span as far as the Isle of Wight and the spire of Chichester Cathedral.

Our great estates

Petworth Park hill top

Petworth Park The 700-acre grounds are home to herds of fallow deer and include a 1,000-year-old oak tree. The house is a testament to grand living, with truly beautiful views spanning as far as the eye can see, the house welcomes visitors inside and the park welcomes dog walkers. If this doesn’t make you want to leave it all behind and escape to the country, we’re not sure what will.

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Nymans ruins at sunset
©National Trust Images/Clive Nichols

Nymans – One of the National Trust’s premier gardens, with views stretching across the Sussex Weald. An extensive garden surrounds an elegant house and partial ruins. This property and its grounds are truly beautiful to see all year round.

Arial view of Goodwood Estate

Goodwood – 11,000 acres of rural excellence, the Goodwood Estate offers picturesque surroundings laced with incredible history. From the grand Goodwood House and several widely recognised cultural events hosted on-site, to the abundance of rewilding and biodiversity projects that bring colour and vibrancy to the vast estate, there is beauty to be seen in every corner of this incredible location.

Living history

Arundel Castle drone view

Arundel Castle Set high on a hill in West Sussex, this regal castle, still a home for part of the year, dominates the landscape with magnificent views across the South Downs, the River Arun and the quaint village of Arundel.

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Weald and Downland buildings and surrounding gardens

Weald and Downland Living Museum Step back in time to explore these original, traditional rural buildings – rescued from demolition – that tell the undiscovered stories of West Sussex people who lived and worked in them for over 950 years.

Roman man at Roman Fishbourne Palace

Fishbourne Roman Palace – We have the largest residential Roman building in Britain right here in West Sussex (At about 500,000 square feet, it has a larger footprint than Buckingham Palace!). The fascinating mosaic floors give an insight into interior decoration, Roman-style, and the gardens have been recreated with plants from the Roman period.

The Bluebell Railway

Bluebell Railway – Take your seat on board the Bluebell Railway and experience the romantic thrill of bygone steam travel. Journeying through 11 miles of picturesque Sussex scenery, this is one of the oldest surviving steam trains in the UK.

Instagram moments

Ouse Valley Viaduct with sunshine

Ouse Valley Viaduct – Located between Haywards Heath and Balcombe, Ouse Valley Viaduct is an iconic piece of architecture. Built in 1838 to carry the London to Brighton line over the River Ouse, it has been estimated that around 11 million bricks were used in its construction. Once a treat known only to locals, it is now an Instagram sensation and a true must see spot in West Sussex!

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Couple walking towards Chichester Cathedral

Chichester Cathedral – Come rain, sun or dark cloudy skies, capturing the momentous Chichester Cathedral in all of its glory can be an absorbing task but always a worthwhile one. A living church that has been at the centre of life in Chichester for over nine centuries, this dominating religious building is home to some incredible art exhibitions and stories of historical importance.

Worthing Pier at low tide

Worthing Pier – It doesn’t get much more iconic than this British seaside spot. The worthy winner of the Pier of the Year awards (2019), Worthing Pier has marked its place on the map. Surrounded by the sea, deck chairs, ice cream and arcades, as well as several galleries hosting seaside-inspired art, this location offers opportunities for the perfect snap that’ll brighten your smile and your Instagram grid.

Looking for more exciting opportunities to explore the West Sussex sights?