Sussex Guide

My Sussex Guide shows some of my favourite things to see and do locally, in no particular order!

It is possible to visit all these places at present, but you will need to book in advance for most gardens and nature reserves.

Walk in the South Downs National Park

steyning bowl south downs sussex
Steyning Bowl

You’ll find country footpaths within minutes of leaving Rosebud Cottage. Walk down Mouse Lane – just round the corner – or go along Mill Road. Within 20 minutes, you can enjoy wonderful views both beyond Brighton and towards the coast.

If you are a keen hiker you may want to walk on the long distance footpath the South Downs Way – within a mile of the cottage. There are leaflets, books and maps in the cottage with suggested routes.

I particularly enjoy the walk to Chanctonbury Ring. It is 3 miles away and quite a steep climb but you will be rewarded by fantastic views. As you get closer you will go along part of the South Downs Way.

The Ring was originally a small hill fort. Pottery found and carbon dating suggest the fort was built in the early Iron Age, in the 6th to 5th centuries BC. Later the ring was used by the Romans as a religious site and two temples were erected. It’s fame, though, is mainly due to the beech trees, planted in 1760, which became a famous landmark

Swim at the nearby coast. Or just watch the waves!

brightton beach sussex

The nearest beach on the Sussex coast is at Shoreham-by-Sea –  a 15 minute drive or a 20 minute bus ride on the no 2 bus …. On a windy day you will see plenty of kite surfers!

If you prefer a sandy beach travel east along the coast to Climping – just beyond Littlehampton.

Enjoy beautiful Sussex gardens

Nymans Gardens National Trust
Nyman’s Gardens National Trust

You will be spoiled for choice if you are a garden lover! Don’t miss:

Open this year 2020:

Prairie Garden; BN5 9AT (near Henfield)It covers 6 acres planted in a naturalistic style.  Open from June to mid October. 9 miles from Steyning.

Open this year 2020, but book ahead:

St Mary’s Gardens, Bramber BN44 3WE. Just a mile from Steyning: Five acres of beautiful gardens! Open from 2 pm to 6 pm, with the last entry at 5 pm. Prepay for your entry ticket online prior to your visit to help them manage numbers.  Take proof with you of your prepayment – either as a printout or on your smart phone.

Nyman’s; RH17 6EB: (near Haywards Heath). One of the country’s great gardens created in the late 19th century by the Messel family. Now run by the National Trust it is open all year.  15 miles from Steyning. A 30 minute drive via the B2135 & A281

Borde Hill Gardens RH16 1XP (near Haywards Heath) Recommended. Open daily but you will need to book.

Denman’s near Fontwell. Visitors will be welcomed by RESERVATION ONLY. Opening times are   THURSDAY – SUNDAY 10-4
To book ring  01243 278 950 or email

West Dean Gardens near Chichester. REOPENING 26 June. Tickets are available to book online and pre-booking is essential.

Open in 2021:

Parham House Gardens: RH20 4HS My favourite local garden (near Pulborough). Open mid April to mid October. A short drive or bus ride on 100 bus with a 25 minute walk.

Try traditional English afternoon tea!

english cream tea steyning near Brighton 720

Afternoon tea is a must if you stay in Steyning. If you are lucky you may have the opportunity to try a rhubarb or plum scone!

Many cafes in the nearby High Street are offering either take away or a delivery service.

Go to the Weald and Downland Museum

If you love history and architecture do make sure you visit the Weald and Downland Museum in West Sussex.

weald and downland museum west sussex

This excellent museum showcases rural buildings over the centuries.

You can discover rescued rural homes and buildings set in a beautiful landscape in the South Downs National Park. Their collection tells the stories of the people who lived and worked in rural South East England for over 1,000 years.

Enjoy their family-friendly and dog-friendly 40-acre site and visit their collection of historic buildings – they have more than 50 to explore from a replica Anglo-Saxon hall house to an Edwardian tin church.

The Museum is located on Town Lane in Singleton, which is 7 miles north of Chichester.

By car: The journey to the museum takes about 45 minutes from Steyning. Take the A283, B2139, A29, A27 and Kennel Hill to Open Air Theatre Rd. The postcode is PO18 0EU.

Follow the brown tourist attraction signs marked ‘Open Air Museum’. There is a free car park and disabled parking spaces are available opposite the Museum shop.

Book in advance for a timed ticket.

Read more about this  Living Museum

Get close to nature at a local reserve

nature reserve sussex

The nearest smaller reserve is at Woods Mill;BN5 9SD. Enjoy woodland, meadows and a reed-fringed lake. Free admission. Open all year. A 12 minute drive by car; a 15 minute ride on the 100 bus (Mon to Sat). Open now!

I love the Wildfowl and Wetland Centre in Arundel. Don’t miss their excellent guided Wetland Boat Safari. Centre and cafe open all year (except Xmas Day).  Free parking. 15 miles from Steyning – a 30 minute drive. Open now, but you need to book in advance

Stroll on a pier

A stroll along a pier remains the most popular activity for visitors to the British seaside.

The photo below shows Worthing Pier – just 6 miles from Steyning. It is open at present.

worthing pier sussex

 You might also like to visit Brighton Pier – the best known and most popular in Sussex!

Visit Bramber Castle

Bramber Castle Sussex
Remains of the gatehouse tower

Go down the road to nearby Bramber and you will find the remains of a Norman Castle. There are superb views of the river Adur and the surrounding countryside. It’s a  lovely spot for a picnic in the summer…

The castle was constructed around 1070. The most prominent feature is the Gatehouse tower. To the north is the original castle motte, its earthen mound rising to a height of some 30 ft (10 m). Nearby is a section of the curtain wall with a height up to 10 ft (3 m).

Take a trip to Beachy Head beachy head south downs sussex

Beachy Head and its lighthouse are close to the start of the South Downs Way. Its about an hour’s drive from Steyning – just outside Eastbourne.

The cliffs here are part of the  Seven Sisters – not the white cliffs of Dover, which are much further east in Kent.

There is a car park near Beachy Head where you can leave your car and take a stroll but if you are a keen hiker you might want to walk the 8 miles along the Seven Sisters between Eastbourne and Cuckmere Haven.

A short distance inland from Cuckmere Haven you will reach Exceat which also has a car park. A bus service runs between Exceat and Eastbourne.

Check our Local Blog for more information

Look at our availability and rates at Rosebud Cottage in Steyning