All our West Sussex collections:
Despite being extensively invaded by the Romans, and more recently Londoners snapping up second homes, the county has thankfully retained plenty of its character and plenty of the best places to stay in West Sussex can be found in properties that reflect this.
The South Downs are a wooded ripple across the middle of the county, offering good walking and views to the coast, where creeks and harbours hide waterside villages and the odd ice cream van.
Classic events like horseracing and the Festival of Speed at Goodwood or the polo at Cowdray Park are tempered by simpler pleasures such as walking in woods carpeted with bluebells or having a beer in a fine country pub.
In this varied landscape, places to hang your hat are also a mixed bunch. Left over from days when folk went shrimping in Bognor for their annual escape, there is a sea of no-nonsense coastal guesthouses that do a brisk trade for the bucket-and-spade brigade.
At the other end of the scale, five-star country piles abound, where former Lords and Ladies peer from their canvas haunts at corporate types having a pow-wow or girlfriends relaxing into the fluffy robes of a spa package.
And, except for Brighton, which deserves a list all to itself, the green, pleasant countryside is where our pick of the best places to stay in West Sussex were discovered; interestingly none are by the sea.
Browse our pick of the best places to stay in West Sussex and start to plan your visit.
Arundel, West Sussex
Delightful, low-key hotel in a charming downland village in the heart of the South Downs National Park. Tranquil and not boutiquified, a gentle hideaway for lazing around.
As close as you’ll get, in a b&b, to the romance of the Orient Express. Quirky property for train lovers, just outside Petworth. Book a room on the old station or in a carriage.
Tranquil and historic manor house just an hour from London, boasting oak-panelled cosiness and fine dining. Views across the South Downs, a great escape, full of character.
Chichester, West Sussex
Charming 200 year old village inn turned popular restaurant with rooms in a quiet village close to Goodwood Park and Chichester.
Midhurst, West Sussex
A traditional family hotel with a timeless feel in the heart of the South Downs National Park. Ideal for families - tennis, pool and spa, and lovely walking on the Downs.
Sidlesham, West Sussex
Contemporary yet cosy restaurant with rooms in a charming waterside spot on the banks of Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve. Romantic escape, fine seafood, views over the salt marshes.
Midhurst, West Sussex
Historic coaching inn dating back to 1430. Traditional interiors, oak beams, and huge open fires. Antique filled rooms with contemporary comforts. Spa and award-winning restaurant.
Crawley, West Sussex
Long established country house hotel with pool, spa and fine dining close to Gatwick. Extensive parkland and gardens.
East Grinstead, West Sussex
An Elizabethan gem of timeless comforts, an exceptional garden and old fashioned hospitality. Independently owned with Michelin starred cooking.
Atmospheric mock medieval house with award winning spa set amid 30 acres of private parkland with direct access to Climping Beach.
Historic castle dating back to the 12th century. Atmospheric rooms, moat, and oak portcullis. Behind lie acres of landscaped gardens.
Classic luxury country retreat in 93 acres of parkland and woodland. Views over the South Downs, Michelin-starred restaurant, sumptuous rooms.