Image: National Trust
The Great Sussex Way Area
Chichester, the Downs and the West Sussex Coast: The Great Sussex Way
Focused around Chichester, the beautiful county capital of West Sussex, The Great Sussex Way represents the area looking north of the Downs to the borders of Surrey and Hampshire including the attractive market towns of Petworth and Midhurst in the South Downs National Park. South of Chichester, discover the Manhood Peninsula, which includes the seaside town of Selsey and an array of harbour villages such as Itchenor, Bosham, and Fishbourne, as well as the coastal villages of East Wittering and Bracklesham Bay and West Wittering. The English Channel borders us to the south. To the east, stretches the rest of Sussex.
The rolling hills of the South Downs with their spectacular views fall gently down to a flat, fertile coastal plain of the Manhood Peninsular and the breaking waves of the English Channel. Bisected by rivers, winterbourne streams and canals means a beautiful waterway is never far away with all the fun activities - fishing, rowing, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding and canal boat rides - that go with that. On the northern boundary Blackdown is the highest point in Sussex and in the far south the large inlet known as Chichester Harbour and the headland of Selsey Bill are famous landmark features. In between, there are plenty of attractive villages to explore; this is a green and pleasant Britain at its quintessential best. Hedgerows abound with birdlife and orchids are plentiful on the chalkland hills. In spring time, wild garlic and bluebells carpet the woodlands. Miles of walking trails and cycle routes criss-cross our area giving easy access to such natural beauty. Iron age hill top forts and burial mounds like Chanctonbury Ring, the Trundle, Beacon Hill Fort and the Devil's Humps rise above ancient woodland like Kingly Vale looking out across the sparkling sea.
Our Towns and Villages
Receive a warm Sussex welcome from our attractive market towns of Petworth, Midhurst and seaside Selsey. There are plenty of pretty villages in between which offer a gentler pace of life and some beautiful and unique parish churches, farm shops, coffee pit stops and of course, welcoming country pubs. A visit to these will refresh the soul and rejuvenate the mind. Our county capital, Chichester, has the perfect blend of a 2,000 year history with a modern eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, cultural delights and places to stay. Our coastal villages offer plenty of opportunities for water sports, walks along the beach, followed by a hot chocolate, ice cream or lunch fresh off the boat.
Not to be missed
There are plenty of highlights not to be missed on a visit to the area including Chichester Cathedral, Chichester Festival Theatre, The Novium and Pallant House Gallery in the country capital. Country Houses open to the public include Petworth House, Uppark, Goodwood House, Stansted Park, and Arundel Castle . West Dean House is open at certain times of the year. There is horse racing at Goodwood and Fontwell racecourses, the Goodwood Festival of Speed at Goodwood House, and the Goodwood Revival at Goodwood Motor Racing Circuit. More recently, Goodwoof is held at the Goodwood Kennels. The Cowdray ruins near Midhurst and form a pictureque backdrop to the polo played at Cowdray Park polo club. Cowdray Estate offer plenty of sporting activities, walking opportunities, places to stay and eat. Fishbourne Roman Palace (not just a villa!) lies west of Chichester city centre. To the north of the city are Weald and Downland Open Air Museum and Halnaker Windmill. There are gardens open to the public at Woolbeding and West Dean and Denmans. Why we're so special
Sussex has it's own PDO which like Cornish clotted cream or Jersey new potatoes makes our wine something special. Still and sparkling wines can only be called ‘Sussex’ if they are grown in the region and meet a strict set of conditions.
See what all the fuss is about by visiting one of our incredible vineyards with a cellar door - Blackdown Ridge, Tinwood, Ashling Park, Kinsbrook, Trotton Estate, Upperton and Wiston. They will all give you a splendid Sussex welcome and some have restaurants and overnight accommodation as well. So, crack open the bubbly and come and enjoy the sparkling Sussex good life!