Things to do in Sussex
Chichester district is renowned for its Festival Theatre and outstanding cultural experiences, the legendary sporting estates of Goodwood and Cowdray, sparkling coastline and the sandy beach of West Wittering. This unique patch of Sussex is bursting with amazing attractions and activities. From historic Roman sites to vineyards producing the best sparkling wine in the UK today, let The Great Sussex Way be your essential guide to creating lifelong memories.
Wide areas of outstanding natural beauty abound with walking trails and cycle routes criss-crossing the area from the stunning rolling hills of the South Downs to our breath-taking coastline. Located in the sunniest spot in the UK, we are just over an hour away from London and just under an hour from international airport, London Gatwick. So, come and join us in the Sussex good life.
Our rich Roman heritage means you’ll find the best mosaics in the UK at Fishbourne Roman Palace (not a just a villa!) and plenty more Roman history in Chichester and Bignor. Wanting something a little more Norman? Then Arundel Castle is for you and along with the awesome Chichester Cathedral and plenty of grand country houses, we have British history pretty much covered.
For star-gazers, don’t miss a visit to the South Downs Planetarium or take advantage of our Dark Sky Reserve to marvel at the sweeping views of our starry skies from up on the Downs, or down on the beach.
Nature-lovers can get up close and personal with the deer at Sky Park Farm and Petworth Park or take in spot of seal watching on a Chichester Harbour Boat Tour, or search for the secretive water voles at the Arundel Wetlands Centre. Pagham Harbour is a nature reserve of international importance, and an excellent place to slow down the pace with some peaceful bird-watching.
For those with energy to burn, why not learn a new water sport? There’s surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, winging, kayaking, paddleboarding and canoeing all available to try and with aqua parks, trampoline parks, crazy golf, bowling and escape rooms on offer, there’s plenty to keep the most active amused.
Check out our family fun in Chichester article for inspiration during the school holidays.
From household names to emerging talent, Chichester Festival Theatre works with them all and produces plays which often transfer to the West End, or tour nationally or internationally. Be sure to catch whatever’s on, for an evening of exhilarating entertainment.
Chichester’s Pallant House and Petworth’s Newlands House galleries draw crowds from far and wide for shows with national appeal. With plenty of other quality galleries in the area, make your visit truly inspirational, and why not invest in a picture or two whilst you’re here?
Our country houses and beautiful gardens will impress and inspire you and could keep you busy for days if you visited them all. If viticulture is your thing, why not take a tour of our beautiful vineyards, there’s plenty to choose from and they’ll give you a warm Sussex welcome as well as an excellent lunch. After a tour, why not purchase a case or two of Sussex (yes, we even have our own PDO!)
Chichester, Midhurst and Petworth are packed with friendly independents brimming with interesting ideas for the perfect gift to take home. With farm shops and local food and drink traders scattered across the area, there’s plenty to tempt you throughout the district. Why not stay for a couple of days and make the most of your time here following our 48 Hours in Chichester or Midhurst itineraries.
Live life the Great Sussex Way
With our outstanding countryside, world-class culture and impressive vineyards there's so much to keep you here. Why not cycle or drive our wine route (there's bike hire on hand here) which takes in four of our most welcoming vineyards. What's more, we are quite possibly the most dog-friendly area in the country with many businesses welcoming dogs including the cathedral and not forgetting the most inclusive doggie event of the year, Goodwoof. What's not to love about life in Sussex!