The setting is lovely: You look up to the slope of the South Downs on the east side. The River Arun and the wild brooks are on the on the south and west sides.
The village has its own castle – in use as a hotel and wedding venue. Even if you are not staying at the hotel you can walk around the back of the building on your way into the wild brooks.
The Wild Brooks
Whilst you are in the area do visit the Pulborough Brooks. This is an Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) site – open throughout the year and a haven for birds. This area often floods in the winter.
Amberley Working Museum
Another place to see is the Working Museum. This is an interesting use of an old chalk pit above the railway station which is now home to old agricultural and industrial machinery, nearly all of it still functioning.
Many of the houses round here are truly beautiful, with thatched roofs and plenty of lovely old brick and tile work. You can see a couple in my photo below.
This picture shows the beautiful church of St Leonard in South Stoke village, near Arundel, West Sussex.. It was recorded in the Domesday Book – a great land survey from 1086, commissioned by William the Conqueror – when the village was named as “Stoches”.
To find the church head for Arundel then travel down Mill Road until the road ends in a t-junction. Turn left, following the signpost to South Stoke. Go beyond the entrance to the farm and turn left with the road – the gate to the church is down a (signposted) short pathway to the right, about one hundred yards further on. Well worth finding!
South Stoke is about a half hour drive from Steyning and close to the South Downs.
This enterprising company offer half day trips round their estate near Dial Post. Your safari will take you to the current ‘hot spots’ of natural interest.
You’re likely to see at least some large herbivores – longhorn cattle, Exmoor ponies, Tamworth pigs, red and fallow deer – as they roam freely in large herds through the Wildland. Birds are also present in huge numbers all year round.
You will check trail cameras for our more secretive residents like foxes, badgers, hedgehogs, weasels and stoats; and stop for a species count at some of their wildlife ‘refugia’ for slow-worms, grass-snakes, toads, field-mice and voles. Spectacular tree-platforms offer panoramic views and a close-up of life in the canopy.
You can travel in an open-sided 14 seater Pinzgauers for larger groups or an open air all-terrain 5-seater Kawasaki,. Mule. Halfway through your safari they stop for coffee, tea and their popular organic homemade cake!
Steyning is just a 16 minute drive from Knepp Safaris (& within easy reach of Brighton)
The herbaceous borders at Parham are really exceptional. There are such great colour combinations of tall perennials. You can also visit the glasshouse, the vegetable garden, an orchard and a 1920’s Wendy House.
The house and gardens are open from April to October. They have a great plant shop and cafes too. It’s one of my favourite places to visit locally.
Parham House and Gardens are near Storrington in West Sussex, 9 miles from Steyning. It takes about 20 minutes to drive there. You can also catch a no 100 bus.
The gardens usually open in the afternoons from Easter Sunday until the end of September on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays & Bank Holidays. In October they open on Sundays only.
One of England's most important early Tudor houses – Cowdray in West Sussex was partially destroyed by fire in 1793. Its magnificent ruins in the stunning landscape of Cowdray Park, in the heart of the South Downs National Park. It was so important it was visited by both Queen Elizabeth I and King Henry VIII.
Open every Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays from Saturday 30th April until Sunday 4th September 2016. 11 am – 4 pm with last entries at 3 pm.
Woods Mill has lots of wildlife with coppiced woodland, meadows and a reed-fringed lake. There is an all-weather path around the reserve and boardwalk across lake and reed bed. There is also a hide for birdwatching, and a wildlife garden.
The reserve is the headquarters of Sussex Wildlife Trust and an environmental education centre, with lots of events and courses throughout the year. As this is an educational reserve no dogs are permitted.
If you visit West Sussex do call in at the Fountain Inn. It is a wonderful example of the great traditional English pub with wonky floorboards, inglenook fireplaces and the heart warming smell of home cooking wafting in from the kitchen. Eat outside in their garden on warm summer days!
Top Quality Food Menus
The pub is well known for their top quality food menus, friendly service and great atmosphere …Recommended whether you want a light snack or something more substantial.
Situated in the beautiful Sussex village of Ashurst. Just a couple of miles north of Steyning and within easy reach of Brighton
A relatively new sport that first gained popularity in the late 90′s, kitesurfing is a mixture between windsurfing, surfing, wake boarding and power kiting. Different size kites allow you to kite surf in various wind strengths. The lighter the wind, the bigger the kite and in stronger winds smaller kites are used
Courses are held at the South Coast’s premier kitesurfing location – Lancing Beach in Sussex. The shallow flat water and prevailing cross onshore winds provide perfect conditions for beginners. Lessons cost from £80
You could also learn SUP! … Stand Up Pedal Boarding
Steyning is a fascinating place if you love history: The small rural town pre-dates the Norman Conquest.
St Cuthman, a Celtic saint from c8 or c9, is said to have arrived here pulling his sick mother in a cart. When the tow rope broke he assumed it was a sign from God that Steyning was where he should stay. He built built a wooden church – and administered to the needs of his adopted flock. After his death, the church became a place of pilgrimage. The sea was much closer by in those days and so a port of St Cuthman was built on the River Adur nearby. The church at Steyning was part of a monastery …
The church was rebuilt in later years on the same site. Inside the building, is a truly glorious Norman nave, complete with the most beautifully harmonious decorations and carvings.