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According to the Met Office, West Sussex is officially the sunniest county in the UK when looking at records over the last 29 years, which makes exploring the miles of protected countryside even more of a pleasure. With beautiful national trails, charming villages, historic castles and action-packed outdoor activities, it’s no surprise that West Sussex is a popular place to live, not just for families but young professionals as well due to its strong connections to urban centres and London.
The residential sales team in Strutt & Parker’s Horsham and Chichester offices sell a wide-range of properties across West Sussex, from country houses and peaceful thatched cottages through to modern family homes and new builds.
The great outdoors is very much at the heart of everything which makes West Sussex such a fantastic county. From a sweeping coastline to a glorious National Park, outdoor activities are in abundance, leaving you no excuse not to get outside and explore.
South Downs National Park
One of West Sussex’s most famed attractions, the South Downs National Park is an impressive 1,600km sq of beautiful views, terrific hiking and bike trails with a rich array of wildlife and vibrant market towns ready to welcome you on your travels. Located towards the south of the country, and spanning the full width of it, there is a never-ending array of activities to entertain visitors of all ages, from small children to experienced and adventurous walkers and riders.
West Sussex has several charming beaches and seaside towns which appeal to visitors all year round. Famed for is ‘long hours of sunshine’, Bognor Regis is an historic destination for beach seekers looking to experience a traditional seaside town. For those wanting a quieter time, the largely unspoilt West Wittering beach provides brilliant views of nearby Chichester Harbour, whilst the award winning sandy beach of Littlehampton is home to the popular theme park, Harbour Park – making it a big appeal to families.
Fantastic Food & Brilliant Beer
From rustic comfort-dining at the beautiful Devil’s Dyke pub after exploring South Downs National Park, to some of the best fish and chips you’ll taste in this part of the country, hungry diners are spoilt for choice in West Sussex and are lucky to taste some of the freshest local produce around.
The county is also fiercely proud of its local beer; brilliant breweries Dark Star, Hepworth, Langham and Arundel all supply to the area and there are also regular beer festivals held throughout the county.
Golf and sailing
West Sussex is also known for its fantastic selection of sailing clubs, most notable of which includes Itchenors Sailing club which can be found in the calm waters of Chichester Harbour. Other options include the Sussex Yacht Club in Shoreham and the Worthing Sailing Club.
Due to the vast amount of green open space in the county, West Sussex is a golfer’s haven with a number of quality clubs, courses and driving ranges for anyone keen to swing away a leisurely afternoon with well-known establishments including West Sussex Golf Club and the exclusive Rye Golf Club.
Welcoming market towns
Whether it’s the ancient streets of Steyning or historic high street of East Grinstead, there’s something special about visiting the various attractive towns which West Sussex has to offer. The small town of Midhurst has been voted one of the best places to live in the country on several occasions; with an array of intriguing independent shops, the ruins of Cowdray Castle and easy access to South Downs National Park, it’s not hard to understand why.
Arundel Castle & Gardens
A jaw-dropping medieval piece of history, Arundel Castle , first established in 1067 and since restored and remodelled, has acted as the home to the family of the Duke of Norfolk for over 400 years. The hilly picture postcard town of Arundel sits close by; scattered with eye-catching Victorian architecture and attractive eateries, it provides the perfect stop-off point for a day’s walk in the breath-taking area. Arundel Castle and the lavish gardens are open all year-round with events taking place regularly.
The Weald & Downland Open Air Museum
In the backdrop of the beautiful countryside sit fifty historic buildings which give visitors an insight the lives of the past. From cooking demonstrations in a traditional Tudor kitchen, to the life of a blacksmith at a Victorian smithy, the museum has an abundance of events and attractions for people of all ages and makes for a great day out.
The Goodwood Festival of Speed
A very popular annual event, the Goodwood Festival of Speed is a family-friendly weekend of fast cars, food and entertainment. Highlights include the mainstage event of a hillclimb, soapbox challenges, supercar runs and airshows. The festival itself usually takes part in late June or early July so that it doesn’t clash with the Formula 1 season and takes in more than 100,000 people on each of the three days it runs.
Defined by its stunning castle set high on a hill and beautiful river, Arundel is a picture-perfect town that is characterised by its gorgeous Victorian and Georgian houses. Well-known within artistic circles and lovers of interesting independent shops, visitors and residents alike can enjoy the unique architecture, shopping and calm atmosphere of this relaxed and pretty location.
Rich in history and a cornerstone of the county, Chichester is one of the best-preserved Georgian cities in the UK. Today, it is the administrative capital of West Sussex and has a great balance of dynamic high-street shopping and historical scenery. With the Chichester Canal and Harbour, visitors and residents alike have plenty of opportunity to relax and enjoy their time within the tranquil cathedral city.
Located in the upper areas of the River Arun, Horsham is an old market town that has managed to develop whilst retaining its historic roots. With such a mixture of the new and old, Horsham is a popular area for both visitors and residents and is just a stone’s throw from Gatwick airport. Alongside fantastic shopping, other highlights include the famed Causeway (rumoured to have its own ghost), Horsham Park and the Horsham museum.
Also known as Shoreham, this pleasant port town is bordered by South Downs, Adur Valley and Shoreham beach. Although it might not be as picturesque as some areas, its charm lies in the atmosphere of the busy port, with boats coming and going all day long. Visitors can explore the resident fort, known as the Shoreham Redoubt and Shoreham Beach, a huge shingle bank that stretches for miles.
As the largest town in West Sussex, Worthing has a strong tourism industry thanks to its rich history and ongoing development. With beachfront properties stretching far inland, Worthing is a popular place to live due to its proximity to both the South Downs and the English Channel. Whilst Brighton is best known for its lively party atmosphere, Worthing is calmer but still every bit as enjoyable.
West Sussex is well known for its selection of high quality educational facilities, some of which are the best in the United Kingdom. Catering for all ages, parents have plenty of choice from a range of esteemed private and state schools.
There are 401 schools in West Sussex, including 75 independent schools – boys’, girls’ and co-ed – and some fantastic state schools; this is one of the main attractions for families moving to the area.
With some of the best league table results for miles around, notable primary schools in the area include Albourne CofE Primary School in the town of Hassocks, Aldingale Primary School in Chichester and the popular All Saints CofE Primary School in Horsham.
For children aged between 11-16, West Sussex has a selection of high-performing schools which include The Academy in Chichester, Angmering School in Littlehampton and Adringly College in Haywards Heath.
Leading senior schools include Burgess Hill School for girls, Brighton College, Ardingly College, Lancing College and Hurstpierpoint College.
For a more comprehensive list of schools in the area we recommend the Good Schools Guide.
There is a wealth of rail options available to commuters who are travelling both across the county and further afield to the capital. The Arun Valley train regularly runs from the southern seaside town of Littlehampton to London Victoria, stopping at Arundel, Billinghurst, Pulborough and Amberley among many others on the route. Crawley is another popular destination for London-bound commuters, with trains running every 15 minutes and taking just 47 minutes to reach London Victoria.
There are several major roads which run through West Sussex, making the county easily accessible from north, east and westerly directions. For Gatwick airport and Crawley the M23 connects the north-east of the county, whilst the A24 provides a direct link from the coastal town of Worthing right through the county via Horsham in the north. For visitors travelling from the east or west of West Sussex, the A272 cuts vertically across the county, providing easy access from the nearby Hampshire and East Sussex. The A272 connects to A3(M) providing access south to Portsmouth and A27(M) South Coast trunk road, and north to M25 and London.
An abundance of bustling market towns offering unique, independent shopping, breath-taking medieval architecture and memorable days out are just a few reasons why we love West Sussex.