Nothing beats a night away. Unless it’s a night away in the extraordinary.
When it comes to quirky accommodation, you can find some of the country’s most unique overnight stays right here in Sussex.
From vintage railway carriages in Petworth, treehouses in Midhurst and yurts in Chichester, to beach huts on a farm (yes, you heard that right) and even castles. The choice is all yours.
Intrigued? We thought so. Find our hand-picked section of Sussex’s seven best quirky stays for 2024 below.
The Lowe Commotion, ChichesterBack to Top of List
Sleeps: Two (plus two children if required)
Spend the night in a charmingly restored vintage train carriage on the Manhood Peninsula. Located midway between the historic city of Chichester and popular beaches of Bracklesham Bay, East Wittering, West Wittering and Selsey, this is the perfect location for those wanting to make the most of Sussex’s best outdoor pursuits.
Guaranteeing a night you won’t forget, you’ll be surrounded by soft, soothing vintage décor and quirky train signage in this charming carriage. In addition to the wood-clad sleeping area, there’s also a first-class living space featuring a glowing log burner, dining area, kitchenette and full-sized bathroom with an incredible vintage bathtub.
If you didn’t guess it yet, unlike most train trips, the Lowe Commotion’s going nowhere fast (or anywhere in fact) meaning you can make the most of the surrounding scenery without it whizzing by in an instant. Good job then that you have the ‘station’ to enjoy too - a spacious yard and patio with sumptuous seating area and barbeque.
Must-visit local attractions: Hit the waves at West Wittering and learn to surf, SUP, windsurf or windfoil with the experts at 2XS. If you wish to take it slower, explore the incredible local wildlife at Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve, or sample some of the local delights at the areas popular all-weather fruit farm, Dell Quay PYO.
Castle Cottage Bed and Breakfast Tree House, PetworthBack to Top of List
Situated within the grounds of Coates Castle - a Strawberry Hill gothic mansion - and surrounded in ancient woodland, is Castle Cottage Bed and Breakfast.
Unique, romantic and all-together quirky, Castle Cottage Bed and Breakfast offers so much more than first meets the eye, including the chance to spend the night in a tree house.
Built into a huge chestnut tree on the edge of the ancient wood near Petworth, you’ll have to climb a substantial staircase to enter your lavish accommodation for the night. Set between the tree branches, the double en-suite thatched room looks out through glass doors to the treetops and has a large balcony with swing seats to make the most of your unique position.
If you ever want to leave, breakfast - using only the finest organic ingredients - is served below the branches in Castle Cottage’s heated conservatory surrounded by old stone walls, grape vines and luscious plants.
Must-visit local attractions: Explore the local historic market town of Petworth while you’re here. Petworth draws in crowds from across the world thanks to its arts and antiques scene. Spend time in its galleries including Newlands House Gallery, Forest Gallery, Kevis House Gallery and Rountree Tyron Galleries. Browse for antiques in Petworth Antiques Market, John Bird Antiques and Chequers Antiques.
Elessar Yurt VillageBack to Top of List
Sleeps: Up to eight per yurt
Switch off, chill out and get inspired about off-grid living at the cool and quirky Elessar Yurt Village near Chichester.
This award-winning sustainable yurt village has been voted one of Britain’s 25 coolest campsites in the Telegraph. Lovingly re-built each spring, the village of hand-crafted Mongolian yurts is nestled in landscaped gardens in the picturesque South Downs. Designed for tranquillity, serenity, and its incredible sense of community that Elessar prides itself on, visitors are invited to disconnect from their busy lives and deepen bonds with nature and family during their stay.
Bringing together comfortable accommodation, delightful communal facilities including a heated shower block, wood-fired hot tub, communal kitchen and large heated social yurt, peaceful woodland and an outdoor kitchen, you’ll find the perfect antidote to modern life here.
Must-visit local attractions: Deepen your connection with nature on a walk Up Kingley Vale, home to a grove of ancient trees which are estimated to be amongst the oldest living things in Britain. Enhance your connection with wildlife at Bosham Harbour where you’ll find an abundance of incredible wildlife. Or, connect with furry friends on an alpaca trek with Dunreyth Alpacas.
Old Railway Station, PetworthBack to Top of List
Sleeps: Two per room. One can be extended to accommodate three.
Another chance to stay in a railway carriage. Or perhaps you’d rather stay in the station itself? The choice is yours at the Old Railway Station, in Petworth.
Built in 1892 and formerly Petworth Railway Station, you’ll be surrounded by unusual yet elegant colonial splendour in this quirky accommodation.
Both the converted Pullman railway carriages and the main Station House itself have been lovingly resorted to cater for your every need.
In the Station House you’ll find two rooms, one with a vaulted ceiling and accessed via a spiral staircase, and the other a cozy ground-floor room, ideal for those with limited mobility. There are two Pullman carriage rooms - a ‘classic’, and the larger ‘king’ room, both with en-suite facilities. Breakfast, drinks and even afternoon tea can be delivered to your carriage, for those who want to dine as if they really were travelling back in time.
Must-visit local attractions: Continue your journey back in time at the famous 17th-Century Petworth House and Gardens. Or explore what a Leconfield Estate workers cottage may have looked like in 1910 at Petworth Cottage Museum. If it's historic pubs you’re seeking, stay in Petworth and venture to The Star, with an incredible history dating back to 1591.
Amberley Castle, AmberleyBack to Top of List
Sleeps: Two per room
Quirky accommodation can of course be luxurious too, and that’s exactly what you’ll find waiting for you at Amberley Castle.
Located at the foot of the South Downs, the four-star Amberley Castle retains many of its original historic features and decorations, guaranteeing you an out-of-the-ordinary night away.
Enclosed by a 60-foot-high curtain wall and portcullis, this fascinating 900-year-old-castle was originally a timber framed hunting lodge. Transformed over 400 years to a fortified manor house, you’ll find an enchanting hotel waiting to welcome you today, with all the luxurious facilities you could dream of on a country break.
While you’re there, make sure you explore the incredible 12-acres of landscaped gardens that adjoin the hotel. You may even get to meet the resident peacock!
Must-visit local attractions: Admire the narrow-gauge railway, watch vintage vehicle demonstrations and ride on historic transport at Amberley Museum. Keep the historic theme flowing as you visit neighbouring castle, Arundel Castle. Or immerse yourself in Nature at WWT Arundel Wetland Centre.
Cowdray Treehouses, MidhurstBack to Top of List
Sleeps: Two adults and two children per treehouse (except for Griffin, which sleeps two). Dogs welcome.
Quirky collides with luxury at Cowdray Estate’s lavish holiday hideaways.
A unique collaboration between the prestigious Cowdray Estate and Tree Houses Retreat, these beautifully designed luxurious treehouses allow you to escape the everyday and immerse yourself in all things nature.
Surrounded by miles of rolling hills and enchanting views, the treehouses offer you everything you need for a relaxing stay in the country.
You’ll find an open-plan living area and fully equipped kitchen, a wrap-around balcony with an outdoor bath and seating area, and - to while away the hours - yoga mats, books, board games, rugs and picnic blankets all on-tap. You’ll even find a welcome hamper filled to the brim with hand-selected essentials from Cowdray Farm Shop on arrival.
While your every need is looked out for, the environment’s needs are catered for too. You’ll be provided with an electric vehicle for moving around the treehouse location during your stay, with the aim of preserving the beautiful woodland you’re staying in.
Must-visit local attractions: Make the most of all the famous Cowdray Estate has to offer, including the award-winning Cowdray Farm Shop and Café, Cowdray Ruins and Cowdray Park Golf Club. Being the home of British Polo, you can even take a polo lesson here too. Or why not explore more the historic market town of Midhurst has to offer, including The Midhurst Gallery, Mantis Art Studio and Gallery and The Country Brocante Store.
The Beach Huts, ChichesterBack to Top of List
Sleeps: Four in two bedrooms
At first glance, staying in a beach hut may not seem like a great idea. Small, cramped, sandy and lacking the all-important home from home storage space. But not these beach huts.
Offering all the Instagram worthy ‘beach hut’ shots you need, but with oodles of space, a huge open plan living area, a pool and tennis court on your doorstep, and not a grain of sand in sight, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by your night at The Beach Huts.
Located on a farm rather than the beach, you’ll spend a night in an eco-build property with a beach hut façade. Inside you’ll find a fully equipped kitchen and dining area, chill out zone, master and twin room, as well as a bathroom - much more than you’d find in a traditional beach hut.
Step outside to enjoy incredible views across the farm from your private garden with veranda and BBQ. We told you this was a beach hut with a twist!
Must visit local attractions: The Beach Huts accommodation is located in the rural village of Oving four miles from both Chichester and The Goodwood Estate, and close to the popular beaches of East and West Wittering. Pop to the City Centre to catch a show at Chichester Festival Theatre, dine in luxury at The Ivy Chichester Brasserie, or explore more of the city’s history at Chichester Cathedral.