things to do in sussex

Welcome to Sussex, a picturesque county in southern England that offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors to explore. Whether you’re looking for historic landmarks, beautiful gardens, coastal walks, or charming villages, Sussex has it all. In this travel guide, we’ll take you through the top things to do, must-visit attractions, and the best time to visit Sussex. So, let’s dive in and discover the incredible sightseeing opportunities and exciting events that await you in this stunning part of the UK!

Top Things to Do in Sussex

Sussex is home to a number of top-rated attractions that showcase the county’s rich history and natural beauty. Some of the must-visit places in Sussex include:

  1. Brighton: Experience the vibrant seaside atmosphere of Brighton, known for its bustling promenade, lively entertainment, and iconic pier. Whether you’re strolling along the beach, exploring the historic lanes, or enjoying the vibrant nightlife, Brighton offers a diverse range of experiences for visitors.
  2. Seven Sisters: Witness the awe-inspiring beauty of the Seven Sisters, a series of chalk cliffs that overlook the English Channel. Take a leisurely walk along the South Downs Way or marvel at the breathtaking views from Seaford Head, capturing the essence of Sussex’s natural landscapes.
  3. Bodiam Castle: Step back in time as you explore Bodiam Castle, a 14th-century moat-encircled fortress. Admire the impressive architecture and picturesque setting, and immerse yourself in the medieval history of this iconic landmark.

Other notable destinations in Sussex include:

  • Arundel: Lose yourself in the fairytale-like town of Arundel, known for its medieval castle and charming streets. Visit Arundel Cathedral, explore the antique shops, or take a tranquil boat ride along the River Arun.
  • Rye: Explore the picturesque medieval town of Rye, situated on the banks of the River Rother. Wander through the cobbled streets, visit the historic Rye Castle, and enjoy panoramic views from the top of St Mary’s Church.
  • Chichester Cathedral: Marvel at the stunning beauty of Chichester Cathedral, a majestic historic church featuring vaulted marble halls and intricate stained glass windows. Take a guided tour, attend a musical performance, or simply soak in the tranquil atmosphere.

These top attractions in Sussex offer a diverse range of experiences, from exploring historic landmarks to immersing oneself in stunning natural beauty. Plan your visit to Sussex and discover the wonders that this charming county has to offer.

top places to visit in Sussex

Quote:

“Sussex is a treasure trove of captivating attractions, ranging from vibrant seaside towns to centuries-old castles. Explore the rich history and natural beauty that make Sussex a must-visit destination for travelers of all kinds.” – Visit Sussex

Best Time to Visit Sussex

Sussex is a year-round destination, with attractions open throughout the year. The best time to visit Sussex depends on your preferences for weather and crowds.

The summer months of July and August offer warm temperatures and a bustling atmosphere, but the beaches can get crowded. For a combination of pleasant weather and fewer crowds, consider visiting in June or September. May is also a great time to visit, as it offers warm days before the peak summer season and the popular Brighton Festival takes place during this month.

So, whether you’re looking to soak up the sun on Sussex’s beautiful beaches or explore its historic landmarks, there’s something for everyone, no matter the time of year.

best time to visit sussex

Recommended Time to Visit Sussex

Month Weather Crowds Highlights
May Mild and warm Low Brighton Festival
June Warm Medium Longer days for outdoor activities
July – August Hot High Beach days and summer events
September Warm Medium Autumn foliage and harvest festivals

Getting Around Sussex

Sussex is well-connected and easily accessible via various modes of transportation. Whether you’re arriving by air, train, or car, getting around Sussex is convenient and efficient.

Airports

If you’re traveling to Sussex by air, there are several airports within easy reach:

  • London Heathrow
  • London Gatwick
  • Shoreham (Brighton City)
  • Southampton Airport

Train

Sussex has a comprehensive network of train lines, particularly in the commuter district. Traveling by train is a convenient and scenic way to explore the county.

Car Hire

To access remote areas and the South Downs National Park, car hire is recommended. It gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace and venture off the beaten path.

Walking Trails and Cycling

In addition to trains and cars, there are numerous walking trails in the South Downs, offering breathtaking views of the countryside. Cycling is also a popular way to explore Sussex, with its picturesque landscapes and charming villages.

Whether you prefer the convenience of public transportation, the flexibility of a car, or the tranquility of walking and cycling, there are plenty of options to get around Sussex and make the most of your visit.

sussex travel

Transportation Option Advantages
Airports Easily accessible and offer international connections
Train Convenient, scenic, and well-connected
Car Hire Allows access to remote areas and freedom to explore at your own pace
Walking Trails Breathtaking views of the countryside and a chance to connect with nature
Cycling Explore Sussex’s picturesque landscapes and charming villages

Hidden Gems in Sussex

In addition to the well-known attractions, Sussex is home to several hidden gems waiting to be discovered. These hidden gems offer unique and unusual experiences that will add a touch of adventure to your visit.

The Long Man of Wilmington

One of the most intriguing hidden gems in Sussex is the Long Man of Wilmington. This mysterious chalk figure, carved into the hillside, stands at an impressive 235 feet tall and is believed to date back to the Iron Age. The origin and purpose of this ancient figure remain unknown, adding to its enigmatic allure.

Pevensey Castle

Another hidden gem in Sussex is Pevensey Castle, the first stronghold of William the Conqueror. Stepping through the castle’s gates takes you back in time to the Norman era, where you can explore the medieval ruins and learn about its fascinating history.

Newhaven Fort

Newhaven Fort is a hidden gem that offers a unique combination of history and stunning coastal views. Delve into the fort’s historic tunnels, which once housed soldiers during World War II, and take in the panoramic vistas of the sea. The fort also hosts various events, making it an exciting venue for entertainment.

Herstmonceux Castle Estate

Herstmonceux Castle Estate is another hidden gem in Sussex that is worth a visit. Explore the beautiful red-brick castle and its picturesque gardens. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Herstmonceux Observatory, which offers fascinating insights into the universe.

The High Weald

For nature lovers, the High Weald in East Sussex is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is filled with mysterious woodlands, enchanting castles, and breathtaking landscapes. Take a leisurely walk through ancient forests and discover the tranquility of this hidden gem.

These hidden gems showcase the diversity and charm of Sussex beyond the well-trodden tourist paths. Whether you’re interested in ancient history, breathtaking views, or serene natural landscapes, these hidden gems have something to offer. Take the time to uncover these hidden treasures and create unique and memorable experiences during your visit to Sussex.

Family-Friendly Activities in Sussex

In Sussex, families can enjoy a wide range of activities together, ensuring a fun-filled time for all. With its child-friendly beaches, year-round family events, and opportunities to connect with nature, Sussex is an ideal destination for families looking to create lasting memories.

One of the highlights for families in Sussex is the chance to explore the beautiful coastline. Take a bike ride along the coast, feeling the refreshing sea breeze and soaking in the breathtaking views. Sussex is also home to several adventure parks and play areas, where children can have a blast climbing, sliding, and exploring exciting playgrounds.

For those interested in learning about marine life, aquariums such as Sea Life Brighton offer an immersive experience, allowing families to get up close and personal with fascinating underwater creatures. Museums in Sussex, such as the Weald and Downland Living Museum, showcase the region’s history and culture in an engaging way.

Water sports enthusiasts can try their hand at various activities, such as paddleboarding or kayaking, along the Sussex coast. Families can also participate in craft sessions, learning new skills and creating unique keepsakes together.

Popular family-friendly attractions in Sussex include:

  1. Drusillas Park: This small zoo features adventure play areas, animal encounters, and rides for children of all ages.
  2. Fisher’s Farm Park: Set in the beautiful countryside, this working farm offers farm experiences, tractor rides, and off-road bug safaris for an exciting day out.

Here is a table highlighting some of the exciting family-friendly activities in Sussex:

Activity Description
Bike rides along the coast Enjoy the stunning coastal scenery while cycling along the dedicated bike paths in Sussex.
Adventure parks and play areas Let the kids unleash their energy and imaginations in the adventure parks and play areas available throughout Sussex.
Aquariums Explore the underwater world and discover fascinating marine creatures at aquariums like Sea Life Brighton.
Museums Visit museums in Sussex to learn about the county’s history and culture in an engaging and interactive way.
Water sports Try your hand at paddleboarding, kayaking, or other water sports activities along the Sussex coast.
Craft sessions Participate in craft sessions where you can learn new skills and create unique keepsakes as a family.

With so many options available, families in Sussex can enjoy a wide variety of activities that cater to all interests and age groups. Whether it’s visiting wildlife parks, exploring museums, or simply enjoying the beautiful beaches, Sussex has something for every family to enjoy.

Top Beaches in Sussex

Sussex is known for its stunning coastline and beautiful beaches. Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun, take a refreshing swim, or simply enjoy the peaceful atmosphere, Sussex has a beach for every preference. Here are some of the top beaches you should consider visiting during your time in Sussex:

Bognor Regis Beach

Bognor Regis Beach is a popular choice for families, with its sandy shores and range of facilities. Located on the South Coast, this beach offers a wide stretch of sand perfect for sunbathing, picnicking, and building sandcastles. The calm waters make it safe for swimming, and during low tide, you can explore the rock pools teeming with marine life. Bognor Regis Beach also hosts various events and activities throughout the year, ensuring there’s always something exciting happening.

East Wittering Beach

East Wittering Beach is another family-friendly option that offers a mix of sandy and shingle shores. This Blue Flag beach boasts golden sand, clear waters, and excellent facilities such as toilets, cafes, and shops. The beach is popular amongst water sports enthusiasts, with opportunities for windsurfing and kitesurfing. For those who prefer a more relaxed experience, there are ample spots to lay back, enjoy a picnic, and take in the beautiful coastal scenery.

Littlehampton Beach

Littlehampton Beach is a picturesque stretch of sand located near the mouth of the River Arun. This family-friendly beach offers a wide range of amenities, including cafes, amusement arcades, and play areas for children. The beach is lifeguarded, making it a safe option for swimming, and there are designated areas for water sports. Littlehampton Beach is also home to the East Beach Café, a unique architectural masterpiece where you can grab a bite to eat while enjoying panoramic views of the coast.

Camber Beach

Camber Beach is renowned for its vast sandy dunes and stunning vistas. This beach, located near Rye, offers a wide expanse of fine sand that stretches for miles. The dunes provide a natural barrier from the wind, making Camber Beach a great spot for sunbathing and sandcastle building. The beach is popular with water sports enthusiasts, particularly kite surfers, thanks to the strong wind conditions. Camber Beach is a great choice for those seeking a more active beach experience.

Norman’s Bay

Nestled between Eastbourne and Bexhill, Norman’s Bay is a secluded and tranquil beach perfect for those seeking a peaceful day by the sea. The pebble beach offers ample space for relaxation and unhindered coastal walks. Norman’s Bay is known for its stunning sunsets, making it a popular spot for photographers. With its peaceful atmosphere, this beach is an ideal escape from the busier tourist areas.

These beaches in Sussex provide a range of opportunities for sunbathing, swimming, building sandcastles, and enjoying a relaxing day by the sea. Best of all, most of the beaches are free to access, making them ideal for budget-friendly outings.

Beach Location Facilities
Bognor Regis Beach Bognor Regis Toilets, cafes, events and activities
East Wittering Beach East Wittering Toilets, cafes, shops, water sports
Littlehampton Beach Littlehampton Toilets, cafes, amusement arcades, play areas
Camber Beach Rye N/A
Norman’s Bay Near Bexhill N/A

Conclusion

Sussex is a diverse and captivating county that offers a wide array of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages and interests. Whether you’re exploring the historic landmarks, enjoying the coastal walks, or discovering the hidden gems, Sussex promises a memorable travel experience. With its vibrant city life in Brighton and the tranquil countryside of the South Downs, there is something for everyone in this beautiful part of England.

From the iconic Brighton Pier to the majestic Bodiam Castle, Sussex is brimming with must-visit attractions that showcase its rich history and natural beauty. Whether you’re strolling along the charming streets of Rye or admiring the breathtaking views from the Seven Sisters cliffs, each destination in Sussex offers a unique experience.

Plan your visit to Sussex and immerse yourself in the beauty and charm of this enchanting county. Explore the hidden gems, soak up the sun on the stunning beaches, and indulge in the local cuisine. Whether you’re traveling with family, friends, or solo, Sussex has something to offer to every traveler. So pack your bags, embark on a memorable journey, and create lifelong memories in this captivating corner of England.

FAQ

How do I get around Sussex?

Sussex is well-connected and easily accessible via various modes of transportation. You can arrive by air through airports such as London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Shoreham (Brighton City), and Southampton. The county also has a comprehensive train network, and car hire is recommended for accessing remote areas and the South Downs National Park.

What are some hidden gems in Sussex?

Some hidden gems in Sussex include the Long Man of Wilmington, Pevensey Castle, Newhaven Fort, Herstmonceux Castle Estate, and the High Weald in East Sussex.

Are there family-friendly activities in Sussex?

Yes, Sussex offers plenty of activities for families to enjoy together. You can visit child-friendly beaches, explore adventure parks, museums, and aquariums, and even try water sports or learn a new craft. Popular family-friendly attractions in Sussex include Drusillas Park and Fisher’s Farm Park.

What are the top beaches in Sussex?

Bognor Regis, East Wittering Beach, Littlehampton Beach, Camber Beach, and Norman’s Bay are some of the top beaches in Sussex. They offer sandy shores, facilities, and opportunities for sunbathing, swimming, and building sandcastles.

Is Sussex a diverse destination?

Yes, Sussex is a diverse and captivating county with something for everyone. From the vibrant city life of Brighton to the tranquil countryside of the South Downs, Sussex offers a wide array of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages and interests.