Rest and relaxation in the heart of the South Downs

With all the run up of Christmas festivities, travelling here and there to see family and friends, when January comes around it can often feel like we could do with another rest! And what better time to head for some rest and relaxation than the slower weeks of January?

Whether you want to hole up in a country cottage and unwind in front of a log fire or book into a homely B&B, we’ve put together an itinerary for you to enjoy an off-peak break in West Sussex and blow away the winter blues.

Day 1

Book yourself into the Garden Cottage in the Amberley area for a quintessential country cottage stay. Complete with wood burning fires, wooden beams and rustic features throughout, you’ll feel yourself unwinding as soon as you step through the door. Or, if you’re looking for a comfortable stay in a home away from home, check in to Stane House Bed and Breakfast close to Pulborough.

From here, you’re perfectly placed to head out into the South Downs and take a scenic walk around the village of Bignor and its surrounding countryside. There are plenty of different country routes you can take, past the slopes of the nearby Roman Villa and vineyards. If you’re up to a bit of a challenge, why not climb Bignor Hill and reward yourself with the stunning views out across the South Downs? Stop off at The White Horse Inn close by in Sutton for a well-earned local ale and maybe even a quick bite from the pub menu before making your way back at a leisurely pace.

After recharging back at the cottage, take a short drive to nearby Petworth to enjoy a grill restaurant with a difference. New Street Bar and Grill uses local and seasonal ingredients to produce outstanding dishes that knock your typical chain restaurant out of the park.

 

Bignor

Day 2

Wake up at your own pace before making your way to Amberley village for a hearty breakfast at the Riverside Tea Rooms. Afterwards, you can hire a self-drive boat from the same place for a relaxed trip along the River Arun and see what local wildlife you can spot. You’ll be sure to create fond memories as you cruise along the peaceful waters.

In the early afternoon, pay a visit to the market town of Arundel and spend a while exploring the cobbled streets, independent shops and cafes, whilst taking in the glorious hilly views with Arundel Castle towering above. Pop into the Sparks Yard general store and browse the quirky array of home and lifestyle gifts, before visiting The Loft on the third floor for a lengthy lunch and coffee break.

As the evening rolls around, head across to The Cricketers in Duncton and enjoy a homecooked dinner in the traditional country pub setting.

 

Arundel and the River Arun

Day 3

Ensure you come away from your final day feeling truly restored with a Sunrise spa morning at the Park House Hotel and Spa. Complete with breakfast, a 45-minute treatment and use of the spa facilities, it’s the perfect way to start your day.

From here, you’re a short drive away from the market town of Midhurst. Within the centre, you can explore the ruins of Midhurst Castle at St Ann’s Hill, walk amongst the foundations of a tower, chapel and what is thought to be the site of a gateway, and stroll alongside the River Rother. If you’re up for a longer stretch of the legs, the National Trust recommend a walking trail in a circular around the town, encompassing parkland and woodland, before bringing you back to the main street.

Before you head home, be sure to check out of the local independents for lunch. From the traditional cream tea setting of Cockburn’s Tea Rooms to quaint deli and café Comestibles, you’ll find something to suit your taste, as well as some tasty produce to take home with you. On the outskirts of the town, you’ll find the unmissable Cowdray Estate Farm Shop and Café for a more hearty lunch or chance to peruse the deli counters for a fantastic range of local produce.

 

Midhurst town centre

We hope this gives you a starter for your relaxing weekend in West Sussex. For more inspiration for the perfect weekend to fit your tastes, check out the rest of our weekend itineraries or browse through our hidden gems for roundups of the most unmissable places in and around West Sussex!