With a decidedly wet winter now subsiding, brighter spring and summer days lie in wait. Where better to enjoy these friendlier seasons than at one of the region’s many beautiful gardens and outdoor attractions? These are ideal places to visit for romantic walks, picnics or family days out. The peace and quiet of a leafy corner is always welcome, but many of these sites also host a range of spring and summer activities and events in West Sussex. Here are five enchanting spots to plan a visit in the coming months:
Step back in time at Arundel Castle and Gardens (BN18 9AB) Open from Fri 25th March
This loftiest of heritage properties has even more features than the spectacular setting might suggest. The gardens themselves are worth the trip alone, with a wide selection of quirky features and special areas to discover. From spring onwards, every corner is bursting with life, from stately roses to wildflowers and often butterflies by the dozen. The castle itself is equally beguiling, offering a treasure house of medieval weaponry and old world craftsmanship. There is so much to see, you may need a whole day to explore the castle fully. Find full information for visitors here: www.arundelcastle.org
Find the perfect picnic spot at Woolbeding Gardens (Midhurst GU29 9RR) Open from April-Sept
These beautiful grounds are something of an unsung gem among National Trust Properties in West Sussex. Captivating and colourful, it is a wonderful place to stroll, with fine views over the River Rother, a wealth of flora and priceless tranquillity. The gardens open from April onwards, but do plan ahead because booking is essential. Find out more about the venue and other Sussex National Trust sites here: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/woolbeding-gardens
Get into gear or hit the heights at Black Down (Haslemere, GU27)
As the highest peak in the South Downs National Park, this is a wonderful spot to take in fine spring views, admire the distinctive Belted Galloway cattle, or enjoy a variety of outdoor pursuits. It is a particularly good spot for walking, hill running and mountain biking in West Sussex, with mixed terrain and something new with each season and every visit. Find out more here.
Heritage Tours and more on the Cowdray Estate (Easebourne, GU29 0AQ) Open from April
Sumptuous panoramic views, ancient ruins and some of the best walks in West Sussex are the qualities that make Cowdray a popular spring detour. With a Tudor nobleman’s house and centuries of history to discover, this is a huge attraction for heritage enthusiasts . Look out for tours and events in 2016, including art workshops and tours.Click here for visitor information.
Wildlife and sea views at East Head (Coast Guard Lane, PO20 8AJ)
At just a short distance from Chichester, this specially protected area is one of the most unspoiled coastal habitats in the whole of the southern UK. It is a particularly fine place to spot birds of many kinds, along with the rugged and unusual plant species found in the dunes. Well worth a look on any day out in the Chichester area. See the National Trust site for further details on this fragile and unique habitat.
The finest of country house hotels in West Sussex
Wherever you decide to roam, Park House hotel and spa is a delightful place to stay in the heart of West Sussex, right on the edge of the South Downs. Besides superb luxury accommodation, the venue has an excellent restaurant and spa facilities that are ideal for treating yourself after an active day out. See our main site for full details, including our current special offers on short breaks.