How to spend 48 hours in West Sussex

By Joanne Horne

You will be surprised how much you can pack into 48 hours in West Sussex. Take some inspiration from our weekend guide.

Day one

Spend the morning exploring a small part of the South Downs. The Levin Down trail is a 2.75-mile circular walk from Singleton passing through the hillside nature reserve, with its views of the Trundle – an Iron Age hillfort – and Goodwood Racecourse. The walk takes 90 minutes to complete – more if you take a brief detour at Charlton and stop off for a pint at The Fox Goes Free, a 400-year-old pub and the site of the first Women’s Institute meeting in England in 1915.

From Singleton, head four miles south to Goodwood’s Farmer, Butcher, Chef, which offers a reasonably priced set lunch menu at £14.95 for two courses and three courses for £19.95. Located just yards from Goodwood Home Farm, customers travel further than their food at this restaurant, where the estate’s butcher is directly involved in designing the dishes according to the cuts available.

Travel four miles south to Chichester and spend the afternoon at Pallant House Gallery. Described as ‘a collection of collections’, the gallery was formed when the then Dean of Chichester Cathedral, Walter Hussey, gifted his private art collection to the city. Since then, the gallery has attracted the interest of other benefactors, leading to the opening of a new wing in 2006. It contains an extensive collection of British Modern Art, including pieces by Sir Henry Moore, John Piper and Graham Sutherland, and also has a rolling programme of exhibitions.

Enjoy a light pre-theatre dinner and share some tapas at Artie’s Kitchen before heading to Chichester Festival Theatre for one of its latest productions. If you’re visiting during its festival season, which runs from April to November, you could be among the first to see an original production before it transfers to the London stage.

The Levin Down trail is a 2.75-mile circular walk from Singleton passing through the hillside nature reserve, with its views of the Trundle and Goodwood Racecourse

Day two

Head west out of the city to the historical quayside village of Bosham. It was from here that Harold, last king of the Saxon English, sailed for Normandy in 1064 and it even features in the Bayeux tapestry. Canute was said to have lived in Bosham and legend has it that it was on Quay Meadow (now managed by the National Trust) that he commanded the waves to retreat. Visit the Saxon Holy Trinity Church where his daughter is thought to be buried and enjoy the views of Chichester Harbour and its wildlife.

Linger a little longer in Bosham for lunch with a view at The Anchor Bleu. The 300-year-old pub has a harbourside patio area, as well as a cosy bar and dining rooms within.

Sixteen miles east of Bosham lies Arundel, the last calling point on this whistle-stop tour of West Sussex. Spend the afternoon at the majestic Arundel Castle, visiting its Norman keep, gatehouse and barbican, viewing its art collection and exploring its themed gardens.

Book dinner at The Parsons Table. Owners Lee and Liz Parsons met at Claridge’s Hotel, London, but their own venture offers a more informal dining experience. Enjoy locally-sourced fish or South Downs lamb and a glass of Nutty Brut from Nutbourne Vineyards before you head for home.

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Image credits: ©Philip Vile/Chichester Festival Theatre;; VisitBritain/Andrew Pickett/Pete Seaward

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