When you’ve got the South Downs, fairytale castles and splendid stately homes in your locker, you’re going to be a little smug. We don't blame you for boasting, residents of West Sussex: there's some pretty enchanting places to visit here. We here at Plum Guide, the experts on all things travel, have packaged up the county into a neat little list so you barely have to do any research at all. Just print off this page and pack it in your suitcase. Actually, don’t print this off, it's bad for the environment. Just spend your trip squinting at your phone. Here's our guide to the best places to visit in West Sussex.
Chichester Cathedral, England, UK
This is the only place even close to a city that West Sussex has, and even that's because of an old rule about cathedral towns technically being classed as cities. As small pretend-cities go, Chichester isn’t bad. An impressive cathedral with a surprising amount of decent art; check. Pretty cobbled streets with independent shops; check. A world-class theatre; check. Nice gardens and museums to look around and pretend you care; check. Chichester isn’t your classic holiday destination, but it will still be highly enjoyable.
The dictionary definition of ‘wittering’ is to chatter or babble pointlessly at unnecessary length. Certainly, none of that going on at Plum Guide HQ and not at the actual Witterings either. The two little villages of East and West Witterings are known locally as God’s Pocket, which we think is cute if a little presumptuous. Think fudge shops, white cottages with roses climbing around doorways and peaceful beaches. God’s Pocket indeed.
What do Upton Snodsbury, Barton in the Beans, Pucklechurch and Bognor Regis have in common? The
weird delightfully eccentric names of course. They’re all worth a visit just for the photo next to the sign. Bognor Regis is famous for being the last words from King George V’s lips before his untimely death. He reportedly screamed ‘Bugger Bognor!’ just before he popped his clogs. Also famous as a top spot in the heyday of the British seaside resort and er... Butlins.
Worthing contains Britain’s greatest concentration of Stone Age flint mines. Ding, ding, ding! That’s the sound of the holiday bell ringing. OK, it may not be flashy, but Worthing has leafy avenues, calming walks by the sea and enough cosy pubs and restaurants to keep a visitor happy. Visit the Art Deco pier and Edwardian cinema and hark back to the heyday of the British seaside holiday.
Arundel Castle, Sussex, UK
Don your favourite piece of chain mail and frolic around the grounds of a medieval castle. If you don’t want to mortify your entire family, you can just wear jeans and a nice top. Built in the 11th century, Arundel Castle is really old (duh) and original features such as the Norman keep and gatehouse are still going strong. The tropical, English and walled kitchen gardens are great for hiding and pretending to be a knight. We also included this in our round-up of things to do in West Sussex, that’s how good it is.
South Downs National Park
Of all the places to visit in West Sussex, the South Downs National Park is the biggest and most nature-y. That’s the kind of gold you come to Plum Guide for, isn’t it? Joking, we know you come for the practically perfect places to stay. Whilst you’re here though, listen to us when we say if you like undulating hills, quaint villages and a fabulous example of the great British countryside, go to the South Downs.
Littlehampton’s calling card is quite something. No, it isn’t the lush sandy beach or family-friendly activities that it is known for; it is home to Britain’s longest bench. We’ll let that settle in for a moment. The bench winds 324 metres along the seafront and is made up of hundreds of reclaimed, multi-coloured wooden slats. Quite the spectacle. The beach and marina are nice too, but it’s the bench that makes this one of the most interesting places to visit in West Sussex.
The Bolney Wine Estate
The family behind this beautiful vineyard have been taking advantage of Sussex’s mild climate for three generations, making them one of England’s oldest vineyards. It’s a very nice place for a glass of one of life’s greatest gifts. Take a tour with the experts and learn how they produce the impressive selection of English wines. The vineyard trail is a lovely walk and they cater for small people too, even though they can only drink lemonade.
Bosham Village, Sussex, UK
Pretty seaside towns are ten a penny in this neck of the woods but Bosham (pronounced Bozzam) is a sandcastle above the rest. The postcard-pretty harbour is a lovely little spot to watch the colourful boats bob just before you head to the local tearoom for your daily cream tea (you’re on holiday, may as well). The ancient church is featured on the Bayeux Tapestry which is pretty cool, if you’re into that kind of thing.