Credit: Goodwood Estate
Winner of ‘Best Place to Live’ in the South East as ranked by the Sunday Times in 2019, Petworth in West Sussex is a perfectly-preserved market town in the heart of the South Downs National Park within easy reach of London and famed for its antique shops. The town is recognised as a major hub for antiques and the arts in the UK, with over 30 dealers trading within a mile radius.
The pretty streets are dotted with original, interesting stores specialising in everything from homewares and fashion to flowers, art and gifts. The town has a strong food offering, with shops, cafes and restaurants specialising in fresh, artisan fare, and a monthly farmers market featuring selected local producers. A walk here is a world away from the traditional high street, with hidden lanes and cobbled streets.
Petworth's History and Culture
Steeped in history, Petworth has been voted Best Antiques Town and has links to the famous artist JMW Turner, a frequent visitor to Petworth House (National Trust). The town has many treasures to discover including Petworth Cottage Museum and Coultershaw Beam Pump, located 1 ½ miles south of Petworth on the A285 towards Chichester – all making it a day out to remember.
Shopping in Petworth
Petworth has a well-deserved reputation as a unique retail haven away from the bustle of the traditional High Street. It is a real treasure trove of independent boutiques, cafes, restaurants and accommodation. The town offers a wide range of retail outlets from flowers, fine foods, books, skincare, fashion emporiums and traditional clothing stores, as well as the world-famous antiques and arts establishments - some 37 of them all within a half-mile radius.
Eating out in Petworth
After sampling the delights of Petworth, why not give your feet and taste buds a treat by stopping off at one of the many cafés, pubs and restaurants?
Just want a cup of coffee or quick bite to eat? Enjoy a delicious cream tea from The Hungry Guest Café in the garden of Newlands House Gallery or a luxurious hot chocolate from Coco Cafe & Sugar Lounge.
Aficionados of Indian Cuisine will also be delighted by Meghdoots, home to authentic cooking or enjoy a visit to one of the traditional country pubs like The Star, The Angel Inn, Badgers and Foresters Arms, Petworth has something to suit all tastes and budgets.
No time to stop? There is a wide range of takeaway options and gourmet delis from Baytree Bakery, Cates Delicatessen or The Hungry Guest Food Shop.
Things to do in Petworth
Buy a Book
Stock up on books at the famous Petworth Society book sale held quarterly on the second Saturday of the month between 10am-3pm at Leconfield Hall.
Step Back in Time
Meet Mrs Cummings at the Petworth Cottage Museum as she puts on the kettle and takes us back to a real-life estate worker’s cottage circa 1910.
Explore Petworth through Turner’s eyes at magnificent Petworth House, explore the attics, underground tunnels and experience the taste of years gone by in the historic kitchens.
Indulge in some Culture
Immerse yourself in culture at the prestigious Petworth Festival which hosts first-class artists from around the world every July.
The Petworth Festival Literary Week normally takes place in October and welcomes a host of writers, directors and presenters.
Have some Fun
Have fun at the summer Fete in the Park on the second Saturday of July, between 12:00 and 17:00 – followed by a free concert until 20:00. The Fete is held in the beautiful setting of Petworth Park.
Enjoy the wonders of the Petworth St Edmund's Day Fair, held towards the end of November in Market Square. One of the last remaining street fairs in the South, a tradition dating back to the 12th century. These days, the Christmas lights are turned on at the event.
Take a Hike
Take a historic walk around the town and the picturesque Shimmings Valley, at its best in springtime.
Find out more about Petworth at the Discover Petworth website.