Petworth House in West Sussex, England
A farm shop in West Sussex, England
The garden of the Duke of Cumberland Arms in West Sussex, England
Duke of Cumberland Arms in West Sussex, England
Oysters at the Duke of Cumberland Arms in West Sussex, England
Inside the Noah's Ark pub in West Sussex, England
Noah's Ark pub in West Sussex, England
The grounds of Petworth House in West Sussex, England
A cottage in West Sussex, England
Petworth House in West Sussex, England
A farm shop in West Sussex, England
The garden of the Duke of Cumberland Arms in West Sussex, England
Duke of Cumberland Arms in West Sussex, England
Oysters at the Duke of Cumberland Arms in West Sussex, England
Inside the Noah's Ark pub in West Sussex, England
Noah's Ark pub in West Sussex, England
The grounds of Petworth House in West Sussex, England
A cottage in West Sussex, England
Petworth House in West Sussex, EnglandA farm shop in West Sussex, EnglandThe garden of the Duke of Cumberland Arms in West Sussex, EnglandDuke of Cumberland Arms in West Sussex, EnglandOysters at the Duke of Cumberland Arms in West Sussex, EnglandInside the Noah's Ark pub in West Sussex, EnglandNoah's Ark pub in West Sussex, EnglandThe grounds of Petworth House in West Sussex, EnglandA cottage in West Sussex, England

Getaway to the pretty county of West Sussex

With half of its land a protected countryside studded with stately manors, ancient castles, and great country pubs, the enticing myriad of things to do in West Sussex will keep well entertained on your drive through this scenic county.

By JAY KAY
  • 1.Roam the grounds of a 17th Century Mansion

    Petworth House finally making its appearance certainly doesn’t disappoint but it is the walk through the surrounding park that brings about a truly magnificent experience.

    Left quite to its own devices, the natural 283-hectare deer park of Petworth House is the true highlight of this National Trust gem. Though you can detect some touches by a human hand, the park is predominantly shaping its own style with the help of deer herds, myriad of birds and winds sowing seeds as they see fit.

    We started our walk from the nearby car park which lies about one mile North of Petworth on the A283. From there the wide grassy path gently winds its way in between the vast meadows and ponds, revealing the magnificent country house right at the end of the park.

    Having pottered its landscaped gardens for a while, we stopped at the coffee shop for a lavender scone before taking a peek in Petworth, the market town that sits at the gate of the house. It traces its origins to medieval times and it likes to remind its visitors that JMW Turner had painted many of his masterpieces here some of which are displayed in the mansion.

    The huge ancient trees lining our walk. A few of them have been present for almost 1,000 years.

    The opening times of the house vary as this is to some extent still a private home.

  • 2.Lunch in a magical terraced garden

    Very easy to miss, The Duke of Cumberland Arms lies in well hidden valley between Fernhurst and Midhurst. You may find yourself braving a precarious pot-holed down lane to reach this gem of a pub but the journey is well worth it.

    On arrival we spotted a sign warning us that no more bookings would be accepted that day. Our hearts sank, not because we were that hungry, but because the thought of missing a lunch in the utterly stunning terraced garden was frightful.

    Nevertheless we walked through the small bar, ordered our drinks and found a table in the sun. The publican stopped by to greet us and clearly couldn’t bear the thought of us walking away with an empty stomach. Soon enough we were enjoying a plate of Irish oysters, a juicy burger and a fresher than fresh seafood salad.

    Sitting in one of the garden nooks created in the amazing landscaped garden filled with mesmerising vibushes and large leaved plants.

    Despite its out of sight location, many seek The Duke of Cumberland Arms on weekends so bookings are advised.

  • 3. Sample a delicious British affair

    Loved by locals, frequented by dog lovers and city folks alike, Noah’s Ark attracts visitors from all over with its warm character and open front garden where you can enjoy the short but well focused menu.

    Set well off the main road on the edge of a village green, this gastropub makes a great lunch stop on your travels through the picturesque countryside of West Sussex.

    On a sunny day you can settle at one of the outdoor tables that are spaciously scattered around the pub’s front lawn. The pub fronts onto the green which in summer would see many a game of cricket and it’s easy to picture pub patrons returning cricket balls that have rolled to their feet after being hit for six.

    If the weather turns dull seek refuge inside and be prepare to sink into a deep leather sofa next to the fire or take a seat in the high ceilinged library styled dining room.

    Devouring the soft velvety creme brûlée whilst sitting in the sun at the front of the pub.

    The outdoor space of Noah’s Ark is ideal for your four legged friends.

2 September 2012