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The 19 Best Hotels in the South Downs

South DownsImage by Stephanie Ferkl from

The South Downs is an expansive range of chalky hills running along the South Eastern coast from Hampshire to East Sussex. Both scenic and easily accessible from London - this makes for an easy rural escape. Pretty villages with characterful pubs, stately homes, and castles can all be found in the region. There's an excellent choice of accommodation too. From family-friendly stays to elegant country houses or hotels complete with a spa. Whether you are looking to book a couples' escape or a rambling holiday with friends, our Hotel Gurus have got you covered in their comprehensive list of the best hotels in the South Downs.

For a country house hotel

Flint Barns at Rathfinny Estate

  • Park House Hotel is a timeless family hotel, in the heart of the South Downs National Park in West Sussex. Classically styled rooms brim with old school elegance. The popular restaurant serves locally sourced cuisine. A unique spot, complete with grass tennis courts, golf course, two pools and spa.
  • Flint Barns at Rathfinny Estate is a chic rural retreat situated on a stunning South Downs vineyard, between Brighton and Eastbourne. Beautifully styled interiors perfectly mix the building's traditional features with simple modern style. With plenty of activities in the area, this is the perfect rural escape.
  • Wingrove House is an impeccably designed boutique country house set right on the South Downs Way in East Sussex. Spacious, simply furnished rooms are elegant and done with soft hues. A cosy restaurant provides excellent modern British fare and drinks are served in the fire-lit lounge.

For a pub

The White Hart

  • The White Hart is a comfortable pitstop close to the South Downs for couples, families and cyclists. A charming and quirky West Sussex village inn, popular amongst locals and travellers alike. Expect the traditional roaring fires and hearty meals. A cosy stay.
  • The Welldiggers Arms offers 4* accommodation in the rural town of Petworth. The fourteen rooms are country chic in style. Excellent food with a regularly changing seasonal menu. A cosy, smart and unassuming country getaway.
  • The Swan Hotel, Arundel, is a charming local inn boasting a prime location within the 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 a restaurant serving seasonal dishes.
  • The Angel is a venerable Georgian coaching inn at the centre of lovely Midhurst. Rooms are recently refurbished and rural chic in style. Enjoy the inventive cooking and lively bar. Dripping with history and well placed to explore the local area.
  • The Angel Inn in Petworth is a picturesque inn offering quaint rooms with traditional features. Groups can hire neighbouring Hyde House, a stately Georgian-era gem. The inn's restaurant offers a fresh, seasonal menu - an idyllic escape to the country.
  • A smart 16th century pub with rooms, The Bull in East Sussex has long been a firm favourite for locals and travellers alike. Lively and vibrant, it features six chic bedrooms, an excellent restaurant and beer from their own brewery.

For foodies

Royal Oak

  • The Royal Oak is a 200 year old village inn turned popular restaurant with rooms in a quiet village, just north of Chichester. 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.

For a pet friendly stay

Langrish House

  • Langrish House is a quintessentially British country house hotel just outside Petersfield. A stunning 17th century property set in mature gardens and featuring a gourmet restaurant and atmospheric bar set in the vaults. A dog-friendly stay, perfect for a weekend escape.
  • The White Horse is a charming and cosy, AA 5 star silver ‘restaurant with rooms’ offering delicious food and contemporary rooms with roll-top copper baths and four-poster kingsize beds in Chilgrove, West Sussex. A pet-friendly stay, this is ideal for walkers travelling with their four-legged friends!

For a spa

The Goodwood Hotel

  • The Goodwood Hotel is an elegant country retreat on the Goodwood Estate, just outside Chichester. Two golf courses, a spa health club and a choice of restaurants make this hotel an ideal rejuvenating getaway. Bedrooms are smartly decorated, many with private sitting rooms and patio terraces.
  • The Spread Eagle Hotel & Spa is a 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.

For a stately home

Amberley Castle

  • Amberley Castle offers an historic stay amidst the English countryside, with fine dining to boot. You can expect atmospheric rooms, moat, and oak portcullis, not to mention a resident peacock, acres of manicured grounds, and several suits of armour. Enormous beds and sink into sofas ensure rooms are made for lingering.
  • West Dean College B&B is an historic country house set in acres of manicured gardens and parkland just outside Chichester. Expect elegant reception rooms, indulgent breakfasts, quiet surrounds and plenty to explore locally.

For families

Duck Lodge

  • Duck Lodge B&B is a charming, luxury log-cabin style accommodation that sleeps 4 guests. The bedroom is pretty and comfortable with fresh white linens. A hot tub is available for use. Provisions are provided for a Continental Breakfast. A great choice for a small family.
  • Blue Door Barns offers accommodation in converted barns in the Sussex countryside. Guestrooms are homely, with cosy throws and vintage-style furnishings; book the lodge for family-sized living space. Unwind with a massage before getting a barbecue going in the garden!

Still not sure where to book?

  • You could browse through our list of all the best places to stay in East Sussex or the best places to stay in Hampshire.
  • Alternatively, you could search our top picks of the best hotels in the New Forest or the best hotels for a quick country escape (from London).
  • Or you could contact one of our friendly Gurus for personalised advice.
    • Langrish House Petersfield, Hampshire 13 rooms from £119

      Great walks  -  Situated in the heart of the South Downs National Park
      Sights nearby  -  There are plenty of country houses, gardens and charming towns and villages to explore close by.
      Birdwatching  -  There are a wide variety of species to be spotted in the grounds and surrounding area.
      Views  -  All rooms have lovely views over the grounds
      RestaurantGardenPet friendlyViews

      A quintessentially British country house hotel just outside Petersfield. Langrish is a stunning 17th century property with individually styled, chintzy, traditional rooms, a gourmet restaurant and atmospheric bar set in the Vaults. Perfect for a weekend escape & a great base for exploring Hampshire. See More

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    • Park House Hotel Midhurst (West Sussex) 21 rooms from £160

      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.
      TennisSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsParkingNo pets
      Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays

      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. See More

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    • The White Hart, West Sussex South Harting, West Sussex 7 rooms from £129

      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
      RestaurantGardenPet friendlyParking

      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. See More

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    • The Welldiggers Arms Petworth 14 rooms from £80

      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
      Short break  -  Located just 22 miles away from Gatwick Airport
      RestaurantPet friendlyDisabled accessParking

      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! See More

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    • The Swan Hotel, Arundel Arundel, West Sussex 14 rooms from £122

      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
      RestaurantPet friendlyParking

      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. See More

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    • The Angel, West Sussex Midhurst, West Sussex 15 rooms from £129

      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
      RestaurantPet friendlyDisabled accessViewsParking

      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. See More

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    • The Angel Inn Petworth 7 rooms from £130

      Back to Nature  -  Set in the breathtaking South Downs National Park, this is a great starting point to explore the natural landscape
      Families  -  There are lots of activities for families in the area, from cycling and hiking to horse riding
      Country Escape  -  Situated in a quiet village, this inn makes for a perfect country getaway
      Sights nearby  -  Visit Petworth House, a 17th-century listed country house, just five minutes' walk from the inn
      RestaurantGardenPet friendly

      A picturesque inn located in the South Downs National Park. Charming rooms have traditional features, from exposed beams to original fireplaces. Groups can hire neighbouring Hyde House, a stately Georgian-era gem. The inn's restaurant offers a fresh, seasonal menu; an idyllic escape to the country. See More

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    • Royal Oak Chichester, West Sussex 8 rooms from £155

      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.
      RestaurantGardenParking
      Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays

      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. See More

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    • The Goodwood Hotel Chichester, West Sussex 91 rooms from £160

      Restaurant  -  Award wining food with many ingredients produced on the Goodwood estate.
      Great walks  -  Stroll around the Goodwood Estate or explore the South Downs way
      Sights nearby  -  Just outside Chichester
      Tennis  -  Tennis Court on site
      TennisSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessParking

      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. See More

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    • Amberley Castle Nr Arundel, West Sussex 19 rooms from £315

      Foodies  -  Award-winning dining, Amberley Castle serves a superb wine-pairing menu
      Country Escape  -  You'd struggle to find a more quintessentially English country stay
      Local markets  -  The charming village of Amberley is just a few minutes walk and has a pub, potters, tea shop, and a few small shops
      Sights nearby  -  Take a drive through to the nearby market town of Arundel, with its formidable castle and cathedral
      TennisRestaurantGarden
      Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Frommers, Kiwi Collection, Relais & Chateaux, Michelin Travel

      A historic stay amidst the English countryside, with fine dining to boot. Atmospheric rooms, moat, and oak portcullis, not to mention a resident peacock, acres of manicured grounds, and several suits of armour. Enormous beds and sink into sofas ensure rooms are made for lingering. See More

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    • Duck Lodge B&B Pyecombe, West Sussex 1 rooms from £140

      Romantic Break  -  A romantic, private and secluded property, perfect for just a couple.
      Sights nearby  -  Nearby Brighton has many great sights as well as a beach.
      Great walks  -  Explore the South Downs National Park.
      Hideaway  -  Tranquil and intimate.
      GardenParking

      Charming, luxury log-cabin style accommodation that sleeps 4 guests. The bedroom is pretty and comfortable with fresh white linens. A hot tub is available for use. Provisions are provided for a Continental Breakfast. Great location in the South Downs National Park. See More

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    • The Bull, East Sussex East Sussex 6 rooms from £120

      Local exploring  -  A great launchpad from which to explore East Sussex including nearby Brighton.
      Great walks  -  Drive to the nearby coastline and go for lovely walks along the beaches and headlands.
      Sights nearby  -  Go into Brighton for the day and explore Britain's most famous seaside town.
      Restaurant  -  Recommended.
      RestaurantGardenParkingNo pets

      A smart 16th century pub with rooms, The Bull has long been a firm favourite for locals and travellers alike. Lively and vibrant, it features six chic bedrooms, an excellent restaurant and beer from their own brewery. The Bull is a great option for people looking to explore East Sussex. See More

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    • Blue Door Barns Lewes BN8 6JY, East Sussex 4 rooms from £96

      Local exploring  -  The hotel is in a great location for exploring the sea and the South Downs, as well as being close to the buzz of Brighton
      Country Escape  -  Located in a tranquil setting in the Sussex countryside, this hotel makes a great escape from the city
      Families  -  Book a self-catering lodge for great living space for all the family
      Sights nearby  -  Visit the charming market town of Lewes, nearby Glyndebourne or Brighton, all within easy distance of the hotel
      SpaPet friendly
      Recommended by  -  I Escape

      This cottage hotel offers accommodation in converted barns in the Sussex countryside. Guestrooms are homely, with cosy throws and vintage-style furnishings; book the lodge for family-sized living space. Unwind with a massage before getting a barbecue going in the garden; an inviting country escape. See More

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    • Flint Barns at Rathfinny Estate East Sussex 10 rooms from £100

      Country Escape  -  Expect all you could want from a country escape including great walks, cosy accomodation and a warm welcome.
      Great walks  -  The property lies just a short stroll from the beautiful South Downs Way.
      Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
      Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
      GardenPet friendlyViewsParking
      Recommended by  -  Sawdays

      A contemporary retreat situated on a stunning South Downs vineyard. The handful of rooms vary in size but all are cleanly designed with exposed stone sitting against white washed walls, cast iron beds and crisp white linen. With plenty of activities in the area this is the perfect rural escape. See More

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    • Wingrove House Alfriston, East Sussex 12 rooms from £110

      Country Escape  -  Close to London find a luxury country house complete with excellent food, roaring fires and fabulous walks.
      Great walks  -  Find miles of walking trails through Cuckmere and the glorious South Downs.
      Restrictions on children  -  Adult only
      Romantic  -  Good for couples.
      RestaurantGardenParkingNo pets
      Recommended by  -  Sawdays

      An impeccably designed boutique country house set right on the South Downs Way. Simply furnished rooms are elegant and spacious with soft hues, chandeliers and contemporary bathrooms. A cosy restaurant serves up excellent modern British fare and drinks are served in the fire lit lounge See More

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    • West Dean College B&B Chichester, West Sussex from £75

      Country Escape  -  An impressive country house set in 6,400 acres of countryside.
      Great walks  -  The surrounding South Downs offer miles of scenic walking tracks.
      Sights nearby  -  Visit the stunning Chichester Cathedral.
      Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
      Swimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

      An historic country house set in acres of manicured gardens and parkland just outside Chichester. Traditionally dressed rooms feature warm hues, large artworks, high ceilings and sash windows. Expect elegant reception rooms, indulgent breakfasts, quiet surrounds and plenty to explore locally. See More

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Written by Katie Harris

posted Monday, 19th July 2021