Discover Sussex

The Great British Outdoors

Posted by Kate W on 5th October 2020

This time, as part of our Great British Outdoors series, we’re rediscovering the enchanting county of Sussex and its glittering coast. Scattered across this south coast destination are characterful towns and villages, secret places, unspoilt reserves and breathtaking seascapes providing an idyllic backdrop for travellers getting to know this corner of the UK. But which of these remarkable towns, villages and seaside resorts will draw you in first?

A region of dreamy downlands, rolling meadows and golden beaches, Sussex is home to both the South Downs National Park and the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which between them conquer almost half of this county’s expansive landscape. Coupled with the winding walks that criss-cross the region, you’ll soon find yourself immersed in the intoxicating atmosphere of Sussex during a south coast retreat. Escape to one of Sussex’s secret places to visit to discover some of the top hidden spots of this region or read on to find more popular places for big days out during your next Sussex adventure. If it hasn’t already, we’ve no doubt this enthralling county will soon capture your heart.

10 best places to stay


Coastal Sussex

Sandy shores, pebble ridges and pretty harbour towns

Spanning around 90 miles, the Sussex coastline is full of exciting attractions, wild nature reserves, and historic beauty spots waiting to be discovered. A string of nostalgic seaside resorts offers bucket and spade days out at the beach, while shingle shorelines provide rock pools brimming with critters washed up from the depths of the sea. Discover the promenades and piers of traditional British resorts like Brighton and Eastbourne, or wander the winding streets of historic towns such as Rye and Hastings. For sandy beaches, the golden rolling dunes of Camber Sands are not to be missed, and no trip to the Sussex coast is complete without experiencing the incredible beauty of the iconic chalk cliffs of Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters.

Best Sussex beaches

Sussex Coast

Dog-friendly Sussex

Head to Sussex with your pack

With walkies galore through the coast and countryside, Sussex is a pup’s paradise. Treat your dog to a scamper along one of the many dog-friendly beaches where you can soak up the salty sea air, splash through rippling waves and dine in beachfront cafes. Discover golden sweeps of coast where you can leave pawprints in the sand and shingle shores with magnificent chalk cliffs as their backdrop. Or head for the wide-open spaces of Hastings Country Park, Petworth Park, and the South Downs National Park - a stunning range of chalk hills that extend for around 260 square miles. Then there are all the dog-friendly attractions in Sussex to explore too, from the impressive ruins of Hastings Abbey to a magical journey on board the Kent and East Sussex Railway. You’ll be spoilt for choice!

Dog-friendly beaches

Dog-friendly Sussex

Activities in Sussex

Coastal trails and rural adventures await

If you have set your sights on a coastal adventure or indeed are seeking out an escape into a wild and unspoilt destination, you’ll be overwhelmed with choice in this remarkable county. From the sweeping serenity of Pevensey Bay to the archaic elegance of Arundel, Sussex is sure to captivate you with its tranquillity and charm.

Take a day to wander the flat, shingle beaches which dominate the coastline and prove irresistible to beach lovers, as well as dramatic headlands and sweeping saltmarshes that harbour a wealth of wildlife. Find out which ten beaches we’d recommend visiting on your seaside adventures, or get to know which of Sussex’s many impressive coves and flats that are perfect for dog-friendly beach days.

Anyone travelling with youngsters in tow will find many fun-filled places to visit across the region; start your family journey with a look at our guide to the best days out for kids in Sussex. You can spend your time exploring farm parks caring for a multitude of creatures, ancient forests entwined with trails and exciting activities, and crumbling castles where children can play at being knights of old. Our pick of rainy days out in Sussex means an unexpected shower doesn't need to dampen your spirits, and with our guide to free days out, there's no need to break the bank during your holiday either.

There’s so much to see and do as you make your way across the region. If you’re the energetic type, you can take your pick of days filled to the brim with activity and excitement, or spend lazy afternoons out and about if you prefer to take things slow while away on your Sussex retreat.

Sussex days out

Activities in Sussex

Food and drink in Sussex

Street food, tasty cheeses and ugly apples

What first comes to mind when you think of Sussex? Perhaps long swathes of sandy beaches, or the undulating downs? However, Sussex is also an undiscovered gem when it comes to food.

Time your visit right and you could stop by the Sussex Street Food Festival in Hastings. It’s an annual event with gourmet Mac ‘n’ Cheese, sugary churros, and craft beers on the list of tasty goodies you can enjoy as you explore. If you love your cheeses, there are a few local varieties that are worth a try: the Sussex Slipcote, Duddleswell, and Brighton Blue are all renowned favourites. Meanwhile, the ‘world’s ugliest apple’ has found love in Sussex. The knobbly russet is a peculiar lumpy, bumpy apple which looks somewhat like a potato, yet is often used in Sussex cider to great acclaim.

If you’re keen to dine out during your break, we are sure you’ll be impressed with this county’s foodie offerings. The Set is a super cool, super stylish Michelin-star place to dine out in Brighton, Curry Village in the quaint hamlet of Billinghurst is loved by their locals and has excellent dishes on offer, while East Beach Café is a creative seafront café that’s just the place for a steaming mug of cocoa after windswept beach walks – and those are just a few of our favourites! There are so many more delightful eateries waiting to be discovered, from homely pubs to beachside cafes, you could spend your break restaurant-hopping through this food-friendly county.

Dining out in Sussex

Food and drink in Sussex

Where to stay in Sussex

From ancient oast houses to beachfront cabins

Seamlessly blending old elegance with today’s chic style, Sussex is a county of opposites and many of our beautiful Sussex cottages straddle the two worlds effortlessly.

We have a range of exquisite oast houses across Sussex and neighbouring Kent filled with modern tech and stylish interiors, and impresses cottages with original beams and fireplaces dating back centuries. We have glamping experiences set on long-standing family farms, historic townhouses with vibrant décor, and rustic lodges complete with hot tubs for indulgent breaks with friends, family or your loved one.

Don’t forget any four-pawed members of the family either as we have a wealth of dog-friendly retreats everyone can enjoy. Our mix of getaways come complete with enclosed gardens so playful pups and excitable children can race around, local footpaths and trails to explore on long dog walks, and fluffy rugs where tired canines can rest their paws at the end of busy, action-packed days.

Escape to a five-star luxury holiday cottage, seek out a property right by the beach, or pick out a last-minute romantic break where you can relax in seclusion. Swimming pools, on-site fishing, and waterside views can all be discovered in our portfolio of holiday cottages in Sussex. Treat yourself to a well-deserved getaway to this unforgettable region.

All Sussex cottages

Sussex cottages

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.