I particularly recommend visiting the small town of Arundel – just a half an hour drive from Steyning. This famous West Sussex market town is most well-known for its 11th century Castle and its Victorian gothic cathedral.
There are nearly 1,000 years of history at the castle, situated in magnificent grounds overlooking the River Arun. It was built at the end of the 11th century by Roger de Montgomery. The oldest features are the motte and the gatehouse. The motte is an artificial mound, over 100 feet high from the dry moat, and was constructed in 1068.
The castle is open from Good Friday to the end of October on Tuesdays to Sundays, May Bank Holiday Mondays & August Mondays. Admission costs: Adults £9 (gardens) to £18; Seniors £9 to £15.50; Children £9.
You can visit the cathedral at any time of year and admission is free.
Explore more of the area’s history and heritage at Arundel Museum or look at the town from a different perspective at the Arundel Jailhouse and Ghost Experience!
If you enjoy art you will be happy at one of the superb galleries. Interested in antiques? You’ll find plenty of shops with collectables.
If shopping is your ‘bag’ then you’ll enjoy the wide range of contemporary and traditional independent shops.
Water enthusiasts can hire a rowing boat on Swanbourne Lake or take aboat trips on the River Arun. If you love nature I particularly recommend a visit to the Wetland Centre.
Perhaps you will just want to relax in one of the many cafes, bars and restaurants or in a traditional English pub!
Don’t miss a chance to visit this market town. You’ll see medieval streets, old English churches and tiny twittens (a Sussex word for alleyway) . Although surrounded by chalk cliffs, the town is dominated by the remains of a 1000 year Norman castle (seen in my photo). Panoramic views are guaranteed if you climb to the top! The adjoining Barbican House is home to the Museum of Sussex Archaeology with local collections from the Stone Age to medieval times. A mini-cinema tells the story of Lewes from prehistoric to Victorian times.
Lewes is also home to the town house of Anne of Cleves (fourth wife of King Henry Vlll) which I really love. Both the castle and Anne of Cleves house are open throughout the year. Details at http://sussexpast.co.uk
The town also has many contemporary art galleries and historic & special interest sites including the Priory of St. Pancreas – a former monastery.
You’ll come across numerous small, specialist, independent retailers and a local brewery. I recommend visiting Cliffe High Street. Bookshops, boutiques and antique shops are there as well as individual craft workshops. You’ll also find restaurants, cafes, and pubs offering tasty choices all year round with an emphasis on local produce.
Lewes is one of my favourite towns. I recommend a visit! It is 7 miles from Brighton & a 30 minute drive from Steyning. You can also reach Lewes by public transport.