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Be Inspired: Explore Sussex & the Surrounding Areas

Sussex is simply an inspiring place to explore. Here are just a few suggestions below:

Explore our dramatic landscapes, coastal splendour, and breathtaking views, from the world-famous white cliffs of the Seven Sisters to the sense of space and freedom in the new South Downs National Park. Walkers, cyclists, horse riders and keen explorers are all very welcome.

Enjoy Sussex is a land of ancient beauty with heritage hidden around every corner. Come and discover Parham House – one of ‘England’s Thousand Best Houses’, and visit the Alfriston Clergy House – the first building to be acquired by the National Trust.

Be inspired in Sussex and follow in the footsteps of the famous … AA Milne who was inspired by the Ashdown Forest to create the Winnie the Pooh stories, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley lived near Horsham and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, settled in Crowborough.

Explore the history in Sussex with market towns and picturesque villages for inspiring shopping, great places to eat and drink with fantastic local produce to sample, exquisite art galleries to admire, beautiful antiques to behold, it’s quite simply, a great day out!

Enjoy Sussex heritage with some of the magnificent floral displays at our glorious gardens; by the great views from Borde Hill described as ‘One of the country’s truly great gardens’ and by the internationally important Wakehurst Place known as ‘Kew in the countryside’.

Take the family to one of our many visitor attractions and enjoy a cultural experience from World class opera at Glyndebourne to a theatrical performance at The Capitol or Chequer Mead. Don’t forget to make time to visit one of our many visual art shows, festivals and special events including County Cricket at Horsham, Polo at Cowdray Park, Show-jumping at Hickstead, golf in sussex at Rookwood and the annual World Pea Throwing Championships!

There’s so much to do in Sussex whether you decide to visit the South Downs National Park, explore the Peacehaven heritage, discover the history in Wealden or simply be inspired in Lewes with all the amazing sights and architecture- there is something for everyone!

Arts and Culture

Be inspired by some of England’s famous artists, writers, poets, actors and musicians….

Sussex has always nurtured artistic talent, and no more so than today, with a profusion of local craftsmen, artists and writers having found inspiration here. If literature is your passion then visit the homes of some of England’s finest writers including Rudyard Kipling, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and
Virginia Woolf. In addition, Charleston Farmhouse, frequented by the famous Bloomsbury Group, remains a testament to the life and times of some of the most influential and intriguing artists of our time.

J. M. Barrie (1860-1937)
British novelist and dramatist. Best remembered for creating Peter Pan, the boy who refused to grow up, whom he based on his friends, the Llewelyn Davies boys. He lived at Chiddingly.

Dirk Bogarde (1921-1999)
Actor, lived at The Old Rectory, Lullington and wrote about it in his autobiography – ‘A Postillion Struck by Lightning’.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930)
Novelist and writer of detective fiction and science fiction, was famous for the Sherlock Holmes stories. He lived at Windlesham Manor in Crowborough for 23 years, and died there in 1930. A statue has been erected in Crowborough to honour his life. The Conan Doyle collection of memorabilia is housed at Groombridge Place.

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)
British author and poet, famous for work including ‘The Jungle Book’ and ‘Puck of Pook’s Hill’. Lived and wrote at Bateman’s in Burwash 1902-1936. Bateman’s is now owned by the National Trust and is open to the public.

A. A. Milne (1882-1956)
Dramatist, novelist, journalist and children’s writer. Few writers are as closely linked to the landscape as
A. A. Milne. He made Ashdown Forest, Hartfield famous as the place where the Winnie the Pooh stories were written.

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)
Virginia Woolf, novelist and essayist lived at Monks House, Rodmell. Her sister, Vanessa Bell, interior designer and painter, lived with artists Clive Bell and Duncan Grant at Charleston Farmhouse, Firle. The writer David Garnett also lived there. It became a meeting place for the group of writers, artists and intellectuals known as ‘The Bloomsbury Group’.

Vivien Leigh (1913-1967)
English actress, famous for films including ‘Gone with the Wind’ and ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ lived at Tickerage Mill, near Uckfield between 1960 until her death in 1967. Her ashes were scattered on the lake at her home.

Time for Tea

We have some lovely places to have afternoon tea in Lewes and Wealden. Choose from the smaller tea rooms and cafe’s or a country house hotel or even the more unusual location – all ideal for an afternoon indulgence.

Here are just some of our great places for a lovely cup of tea:

Laporte’s, 4 Lansdown Place, Lewes…We are known for having a wonderful selection of freshly made cakes. Experience the best cream tea in town with homemade scones and local jam and cream all washed down with nice cuppa from a selection of teas from Assam to Pukka herbals.

The Lewes Tea Room, 85 High Street, Lewes… Relax with friends at Lewesiana ‘Licensed Tearoom & Florist’ at 85 High Street near Lewes Castle – enjoy home baked scones & cakes, loose leaf teas, fresh coffee, local icecream and sandwiches in our elegant floral setting. Cream Tea from only £5.75!

Pelham House Hotel Lewes

The Shelleys, Lewes

Deans Place Hotel Alfriston

Parham House near Pulborough

For a venue with a difference…

Newhaven Fort*

Herstmonceux Castle*

Michelham Priory*

Pashley Manor Gardens*

* These venues are seasonal and have an entrance charge.