coastal holidays UK

Coastal Holidays in Sussex

Sussex is an historic county in the south coast of England and is an extremely popular holiday destination for the young and the young at heart. Sussex boasts fantastic countryside, excellent sea side resorts, historic towns, picturesque villages, secluded bays, sand dunes, lively marinas and ports, there is just so much to see and do. It really is the ultimate holiday destination and a fantastic place for great family fun.

Enjoy a walk on the South Downs which is one of England’s national parks, two thirds of the South Downs national park is in Sussex, from Beachy Head in the east to Hartling Down in the west. The South Downs are extremely beautiful and are very accessible for visitors, fantastic place to visit for walking, horse riding and cycling, with spectacular scenery all around you. You will discover open chalk grassland, ancient forests and lush river valleys. The South Downs extend 70 miles from west to east and 7 miles wide from north to south. There are many sports that you can take part in on The South Downs including mountain biking and paragliding. There is a walk called The South Down’s way and is extremely beautiful.

If you love nature and gardens, you must visit Sussex here you can take a gentle stroll through the bluebell woods, discover ancient royal forests, admire fabulous gardens of the Sussex Weald and many nature parks which are home to birds and wildlife, some popular gardens to visit in Sussex include Borde Hill Garden which is home to 200 acres of stunning parkland and individual themed “rooms” and old fashioned roses, Great Dixter House and Gardens which is a 15th century manor house and was home to the gardening writer Christopher Lloyd, Wakehurst place where you will discover many rare  and exotic plants, Sheffield Park an 18th century garden with 5 lakes, High Beeches a woodland and water garden and the Collector Earl’s garden at Arundel castle which is very beautiful, so too is Herstmanceux castle gardens.

When you come to Sussex you have to see the site of the Battle of Hastings, Newhaven Fort and Fairytale. Sussex is home to many historic houses, mansions, Elizabethan Manors, and you can also visit the homes of many famous writers including Rudyard Kipling and Virginia Woolf.

If you love shopping you’ll think you’re in heaven in Sussex with many fantastic shops to explore including department stores, high street shops, designer boutiques, antique shops, jewellers and shops that sell unusual items that you wouldn’t find anywhere else, there are so many fantastic places to shop including Chichester, with its mix of high street names and unusual unique shops, Arundel with its superb collection of antique shops, galleries and craft stores, Eastbourne and Hastings with their antique shops, unusual gift shops and department stores and high street names, but Brighton has to be the ultimate shoppers heaven, with 4 different shopping areas including Churchill square with its high street names and chain stores, The Lanes offers world class shopping with antiques, high quality fashions, jewellery and so much more, North Laine with many interior stores, clothes shops and specialist stores and Kempt town, with its beautiful antique shops.

Many artists have been inspired by Sussex and you will find lots of studios and galleries scattered all over Sussex including Pallant House, Eastbourne’s Towner Art Gallery, and the stunning De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill, just to mention a few.

Many festivals take part in Sussex including Brighton Festival which takes place in May, The Glyndebourne festival which takes place every May - August, Chichester festivals take place in July, the Arundel festival takes place in August and The Paramount Brighton comedy festival, and many, many more. August is a busy month for festivals in Sussex with candlelit choirs in Chichester Cathedral and classical orchestras in Goodwood House, Firework proms under the battlements of Arundel castle are all truly magnificent to see.

Sussex is home to many theatres such as Chichester festival theatre, Theatre Royal, Dome Theatre, The Pavilion Theatre, De La Warr Pavilion and The Corn exchange and many more. There are also many museums here including Amberley museum, Ditchling museum and Brighton museum and art gallery.

If you love exploring castles and stately homes there are 43 magnificent stately homes and castles in Sussex including Petworth House, Napoleonic Fort in New Haven, Bodiam castle, Uppark and Arundel castle which is England’s 2nd largest castle, Hastings and Lewes with many, many more to discover and explore.

Sussex is fantastic for family fun days out with so much to see and do including Arundel ghost experience, where you can hear spooky tales and tour old prison cells, which are said to be haunted.
Bodiam Castle is a 14th century castle with towers, battlements, moat and you get the chance to ride on the restored steam trains, on the bluebell railway.
Weald and downland open air museum an award winning family attraction with 45 historic buildings and lovely woodland walks, see working shire horses and a 17th century mill.
Harbour Park in Littlehampton which is great family fun with a 9 hole adventure golf course.
Tulleys Farm  is home to Amazing maize maize which measures 5 acres and is one of the largest in the world (fantastic family fun)
Drusillas Park in Alfriston is home to meerkats, lemurs and penguins, a fantastic day out for all the family.
Ashdown Forest Llama Park which is home to llamas, alpacas and angora goats, Seven Sisters sheep centre which is home to friendly farm animals, great family fun.

If its golden sandy beaches you’re craving then look no further than Sussex, there is over 80km of stunning coast to explore with fantastic beaches. With sheltered bays around Chichester to the white cliffs of the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head, Sussex boasts miles and miles of glorious sandy beaches and some are blue flag awarded too. Worthing, Littlehampton, Bognor Regis and Eastbourne are all fantastic, family friendly beaches with all the attractions and amusements you would expect to see in a good sea side resort, perfect for building sandcastles on the beach with the kids, swimming, relaxing on the beach while you watch the world go by, sunbathing, taking strolls along the proms and enjoying the stunning views from the piers.
 Explore the fishing harbour at Hastings and then gradually make your way along the coast to what has to be the ultimate holiday destination that’s called Brighton, with its gorgeous beach along with cafes, bistros, bars, night life, fantastic pier with so much to do, restaurants, world class shopping in the famous Lanes, there is no greater holiday destination, with everything in one place and that is suitable for all generations (just superb), West Wittering is a blue flag awarded beach and is a surfer’s paradise, with fantastic beaches and beautiful dunes at East Head, this really is the place for some serious beach action.

You have got to visit the Seven Sisters country park with 700 acres of unspoilt countryside and the peaceful lower Chuckmere valley.
Here you can travel down the award winning trail to a remote shingle beach called Chuckmere haven and this beach was very popular with smugglers in the 18th century. Here you will discover secluded bays which can only be reached either by foot or by boat.
You can also enjoy boat trips during the summer months, take a trip from Eastbourne to Beachy Head and discover the lighthouse, or why not enjoy a relaxing cruise around Chichester harbour? (just stunning)
Take a trip in the skylark from Littlehampton quay and here you can travel up the river Arun to Arundel, Amberley and discover many more fantastic places.

Sussex is fantastic for walkers and cyclists, with breathtaking views wherever you are, there are long and short distance trails all around Sussex, catering for all abilities, with many off road cycle tracks, which are very quiet, here you can cycle around country lanes in total peace and quiet, you’ll discover flat routes along the coast and for a more adventurous ride head to the South Downs.  Some great walks include The South Down’s Way which measures 160km and is suitable for horse riding, walking and cycling, you can walk from Eastbourne to Winchester, following ancient tracks across the river valleys and ridges of the South Down’s. You will experience fantastic views north over the Weald and south to the English Channel, admire saxon churches, ironage hill forts, old windmills, Georgian manors and pretty villages, as you walk by.
Other walks include The Down’s Link which is a 59km footpath and bridleway which follows disused railway lines, Wey – South path, 1066 country walks, Cuckoo trail and off cuckoo trail rides.

Sussex offers superb entertainment whatever your age and tastes, including soul divas, plays, musicals, Italian opera, boy bands for the youngsters, Russian ballet, salsa dancing, air shows, horseracing and classic motor sports just to mention a few. Live music can be enjoyed every night of the week in clubs and pubs, including Jazz, blues and rock. There are fantastic clubs and night clubs in Sussex, Brighton especially.

Fancy a flutter and a great family day out? Then you must visit one of Sussex’s many racecourses, including the very beautiful Goodwood racecourse which is said to be one of the most beautiful racecourses in the world, it is situated high on top of the South Downs with fantastic views over the Solent, Goodwood hosts world class horseracing in the months of May to October and Glorious Goodwood takes place at the end of July and is one of the highlights of the horseracing calendar, you couldn’t find a better place to enjoy the sport of kings. Fontwell park racecourse, Brighton and Plumpton are also well worth visiting for a great day out.

Goodwood’s festival of speed is a must see while you’re in Sussex and it takes place in June, it‘s a very glamorous weekend and you will see fast cars and track legends, it’s the world’s biggest classic motor sport event and here you will see some of the biggest names in sport. Watch the famous drivers from years ago track alongside current winners like Jensen Button, a fantastic day out for everyone. The Revival meeting takes place in September which celebrates the golden age of British motor sport in full 40s and 50s detail, (really entertaining)

Sussex offers superb dining, and there are many eating establishments all over this great county including fresh fish and chips, country pubs serving good honest hearty meals, bistros, cafes, restaurants serving food from all around the world, so all tastes are catered for and tea rooms, all taking advantage of the fantastic local produce (this food is made to make your mouth water)
Sussex produces 85 different local cheeses, and you must try the very famous Sussex breakfast which includes locally sourced free range eggs, locally reared sausages, bacon, butter, yoghurts and preserves and if you’re looking to wash all of that down with something why not try the Sussex apple juice? (delicious), You must also try the halloumi cheese, fish cakes and potato cakes which are all locally produced. The fresh seafood in Sussex is second to none totally superb, and you have got to taste the puddings (just divine.)

The standard of accommodation in Sussex is very high with fantastic luxury hotels that cater for your every wish you’ll be able to lose yourself in luxury, relax and recharge the batteries, self catering accommodation is fantastic with a great choice to choose from, excellent if you’re taking the whole family and maybe even the family pooch as dogs are more than welcome in many self catering cottages, holiday parks are many in Sussex which offer so much entertainment and luxury, There are also many B and Bs and guest houses here which are very beautiful and there are many caravan and camping parks if you fancy sleeping under the stars in Sussex.
Don’t forget the 2012 olympics are on their way, if you’re planning on seeing them why not stay in Sussex and make this county your base, there are fantastic transport links so you’ll be able to get into London in under an hour, this will give you a chance to explore Sussex while you visit the Olympic park.

Sussex is a very special county full of charm and character and if you’re looking for the perfect holiday destination by the sea, you really couldn’t choose a better location, the kids will love Sussex and you will love Sussex, and you’re guaranteed to come home with a gigantic smile on your face, as you remember the great times you had in this very special place.

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