West Sussex

Introduction

England - West Sussex

West Sussex is where the southern farmlands of England meet the ocean. Largely unspoilt by vast quantities of tourists, it is a good area to see how England has been for many years.

The South Coast

The South Downs (see the section on Surrey for information on the north downs) stretch for many miles along the edge of the coast providing spectacular views of the ocean. The roads winding along the top of the downs and wander through small villages and narrow lanes.

The South Downs

Arundel

Home of the famous Arundel Castle, this is one area in West Sussex that is extremely popular with the weekend crowds. Besides the castle there is a bird sanctuary and a small town where you can browse the narrow streets and visit the old church. If driving, be aware that the area becomes extremely difficult for parking and you may end up walking long distances if the town is busy.

Arundel Castle

The castle charges admission to it's large grounds and is well worth a visit. A walk along the Arun canal is also recommended as a peaceful way to spend a few hours.

Please see Official Tourism Web Site.

Goodwood

Goodwood is both a stately manor home and both a famous car racing and a horse racing circuit.

Goodwood Festival of Speed - 2000

Every year it plays host to the “Goodwood Festival of Speed” in June (taking place on the SMALL road running past the house at VERY fast speed) showcasing cars, motorcycles, soap-box derby cars, and anything else fast on wheels, and the “Goodwood Revival” event (taking place on a racing circuit) featuring races between classic vehicles.

Goodwood Festival of Speed - 2001

If you are interested in attending either of these events that you purchase tickets well in advance as they generally sell out (particularly the “Festival of Speed” which regularly features many racing drivers in attendance).

Goodwood Festival of Speed - The track (road)

Please see Official Tourism Web Site.

Uppark

Located just south of Petersfield, this estate suffered a large fire a few years ago and has just recently been refurbished. Wonderful gardens and views of the estate from the surrounding cow fields. Interesting are the servant's quarters and the tunnels leading from the main house to outlying buildings. A bit expensive but a nice visit.

Uppark Estate

Please see Official Tourism Web Site.

Weald & Downland Living Museum

Market Square

Weald & Download Living Musuem is a huge 40-acre site containing more than 50 examples of historic buildings from medieval times to the early 20th century all painstakingly restored on the site. All of the buildings have a plaque outside of them showing where it originally came from, when it was dismantled and when it was re-erected offering an amazing insight into the work the museum does. It is run as a charity and largely staffed by volunteers and there are regular demonstrations of traditional crafts on site with the museum offering an extensive array of courses.

Blacksmith

Interior of the Mill

The interiors of the buildings are generally modestly decorated but when they are it is in keeping with the period. Many buildings house displays about some aspect of historic life such as farming or cooking.

Schoolhouse Interior

Many buildings also have gardens growing traditional plants using traditional methods.

Rural Homes with South Downs in Distance

The museum is located only a short distance from the Goodwood Estate in the spectacular south downs and is really only possible to reach by car (though local buses are available). There is a relatively modest entrance fee. There are very good visitor's facilities on site including cafeteria and, of course, gift shop located on the mill pond near the main entrance.

Looking Over the South Downs

When we visited it was lucky that the “Working Animal Show” was on at the same time (the entrance charge for both was the same as the fee for the museum) which was small but offered various animal displays as well as a good selection of food stalls and craft exhibits.

Working Animal Show 2018

The museum offers a lot to take in and it is recommended that a full day be devoted to it if you want to see it all. The grounds are a bit hilly so it is a bit of a trek…

 

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Please see Official Site.