If your idea of a perfect short break away is spending your precious free time with the ones you love, doing things you love, this itinerary is for you. Villages and hamlets in the heart of the South Downs National Park will be the main backdrop for your relaxing stay, featuring woodland exploration, fantastic local produce and immerse yourself in West Sussex heritage.
This is a trip for reconnecting with yourself, your loved ones, and immersing yourself in peaceful surroundings; for nature lovers, keen walkers, art enthusiasts and historians.
Ideal for: Couples, solo travellers
Locations: Pulborough, Amberley, Storrington
Themes: Walking, nature and wildlife, heritage and gardens
First, choose from one of the delightful lodgings available in the Pulborough area with Cabins and Castles. The quirky, colourful converted Doghouse in Pulborough will make a great base for your stay.
When the afternoon rolls around, make your way in to Pulborough village and prepare to take on the Pulborough WildArt Trail. Leading you from the station, through Pulborough village and across Pulborough Brooks to the nature reserve (or vice versa), you’ll take part in an interactive guided tour through the Pulborough WildArt app, encountering sculptures and digital wildlife along the way.
Finish your day with a hearty meal at one of the nearby pubs. The White Hart in Stopham serves up succulent shoulders of lamb, comforting Mediterranean stews and tasty sharing platters, all freshly cooked to order and using local produce. Looking out to Stopham Bridge and the River Arun, you can enjoy stunning views of the changing leaves from the cosy pub atmosphere.
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After a hearty home-cooked breakfast, set off for a day exploring Amberley and the surrounding countryside. Depending on your appetite for hiking, there are trails from 5km to 15km that you can take, encompassing walks along the River Arun and views out to the waterlogged meadows. Keen photographers will find plenty of opportunities to snap the local wildlife and stunning landscapes.
Following a good walk and stretch of the legs, reward yourselves with lunch at popular local pub, The Bridge Inn, warming up by the log fire as you dine and refuel with homemade dishes, sandwiches and Ploughmans lunches.
Explore Amberley’s local heritage for the afternoon. Just a five-minute walk from The Bridge Inn, you’ll find 36 acres of Amberley Museum to explore, encompassing over 150 years of industrial Sussex history. Encounter steam trains, vintage cars and service vehicles, as well as traditional craft demonstrations in pottery, printing, blacksmithing and more, with plenty of opportunities to try for yourself.
Bring your day to a close with a luxurious meal at the historic Amberley Castle, a unique hotel and restaurant with over 900 years of history. Choose from a three course a la carte menu, including scallops, crab, duck breast and venison loin, or the seven-course tasting menu. Take in the grandeur of the lounges and public areas with a final drink or two before making your way back to your cottage.
Wake up to your last day and the final stretch of the trip; it’s onto Storrington for an easy-going wander around the village. Park up in the village for the day and enjoy a leisurely walk around Sandgate Park, a conservation area encompassing woodland, ponds and streams. You might spot local volunteers undertaking conservation work to protect the woodland and heathland, as well as to encourage wildlife to the area.
Winding back towards the village centre, enjoy the charming architecture and smattering of local shops, including a number of clothing boutiques, a chocolaterie, stationery shops, antique dealers and more. If you’re feeling indulgent, you could even book a chocolate tasting or fondue session at MooCoco! Alternatively, stop by Joanna’s Boutique Tearoom for a light lunch or afternoon tea, choosing from homemade sandwiches, quiches, soups and delicious cakes.
We hope this trip has inspired you with ideas for spending quality time out and about in West Sussex’s great outdoors. Share highlights from your visit with us over on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!