How to spend 48 hours in West Sussex
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Whether you’re in the mood for seaside kitsch or unspoilt beaches, open countryside or manicured gardens, chocolate-box villages or grand historic houses, West Sussex has something to delight every visitor. There are numerous houses and gardens to explore, from a small five-acre plot at St Mary’s House & Gardens to Kew Gardens’ 500 acres at Wakehurst, in Ardingly. For gardeners, history buffs and art lovers alike, a trip to Arundel Castle is a must. It was founded in 1067 and almost completely rebuilt in the Gothic style in the late 19th century.
If it’s experiences you’re looking for then West Sussex has plenty to offer, from wine and brewery tours to adrenaline-fuelled flights. Tinwood Estate, Bolney Wine Estate and Stopham Vineyard and Winery are among the local wine producers offering tours and tasting sessions.
For unspoilt coastline, head to Littlehampton’s West Beach, which is part of a nature reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It includes one of only three sand dune systems in the county.
Arundel BN18 9AB
There are nearly 1,000 years of history at Arundel Castle, situated in magnificent grounds overlooking the River Arun in West Sussex and built at the end of the 11th century by Roger de Montgomery on land granted to him by William the Conqueror. This ancient castle and stately home brings history to life at events held throughout its opening season. What’s more, visitors aren’t confined to the role of spectator, with the opportunity to have a go at archery or artillery and interact with historical characters. Visit website
Newpound Lane, Wisborough Green RH14 0EG
Fishers Adventure Farm Park, in Wisborough Green, offers all-year-round entertainment, including soft play, trampolines and jumping pillows, pony rides and quad bikes. Visit website
Selsfield Rd, Haywards Heath RH17 6TN
Wakehurst offers wild botanic garden on the High Weald of West Sussex has over 500 acres of beautiful ornamental gardens, woodlands and a nature reserve. Wakehurst is also home to the Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild seed conservation project in the world. Get a close look at over 300 plant species as well as dormice, badgers, kingfishers and butterflies in Wakehurst’s 40-acre nature reserve. Visit website
Mill Rd, Arundel BN18 9PB
Explore the wild and wonderful at WWT Arundel. Take a Wetlands Discovery Boat Safari, hand feed ducks and geese from around the world, explore the Wetland Secrets Plant House and relax at the Water’s Edge Cafe. Visit website
Parham Park, Pulborough RH20 4HS
Parham is one of the country’s finest Elizabethan houses, complete with a Great Hall and Long Gallery. Its tranquillity and timeless beauty have changed little over the centuries. The gardens consist of beautiful Pleasure Grounds and a four-acre walled garden. There are stunning herbaceous borders, a glasshouse, vegetable garden, orchard and a 1920s Wendy house. Visit website
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Image credits: ©Fishers Adventure Farm Park; Shutterstock.com; Trevor Sims/Parham House & Gardens; Vincent Van Zalinge/Unsplash