Voted as one of the best places to live in the UK by the Sunday Times, the quintessentially English market town of Midhurst, West Sussex, has heaps to offer locals and visitors alike.
Where is Midhurst?
Nestled in the heart of the South Downs National Park, just 12 miles from Chichester, Midhurst is steeped in history. Coupled with an abundance of independent shops, cafes and restaurants – more, in fact, than any other Sussex town – it’s easy to see why this magnificent market town draws such a rating.
With a medieval Market Square, stunning Tudor buildings and delightful mix of Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian architecture, Midhurst is quite predictably, postcard perfect. But the best kept secrets go far beyond that of any typical market town. With links to Queen Elizabeth I, Henry VIII and Guy Fawkes, as well as being the home of horology (the craft of making clocks and watches) and literary legend H.G. Wells, there’s plenty to be uncovered.
The iconic Cowdray Heritage – the ruins of one of England’s most important early Tudor houses – sits at the top of Midhurst and has played a significant role in British history until now. Nuzzled between a secret walled garden and the famous ‘lawns’ of Cowdray Park, where polo players gather for the British Open Polo Championships Gold Cup every summer, it’s no surprise that this area is one of the town’s biggest draws.
Things to do
Midhurst also has a booming scene of local talent waiting to welcome visitors. From local wine and ale producers to chocolate and soap makers, Midhurst is as relevant today as it was in times gone by. Visitors in August can even immerse themselves in the revelry of MADhurst (the Midhurst Music, Arts and Drama Festival), a month of entertainment covering everything from classical music, swing, folk and rock to dance shows, comedy acts, markets and carnival processions, while regular markets and community events take place year-round.
South Downs National Park
For those who are, rightly so, using the town as a base to explore the delights of the National Park, the range of outdoor activities on offer is endless. From golf, clay pigeon shooting, fly fishing and horse riding to polo, walking, trekking and cycling, Midhurst really does have it all.
Discover more about Midhurst at the Visit Midhurst website by clicking here
Main photograph: Christopher Ison