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West Sussex

Photo of West Sussex

About West Sussex

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 many of the best places to stay in West Sussex can definitely be said to have plenty of character, whether you're booking into a country house hotel, B&B or holiday cottage.

West Sussex's classic calendar events, like the horse racing and Festival of Speed at Goodwood, or the polo at Cowdray Park (stay in Midhurst for Cowdray), are tempered by simpler pleasures, like walking in woods carpeted with bluebells or having a beer in a fine country pub.

What To Expect

The South Downs are a wooded ripple across the middle of the county, dominating the countryside and offering scenic landscape for walking, and views to the coast. Closer to the sea you'll find creeks and harbours, hiding waterside villages and the odd ice cream van.

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 elegant ladies relaxing in the fluffy robes of a spa package.

What Not To Miss

  • Chichester is the county's capital, a well-preserved Georgian market town with a beautiful cathedral, rows of 18th century townhouses, pleasant tea shops, and a world-renowned theatre and arts festival, which keeps it feeling lively and cosmopolitan.
  • Arundel is another of the best places to stay in West Sussex. As well as being close to the South Downs and a number of West Sussex's Roman ruins, it's also a romantic little town, full of antique shops and good restaurants and topped by a faitytale-esque castle.
  • Flying buffs will love spending a few hours at the Tangmere Military Aviation Museum, home to a truly splendid collection.
  • If you're looking for a fun family day out then head to Fishers Farm Park. Get to know the animals and learn more about them from the interactive exhibits, whilst there are also rides, a climbing wall and crazy golf.

To ensure a bed in one of the best places to stay in West Sussex, you'll need to make sure that you plan ahead. This is a very popular county, especially during the summer season, and good accommodation gets booked up well in advance. Alternatively save your visit for quieter months and come midweek, when you can savour all that West Sussex has to offer, without dealing with the crowds.

For a quick country break

  • The South Lodge Hotel near Horsham is a classic county house retreat, set in 93 acres of woods and parklands. As well as views of the grounds, South Lodge also proffers views of the South Downs. The rooms are sumptuous and the restaurant has a Michelin star.
  • Ockenden Manor is a historic manor house just an hour's drive from London. Ockenden also has winning views over the South Downs and Michelin starred cuisine.
  • Offering smart rooms in pale palettes, Willow Barns is a pleasing country B&B set in the heart of the West Sussex countryside. And, there's even a pub next door that's owned by the same couple!
  • The White Hart is a truly excellent country escape, with charming rooms featuring exposed wooden beams and tartan furnishings. Tuck into hearty dishes and relax in the evening with a tipple by the fire.
  • The Millstream Hotel boasts smart, traditional rooms in the quaint village of Bosham. Choose between two onsite restaurants and relax with a good book in the leafy gardens.

To Relax

  • The Bailiffscourt Hotel & Spa is a mid sized hotel converted from a very realistic mock-medieval house set in 30 acres of private parkland, just a short stroll from Climping Beach. The spa is award-winning.
  • The Park House Hotel is a family run hotel with a timeless feel in the heart of the South Downs National Park. Superb facilities for all including a top-notch spa, indoor and outdoor pools, and a tennis court. Ideal location for Cowdray Park, the Roman villas at Fishbourne and Bignor, plus Chichester Cathedral and plenty of stately homes.
  • The Alexander House and Utopia Spa has earned a reputation as a great pampering escape. The award-winning spa has Grecian style interiors and twenty five treatment rooms.

The best traditional pubs and inns

  • The Royal Oak is a revamped village inn, now a very popular restaurant with rooms. An ideal base for Glorious Goodwood or Chichester.
  • The Angel is a coaching inn in the centre of Midhurst which dates back to Elizabethan times. This is a great spot for walkers or for exploring Petworth, Arundel and Chichester.
  • The Crab and Lobster is a contemporary, yet cosy, restaurant with rooms in a charming waterside spot on the banks of Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve. The food is great and there are fine views of the salt marshes.
  • Offering three cosy rooms, The Horse Guards Inn is an intimate spot for a relaxing retreat. Lovely food served up and plenty of great surrounding walking trails.
  • Set in a former farmhouse, Old House Inn offer spacious and surprisingly contemporary accommodation in white. Enjoy a Full English breakfast each morning included in the room rate!
  • The Swan Hotel, Arundel is a charming inn located in the heart of town. Boasts tastefully decorated rooms in light palettes and a cosy pub downstairs.
  • The Halfway Bridge is a cosy inn with top-notch pub grub. The rooms exude character, with chic furnishings and exposed wooden beams, whilst there's also an atmospheric lounge with a roaring log fire to come back to after a day out.
  • The White Horse has been superbly restored to offer contemporary B&B accommodation as well as AA Rosette standard cuisine. A top spot.
  • Located in the market town of Midhurst, Spread Eagle Hotel And Spa is a characterful inn with four-posters, a top-notch restaurant and a spa.

For something special

  • Amberley Castle near Arundel is a historic, 12th Century castle, complete with a moat and portcullis. As well as 19 atmospheric rooms, the castle also has acres of landscaped gardens.
  • Gravetye Manor is an Elizabethan gem known for its old fashioned hospitality and exceptional garden. Once the home of garden pioneer, William Robinson, this is now one of the last of the great, unchanged English county house hotels, with a private, caring owner. This is also a perfect base for Glyndebourne.
  • The Goodwood Hotel is a spoiling stay - offering stylish contemporary accommodation as well as boasting two golf courses, a spa and a range of award-winning eateries.

For In Town

  • If you fancy getting to know Chichester then the Harbour Hotel is an ideal choice. The rooms are tasteful and stylish, featuring the odd splash of colour, and you're just minutes from the town's attractions.

    For An Apartment Or Cottage

    If you want a little home from home, why not rent a holiday cottage or apartment? For a great selection, we recommend you visit our online partner Booking.com.

    Travel Information

    • West Sussex is nicest weather-wise in the summer months, with the average daily temperature rising to 17°C in July and August.
    • This however is peak season, so for a quieter alternative consider coming in May, September or October.
    • Visitors can fly into Gatwick Airport before taking the bus or train on to their final destination.
    • For car hire prices, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.

        Still not sure?

        Best Hotels in West Sussex

        • Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa 57 rooms from $261

          Crawley, West Sussex

          Boutique country house hotel, set in 120 acres of parkland. Recently refurbished rooms are generously proportioned and sinfully luxurious. Enjoy the fine dining options and champagne bar. Spoiling facilities include spa and pool. Slip back to a simpler time where your day stops for afternoon tea.

          Total relaxation  -  This is truly a place to let go of it all, an oasis of luxorious suites, spa treatments, fine dining and picturesque grounds.
          Romantic Break  -  Inject a little romance into your weekend with two person tubs, enormous suites, tandem massages and candlelite dinners.
          Great walks  -  Take a stroll around the 120 acre parklands and manicured gardens that surrround the property.
          Spa  -  Award winning spa with wide range of treatments.
          Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels, Tablet, Johansens
          Check prices
        • Ockenden Manor 28 rooms from $233

          Cuckfield, West Sussex

          This tranquil and historic manor house is just an hour from London, with lovely gardens, indoor and outdoor pool and Michelin star fine dining. Rooms exude comfort and style. Relax at the spa, explore the South Downs or sit with your favourite drink on the terrace. A beautiful mini-break location.

          Foodies  -  The creative cuisine of Head Chef Stephen Crane has earned them a Michelin-Star, check out the seven-course Tasting Menu.
          Country Escape  -  Submerge yourself in this country house hotel, with every whim and comfort taken care of there is no need to leave.
          Great walks  -  This area boasts plenty of picturesque walks, ask your hosts to point out a few choice trails to follow.
          Views  -  To the South Downs
          Recommended by  -  Johansens
          Check prices
        • Park House Hotel 21 rooms from $208

          Midhurst, West Sussex

          A timeless family hotel, in the heart of the South Downs National Park. Classically styled rooms brim with old school elegance and comfort. The popular restaurant serves locally sourced wholesome cuisine. A unique spot, complete with grass tennis courts, golf course, two pools and spa.

          Country Escape  -  The hotel grounds boasts a croquet lawn, golf course, grass tennis courts and the surrounding hills beckoning for country walks.
          Total relaxation  -  With spa treatments, indoor and outdoor pool, sauna and steam room plus a terraced bar for whiling away the afternoon.
          Sights nearby  -  Roman villas at Fishbourne and Bignor, plus Chichester Cathedral and plenty of stately homes close at hand.
          Great walks  -  The hotel provides wellies for exploring the South Downs rolling into the distance.
          Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Johansens, Sawdays
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        • Crab and Lobster 4 rooms from $208

          Sidlesham, West Sussex

          Contemporary waterside 16th Century Inn on the banks of Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve. Chic rooms ooze elegance and simple country charm. Enjoy a menu centered around locally landed fish and locally reared meats. A truly romantic escape in Dorset with views over the salt marshes.

          Foodies  -  Wonderfully falvoursome cuisine, with seafood from the local fisherman, meat from the local farms and honey from the neighbours!
          Country Escape  -  An ideal country escape, with plush rooms, mouthwatering cuisine, roaring fires in the cosy bar and plenty of local walking.
          Great walks  -  Burn off some calories between lunch and dinner with an afternoon stroll on West Wittering's pebbly beach.
          Birdwatching  -  Binoculars and a telescope are provided for spotting local birds and animals.
          Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
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        • Amberley Castle 19 rooms from $410

          Nr Arundel, West Sussex

          Historic castle dating back to the 12th century. Atmospheric rooms, moat, and oak portcullis. Behind lie acres of landscaped gardens.

          Four poster beds  -  For romantics.
          Romantic  -  Good for couples.
          Traditional
          Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Frommers, Kiwi Collection, Relais & Chateaux, Michelin Travel
          Check prices
        • Gravetye Manor 17 rooms from $339

          East Grinstead, West Sussex

          An Elizabethan gem of timeless comforts, with fine wood panelled bedrooms, four poster beds and an exceptional garden. Old fashioned hospitality with modern standards. Independently owned with Michelin starred cooking and lots of outdoor activities.

          Romantic Break  -  Grand period country house - utterly charming for a couple's getaway
          Foodies  -  The restaurant holds one Michelin star
          Fishing  -  Boasts a 3 acre lake for fly fishing
          Great walks  -  A range of wonderful local walks
          Recommended by  -  Johansens, Relais & Chateaux
          Check prices
        • The Swan Hotel, Arundel 14 rooms from $159

          Arundel, West Sussex

          Charming local inn boasting a prime location within the charming market town of Arundel. Rooms are decorated in palettes of cream with thick woollen throws, period sash windows and large roll top baths. Downstairs there is a cosy pub with restaurant serving seasonal dishes. A charming stay.

          Local exploring  -  Right in the heart of Arundel you are walking distance from the Castle, Cathedral and river
          Great walks  -  Along the banks of the river to the local favourite, The Black Rabbit
          Sights nearby  -  Arundel Castle and Cathedral are must visits
          Sailing  -  A boat trip along the river Arun
          Check prices
        • The Halfway Bridge 6 rooms from $182

          Petworth, West Sussex

          Cosy inn with comfortable rooms serving superior pub grub and a warm atmosphere Ideal for couples exploring the Sussex countryside and groups wanting a good spot for a gathering.

          Local markets  -  The old market town of Petworth with its independant boutiques, cafes and antique shops is great for local exploring.
          Sailing  -  The seaside towns of Bogner Regis and Worthing are great for maritime activities.
          Great walks  -  The walking trails of the South Downs are accessible directly from the property.
          Sights nearby  -  The impressive Petworth House is just five minutes away and well worth a visit.
          Recommended by  -  Sawdays
          Check prices
        • Spread Eagle Hotel And Spa 39 rooms from $247

          Midhurst, West Sussex

          Handsome characterful medieval inn with four-poster beds, gourmet restaurant and contemporary spa in the pretty Sussex market town of Midhurst. History lovers and romantics will enjoy a weekend visit or mini break.

          Swimming Pool  -  Indoor Pool
          Four poster beds  -  For romantics.
          Full of character
          Traditional
          Recommended by  -  Frommers, Johansens
          Check prices
        • The White Horse 15 rooms from $195

          Chilgrove, West Sussex

          Charming and cosy, AA 5 star silver ‘restaurant with rooms’ offering delicious food and contemporary B&B rooms with roll top copper baths and four-poster kingsize beds. Extra details set this apart from other B&B pubs. Suitable for walkers, families and couples.

          Country Escape  -  Private cottage style rooms with lovely views of the green rolling hills at this country chic hotel.
          Local exploring  -  In the heart of the Sussex countryside, a good place to base yourselves to explore the area.
          Foodies  -  Known for its exquisite restaurant serving British cuisine, awarded 1 AA Rosette.
          Great walks  -  Ramble in the South Downs. There are miles of paths for walkers of all abilities
          Recommended by  -  Sawdays, Good Hotel Guide
          Check prices
        • The Angel, West Sussex 15 rooms from $168

          Midhurst, West Sussex

          Venerable Georgian coaching inn at the centre of lovely Midhurst. Recently refurbished white washed rooms with exposed beams and antique furniture. Some have spectacular views. Inventive cooking, private dining and lively bar. Dripping with history and well placed to explore the local area.

          Hideaway  -  A charming retreat, within easy reach of the South Downs, boasting beautiful antique furnishings and excellent cuisine.
          Sights nearby  -  Explore the nearby sights of Petworth House, Arundel Castle and Chichester.
          Great walks  -  Explore the miles of walking trials on the stunning South Downs.
          Traditional
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        • Chichester Harbour Hotel 36 rooms from $158

          Chichester (West Sussex)

          A chic boutique hotel set in the heart of the pretty Georgian city of Chichester. Find contemporary rooms, a lively bar and fantastic restaurant. An underground spa is utterly spoiling and the central location gives easy access to the city's shops. The perfect spot for a city break.

          City Style  -  A chic hotel in the heart of Chichester offering fantastic food and easy access to the city.
          Great walks  -  Spend a day exploring the picturesque South Down’s countryside.
          Sights nearby  -  Visit the medieval cathedral located at the heart of the city.
          Romantic  -  Good for couples.
          Check prices
        • The Welldiggers Arms 14 rooms from $104

          West Sussex

          The Welldiggers Arms offers 4* accommodation in the rural town of Petworth. ~The fourteen rooms are country chic in style - featuring plenty of muted tones and contemporary furnishings. Excellent food with a regularly changing seasonal menu. A cosy, smart and unassuming country getaway!

          Birdwatching  -  The Pulborough Brooks RSPB Nature Reserve is located just 5 miles away from The Welldiggers Arms
          Great walks  -  Make the most out of your location to spend your days hiking around the area
          Sights nearby  -  Go visit Arundel Castle, Arundel Cathedral or Amberley Castle
          Local markets  -  be sure to check out Petworth Farmers Market
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        • The Horse Guards Inn 3 rooms from $111

          Tillington, Petworth,, West Sussex

          On the outskirts of a 700-acre Petworth House, this wonderful homely inn is worth a detour just to experience its charm. Friendly staff, delicious food and a cosy atmosphere make for a thoroughly enjoyable stay - for families, couples and lone escapees.

          Country Escape  -  Located within the picturesque grounds of Petworth Estate this is a true country getaway
          Sights nearby  -  Visit the charming National Trust property of Petworth House
          Great walks  -  The South Downs boasts plenty of walking paths
          Quirky  -  An experience!
          Recommended by  -  Sawdays
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        • Bailiffscourt Hotel & Spa 39 rooms from $442

          Climping, West Sussex

          Atmospheric mock medieval house with award winning spa set amid 30 acres of private parkland with direct beach access. Large rooms feature high beamed ceilings, antique four poster beds and luxury bathrooms. Dine in equally sumptuous surrounds. Well positioned from London as a weekend get away.

          Romantic Break  -  Lovely spa with a wide range of treatments, couples side by side bath tubs and a wonderfully secluded feel.
          Country Escape  -  Cosy and luxurious interiors beckon you home from a day exploring the thirty acres of private parkland.
          Great walks  -  Enjoy lovely coastal walks directly from the property, or explore the Norman chapel on the grounds.
          Sights nearby  -  Visit Arundel Castle and try your hand at jousting.
          Recommended by  -  Johansens, Tablet
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        • The White Hart 7 rooms from $168

          South Harting, West Sussex

          Comfortable contemporary pitstop close to the South Downs for couples, families and cyclists. A charming and quirky village inn, popular amongst locals and travellers alike. Rooms feature colourful tartans, exposed beams and modern bathrooms. Roaring fires and hearty meals create a cosy feel.

          Country Escape  -  Nothing completes a trip to the country like a stay in a quintessentially English village inn!
          Foodies  -  Hearty meals served elegantly - foodies will love
          Sights nearby  -  Fishbourne Roman Palace and Gardens in nearby Chichester is a must visit
          Local markets  -  The historic market towns of Petworth and Midhurst are simply charming
          Check prices
        • Harbour Hotel 37 rooms from $169

          Chichester, West Sussex

          Good destination for couples and theatregoers who appreciate grown up elegance from which to explore the charming town and surrounding area. Also caters for guests who are visiting on business and has good provisions for families.

          Sights nearby  -  Norman built Chichester Cathedral and Chichester Castle are both within five minutes walk.
          Check prices
        • The Millstream Hotel 35 rooms from $207

          Chichester, West Sussex

          Located in the quaint village of Bosham this hotel stronghold has been in the same family for almost 40 years. Rooms are decorated in a classic style, with traditional floral prints and built in wardrobes. There are leafy gardens with pond to explore, two restaurants and an excellent wine list.

          Sights nearby  -  The historic buildings of Petworth House and Arundel Castle and Cathedral are close by.
          Great walks  -  From the Bosham Walk to the lengthy South Downs Way there are routes for every rambler.
          Sailing  -  From the quirkily named Smuggler's Lane take the ferry to tchenor
          Traditional
          Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide
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        • South Lodge Hotel 89 rooms from $410

          Nr Horsham, West Sussex

          Classic luxury country retreat in 93 acres of parkland and woodland. Views over the South Downs, Michelin-starred restaurant, sumptuous rooms.

          Private Hot Tub  -  Book the Godman or Farriers Suite for your own private terrace with hot tub
          Four poster beds  -  For romantics.
          Views  -  Great views from hotel
          Traditional
          Recommended by  -  Johansens, Small Luxury Hotels
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        • The Barn at Roundhurst 6 rooms from $128

          Lurgashall, West Sussex

          The Barn at Roundhurst is located in the rolling West Sussex countryside, just outside Haslemere. The charming 17th century barn complex features exposed wooden beams, white walls and chic furnishings. Delicious breakfasts made with produce straight from the farm. A stylish, relaxed adult getaway.

          Great walks  -  The South Downs National Park is full of plenty of wonderful walking trails
          Birdwatching  -  Spend a day at Pulborough Brooks RSPB Nature Reserve
          Sights nearby  -  Head off to visit Amberley Castle or Farnham Castle
          Full of character
          Recommended by  -  I Escape
          Check prices
        • Old House Inn 6 rooms from $143

          Copthorne, West Sussex

          A former farm house turned gourmet pub this delightful property is just a short drive from Gatwick airport. Spacious rooms feature design quirks and modern bathrooms with a retro twist. Dining is beautifully presented - plus a Full English is included in the room rate.

          Foodies  -  AA Rosette awarded and a fine wine list
          Sights nearby  -  The 16th century Wakehurst Place is just a short drive away
          Great walks  -  The South Downs has plenty of walking paths
          Full of character
          Check prices
        • Willow Barns 6 rooms from $143

          Petworth, West Sussex

          This collection of barns has been lovingly converted by Amanda and William, who have recently purchased the next door pub, into a delightful country B&B. Bright rooms enjoying countryside views are decorated in pale palettes, wrought iron beds, sumptuous quilts and bathrooms with roll top baths.

          Country Escape  -  In the heart of the Sussex countryside, with many cycling and bridle paths on your doorstep.
          Great walks  -  Petworth to the historic market town of Pulborough is a popular walking route, amongst many others.
          Sights nearby  -  The historic town of Arundel with its impressive castle and cathedral is a short drive away.
          Birdwatching  -  The Arundel Wetland Centre has a bounty of bird and animal life for nature lovers.
          Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide
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        • The Goodwood Hotel 91 rooms from $208

          Chichester, West Sussex

          An elegant country retreat on the Goodwood Estate. Two golf courses, a spa health club and a choice of restaurants make this hotel an ideal weekend getaway. Bedrooms are smartly decorated, many with private sitting rooms and patio terraces.

          Great walks  -  Stroll around the Goodwood Estate or explore the South Downs way
          Sights nearby  -  Just outside Chichester
          Swimming Pool  -  Heated indoor pool
          Spa
          Check prices
        • Royal Oak 8 rooms from $202

          Chichester, West Sussex

          Charming 200 year old village inn turned popular restaurant with rooms in a quiet village. Cosy rooms with delicate pretty wallpaper and beamed ceilings. Downstairs a small bar pulls a good pint but the restaurant is the real showstopper. A lovely country escape.

          Country Escape  -  Ideally placed for country pursuits such as rambling, fishing and shooting, with hearty food and cosy interiors to return to.
          Foodies  -  Feast at the award winning restaurant, serving fresh, local and totally seasonal produce- a fine example of British cooking.
          Great walks  -  Bring your wellies and a packed lunch from the hotel and head out to explore the stunning landscape of the South Downs.
          Sights nearby  -  Explore the nearby Kingley Vale, home to one of Europe's most impressive and oldest yew forests.
          Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
          Check prices