Encompassing the very best of coast and country, both East and West Sussex’s rolling hills, chalky cliffs and quintessential villages offer a delightful escape to the country within an hour of London. Once a stronghold against invasion, imposing castles dot the coastline while its sandy beaches are a true taste of the Great British seaside. Inland, the South Downs National Park is southern England’s capital for hikers, star-gazers, wine drinkers and ornithophiles, with an abundance of special protection areas and bird-life centres.

Vineyards, galleries, festivals and one of the country’s most esteemed opera houses, here’s our pick of the best in Sussex’s green and pleasant lands.

What to see

Coastal towns

White cliffs, sandy beaches and beautiful piers stretching out into the ocean, Sussex’s coastal towns are postcard pretty. Visit Hastings for its castle, beach huts and quaint seaside charm, Rye's iconic Mermaid Street for a taste of 1420s England and boho Brighton for its colourful nightlife, boutique shops and independent eateries.

Pooh Bear Woods

Just south of East Grinstead, take a stroll through Ashdown Forest where AA Milne’s Hundred Acre Woods was based. There are two walks throughout the forest which tour through and close to some of the most famous locations for Pooh and his friends including The Six Pine Trees, the Heffalump Trap and the North Pole. A wholesome day out for the whole family.

Visit stately homes & castles

Home to some of the UK’s most prominent historical and literary figures, it’s no surprise that Sussex is fit to burst with castles, ruins and stately homes adorned with ancestral portraits. For castles, it has to be Arundel, Lewes, Camber, Herstmonteaux, Hastings and Bodium; Bateman’s and Petworth for grand dwellings showcasing the very best in sculpture and parklands.


Sussex’s beaches are the epitome of the British seaside with pastel beach huts, amusements and candyfloss galore. For sweeping, golden swathes of sand and dunes to race down, it has to be Camber; largely untouched, despite its popularity, even on the hottest of summer days can solitude be found. Winchelsea, West Wittering, Cuckmere Haven and Climping are also more than worth a visit.

What to do

Goodwood Festival of Speed

No visit to Sussex in early summer is complete without attending what's dubbed the “world’s greatest celebration of motorsports and car culture.” Be sure to snap up your tickets early, as the Festival of Speed is one of the most sought-after events of the year. Think rallies, hill climbs and close encounters with some of the sport’s greatest heroes.

Browse the vintage shops

Historic market towns and glittering antique shops go hand in hand and with Sussex practically bursting with them, here is a place where proverbial magpies will feel right at home. In particular, Petworth, Arundel, Battle and Rye are the perfect spots for a spot of antique shopping.

Glyndebourne Festival

From the end of May, all the way through summer to the end of August, the Glyndebourne Festival showcases the very best in operatic performances. While the opera takes place in the indoor auditorium, lavish picnics and garden parties are available to participate in across the grounds.

Wine tasting

Fast becoming the optimum climate for wine grapes here in the UK, Sussex has seen a flurry of vineyards appear over the past few years. Pick one, of the many, wineries to visit in Sussex's two counties and embark on a wine tour and tasting; Beacon Down Wines, Black Dog and Rathfinny all come highly recommended.

South Downs National Park

Rare UK wildlife, long walking routes and some of the finest twinkling skies in southern England make the South Downs National Park a must for visitors to Sussex. Go fishing, cycling, food foraging and kayaking; a destination where immersion into nature is guaranteed.

Where to eat and drink


Goat Ledge

A Hastings classic overlooking the beach which serves up a mouth-watering menu of fresh seafood, cocktails and moreish iced coffees. Technicoloured beach huts can be hired exclusively (book in advance) for a true British by-the-seaside experience.

The Horse Guards Inn

The finest place in Petworth for foodies, The Horse Guards' menu is small and ever-changing to fit in with the produce available on the day. Whether sourced from local suppliers, foraged from the hedgerows or dug from their very own kitchen garden, here is a restaurant where outstanding quality can be found throughout the year.

The Noah’s Ark

Another Petworth favourite, this 16th century inn flaunts a simple yet exceptional menu that rolls with the seasons, where produce is truly celebrated. A relaxed dining experience awaits here, with dogs and children both very welcome.

Landgate Bistro

Modern takes on classic British dishes reign at this bistro in the heart of Rye; think miso braised cabbage, venison with poached pear and lobster in rich, decadent brandy sauce. Booking at this popular bistro is, naturally, highly recommended.

Where to stay

From bohemian beachside cabins to grand, architectural homes, discover our East and West Sussex collections for an escape within easy reach of London.