If you’re looking to get back to nature and reconnect with your surroundings, there’s simply no better place to do it than with a short stay in West Sussex.
From flowing rivers and peaceful coastline, to stretches of parkland and rolling country hills, you’re sure to come away feeling refreshed and inspired.
We’ve put together an itinerary for a short stay that encompasses all of these options for a wholesome getaway in our county.
Ideal for: Solo travellers, young couples, friends
Themes: Active and outdoors, walking, nature and wildlife, food and drink
Start off early to make the most of your day and head to Amberley station to begin one of Vespucci Adventures’ signature walks. With options to enjoy a riverside adventure or amble up to the spine of the South Downs for spectacular views of Arundel Castle, it’s the perfect way to reconnect with your surroundings and enjoy your company. Whichever walk you choose, you’ll stop for lunch at local favourite, The George at Burpham, to enjoy the locally sourced food and community spirit.
Head to the RSPB Pulborough Brooks Nature Reserve in the early afternoon for a peaceful wander, as you spot the fascinating variety of natural habitats that are home to some wonderful local wildlife. From jewel-bright dragonflies darting across the ponds to wildflower meadows and nesting birds amongst the grassland, it’s an ideal visit to complement your morning’s adventure.
End your day by stopping off at Billycan Camping near Arundel for the night and enjoy their unique glamping offering within a bell tent, with all amenities provided. If your stay falls on a Friday night, you can choose to join in and enjoy a hearty stew and toasted marshmallows with the camp or indulge in a breakfast hamper the next morning. Alternatively, you’ll have all the cooking utensils you need to get back to basics and cook under the stars.
Recently named as one of the best places to live in the UK, there is plenty to see and do in the small town of Petworth. Begin day two with a gentle stroll around Petworth House and Park. Allow yourself a few hours to see all the sights, including its 700-acre deer park and pleasure ground, as well as the stately home itself. The pleasure grounds and parkland offer plenty of trails to enjoy a walk and you can enjoy sipping on a barista-style coffee from a vintage caravan that’s based at the deer park.
When you’re feeling peckish, head for a late breakfast or lunch at The Hungry Guest in the centre of Petworth, a café which focuses on local produce and artisan products, with a butcher, deli and cheese room all in the town. It’s a great opportunity to take some local produce away to enjoy at home or as a gift for a foodie friend.
If you’re feeling adventurous, why not take to the skies for the afternoon and book yourself in for a hot air balloon flight? The British School of Ballooning is based in Petworth and offers an evening trip, allowing you to see the beautiful South Downs as the sun sets, or an anytime offer which gives you a bit more freedom with your timings.
As the evening rolls around, we’d recommend a table at The Badgers or the Halfway Bridge . Both are charming and atmospheric restaurants and bars located just outside of Petworth, surrounded by scenic countryside and offering unique menus of seasonal and local food for you to choose from.
Whilst both restaurants do offer comfortable accommodation, if you’re looking to stay somewhere with a little more quirk, look no further than this one-of-a-kind bed and breakfast, The Old Railway Station. Formerly Petworth Railway Station, both the carriages and the Station House itself have been converted into splendid bedrooms.
Get up and head towards Billingshurst for the final stretch of your break, starting with a delicious breakfast at Billy’s on the Road. There is quite literally a breakfast option to suit everyone here, ensuring you feel ready to take on your next activity.
Then, hop aboard a canal boat for a cruise along the Wey and Arun Canal. You can choose from a variety of special voyages, including those with cream teas or a Ploughman’s lunch included, or join one of the public boat trips and enjoy a leisurely trip to take in the sights and local wildlife.
Before you head off, why not drop into Firebird Brewing in Billingshurst to visit their Brewery Bar and Shop? If you have the time, you can also book a tour experience on selected dates, including an informative look at how craft beer is brewed, a craft beer tasting session and a snack in the way of local cheese on toast – you’ll even come away with your own branded beer glass to enjoy at home. Or, to ensure you end your trip feeling truly rejuvenated, have a look at some of the workshops, classes and therapies at the Yoga Garden in the Dial Post area of Horsham.
No matter what your idea of relaxation, reconnecting and memorable experiences are, we’re sure you will find plenty of things to do and see throughout your trip that make it #YourWestSussex. Share your adventure with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – we love seeing your adventures!
For more inspirational itineraries, events and round-ups of unique things to do in the county, why not sign up to our newsletter and receive it straight to your inbox?