This South East England county encompasses a large stretch of beach coastline, which, combined with some of the UK’s warmest temperatures, makes it a hot spot for summer staycations. It also includes the South Downs National Parks, Chichester Harbour and many charming shire towns, as well as being home to Gatwick airport. This location makes it very accessible from across the country, in particular the capital, which is a short train ride away. You’ll find lots of opportunities for outdoor swimming, walking and sampling local gastropubs, not to mention some super little hotels.
The White Horse
A country dining pub with rooms, The White Horse is renowned for its excellent fish and chips. It’s close to the Goodwood Estate on the South Downs and boasts an upscale rustic cottage style. Rooms are decorated with contemporary Scandi touches, sheepskins, steamer trunks, funky feature walls and modern four-poster beds, with skylights and original beams. And The Indulgent suite also comes with its own private terrace and hot tub. Children and dogs are welcome – the garden, courtyard and rolling hills beyond proving conducive to a family stay. The White Horse has received 5 Gold Stars from the AA awards.
The Michelin-starred Dining Room at Gravetye Manor is a highlight of any stay here. Many ingredients come from the country house’s century-old walled kitchen garden – of which floor-to-ceiling windows provide an ample view. The grounds are stunning and the hotel runs tours of the gardens alone. Inside, 17 rooms are each named after trees on the estate, furnished with antiques, pastel textiles, oil paintings and flowers freshly picked from outside. The building dates back to the 16th century and the portraits of the original owners can be seen carved above the fireplace in one of the bedrooms.
South Lodge Horsham
This five-star country lodge makes for a wonderful state-of-the-art spa break. The hotel is housed in a 19th century mansion, but the spa area is in a separate, modern and eco-friendly wood-clad building with large windows taking full advantage of the views. Outside it has a jetted tub surrounded by loungers, plus there’s an infinity edge pool and a natural wild pool. Rooms come with four-poster beds and claw-foot freestanding tubs and some have private gardens. The award-winning venue also boasts three restaurants, a Billiard Bar, lounges and a terrace for alfresco dining.