Amberley Working Museum

Heritage bus at Amberley Working Museum
Amberley Vintage Bus © Dave Jacobs - CCL

Located in a large disused chalk quarry, which thrived in the 1840s to 1960s, when the extracted chalk was heated to produce lime. Today its numerous buildings house a working museum that immortalises southern England's industrial past. Craftspeople can be seen working in traditional trades such as blacksmiths, printing presses, wood turners, wheelwrights and potters. The site's 45 varied attractions also include stationary engines, pumping engines, a steam crane and a 1950s fire engine. Visitors can also experience rides on vintage omni buses and a narrow gauge railway. One fascinating exhibit, the "Paviors Museum of Road Making", illustrates the evolution of road construction since Roman times.

Opening times: Mar~Nov, Wed-Sun & BH Mon (daily during school hols) 10am to 5.30pm
Admission Charge
Location: Houghton Bridge, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 9LT - Tel: 01798 831370 - Website
Facilities: Parking, café, shop, wheelchair access

Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle
Arundel Castle © Paul Gillett - CCL

Located high on a hill in West Sussex, Arundel is one of England's finest castles. Built during the Norman Conquest to defend the Arun valley, it has been the seat of the Dukes of Norfolk for nearly 1000 years. Extensively rebuilt during the 19th century, its impressive castellations and turreted fortifications are today flanked by a majestic 19th century Cathedral and the 14th Century parish church of St Nicholas.

The castle's tall grey walls house a maze of magnificent rooms containing rich furnishings from William and Mary to Victorian, including many art treasures by Gainsborough, Renolds and Van Dyck, plus several fine tapestries and personal possessions of Mary, Queen of Scots. Also on display are many fine medieval suits of armour and robes worn by the late Duke at the Queen's Coronation. Visitors can also climb to the keep and battlements or roam through the grounds and see the charming Victorian style flower and vegetable gardens.

Opening times: Apr~Oct, Sun-Fri 12am to 5pm Admission Charge
Location: Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 9AB - Tel: 01903 882173 - Website
Facilities: Parking, café, shop, wheelchair access

Bignor Roman Villa

One of the largest Roman Villas uncovered in the UK. The excavation contains many exquisite mosaics, including the longest mosaic found in Britain at 82 ft (25 m), plus the famous Ganymede mosaic, showing a child borne aloft by an eagle. Many of the mosaics remain on view to the public under specially constructed coverings. Visitors can also see the remains of a hypocaust heating system and various other finds from the excavations are on show in the site museum.

Opening times: Mar~Apr, Tue-Sun & BH 10am to 5pm; May~Oct, daily 10am to 5/6pm Admission Charge
Location: Bignor, Pulborough, West Sussex, RH20 1PH - Tel: 01798 869259 - Website
Facilities: Parking, café, shop, wheelchair access (most areas), guided tours


Bramber Castle

Bramber was once a large inland port, until the River Adur silted up. The large Norman castle on the site was mostly destroyed following the civil war and only a gaunt tower and gateway, plus a few sections of wall, survive. Run by English Heritage

Nearby stands St Mary's, a 15th century timber framed house with rare panelling and beautiful topiary garden.

Opening times: any reasonable time - Free Entry
Location: Bramber, West Sussex, BN4 3FB - Website
Facilities: Parking

Denmans Garden

This 19th century estate was transformed into a series of ornamental gardens following WWII. The estate includes a walled garden filled with old-fashioned roses and herbaceous perennials. Plus a dry graveled garden with swaying grasses and bamboo that leads down to a water garden and a wild flower meadow. The garden is planted for all-year interest with emphasis on shape, colour and texture.

Opening times: daily 9am to 5pm (closed Xmas and NY) Admission Charge
Location: Denmans Lane, Fontwell, West Sussex, BN18 0SU - Tel: 01243 542808 - Website
Facilities: Parking, café, shop, garden centre, guided tours, wheelchair access

Fishbourne Roman Palace

Step back nearly 2000 years to Fishbourne Roman Palace, once the residence of an important pro-Roman king. Years of patient excavation have now revealed the palace to be the largest single Roman building yet found in Britain. Its size and grandeur would have competed with the palaces of Imperial Rome itself. The sumptuous palace extends over four wings, containing many beautiful mosaic floors, surrounding a formal garden. Wooden storehouses have also been discovered nearby, as well as evidence of a harbour.

The mosaic floors are among the finest to have been found in Britain. The earliest, mainly black and white, were laid before AD 100. The later, more colourful ones date from the 2nd and 3rd centuries and are intricately designed. The layout of the gardens have been uncovered and have now been restored and replanted in an authentic Roman style. There is also a fascinating museum that showcases the many interesting finds discovered during excavations at the site. Audio-visual presentations help bring the site back to life, showing how the palace would have looked in its original splendour.

Opening times: all year, daily from 10am Admission Charge
Location: Salthill Road, Fishbourne, West Sussex, PO19 3QR - Tel: 01243 785859 - Website
Facilities: Parking, café, shop, wheelchair access

Goodwood House

This l7th century Regency mansion, built on the site of a former royal hunting lodge, commands a spectacular location high on the south downs. The property has been the seat of the Dukes of Richmond for over 300 years, and is set in an 11,000 acre wooded estate of unrivalled beauty. Royalty have visited the magnificent house and its beautiful country park over the centuries, to enjoy the sport of kings, at the nearby Goodwood Racecourse; laid out in the grounds by the third Duke of Richmond in 1801. The house is rich in paintings, furniture, jewellery and lavish trinkets, plus a priceless collection of Sevres porcelain and Flemish tapestries. Many portraits and paintings of the Dukes of Richmond and their ancestors hang on the walls. The richly decorated State Apartments are open for public viewing, including the luxurious Yellow Drawing Room and the unique Egyptian Dining Room.

Opening times: Mar~Sep, most Sun & Mon, 1pm to 5pm (closed during events) Admission Charge
Location: Goodwood, West Sussex, PO18 0PX - Tel: 01243 755048 - Website
Facilities: Parking, café, shop, wheelchair access


Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens

Leonardslee Grade I listed garden is renowned for its blaze of spring colour, provided by masses of azaleas, rhododendrons and magnolias, set amidst luscious valleys, lakes and waterfalls. The garden's seven beautiful lakes are rich in wildfowl. There is also a deer park with sika deer and a group of wallabies that live in parts of the valley.

Opening times: Apr-Oct, daily 9.30am to 6pm Admission Charge
Location: Lower Deeding, West Sussex, RH13 6PP - Tel: 201403 891212 - Website
Facilities: Parking, café, restaurant, shop, garden centre

Nymans Garden

ruins of Nymans HouseNymans is one of Sussex's greatest gardens, with over 30 acres of mature trees and rare plants, collected from all over the globe. Masses of rhododendrons, azaleas and magnolias make Nymans a delight to visit in the late spring. The enchanting garden is full of surprises and unexpected vistas. The atmospheric ruins of the house look out over sweeping lawns, with statues, topiary and lovely cedar trees. There is also a peaceful walled garden, a delightful sunken garden and a magnificent laurel walk. Run by National Trust*

Opening times: Feb~ Oct, Wed-Sun & BH. Nov~Mar, weekends 11am to 4pm Admission Charge*
Location: Staplefield Road, Handcross, West Sussex, RH17 6EB - Tel: 01444 400321 - Website
Facilities: Parking, café, shop, garden centre, wheelchair access

Parham House & Gardens

A delightful Elizabethan house containing fine period furnishings and artwork, surrounded by exquisite gardens and a deer park, in a beautiful downlands setting. The property contains an important collection of paintings, furniture, carpets and some very rare needlework. The gardens comprise a large walled garden with extensive herbaceous borders, greenhouses, orchards and a herb garden. The grounds also contain a brick and turf maze called 'Veronica's Maze', which is ideal for children to enjoy.

Opening times: Easter~Sep: Wed, Thu, Sun & BH Mons (+ Tue & Fri in Aug). Gardens 12 to 6pm, House 2pm to 6pm Admission Charge
Location: Parham Park, Storrington, Pulborough, RH20 4HS - Tel: 01903 744888 & 742021 - Website
Facilities: Parking, café, shop, garden centre, wheelchair access

Petworth House & Park

An impressive mansion, built in the 17th century by the Duke of Somerset. The house is set within 2000 acres of magnificent landscaped parkland designed by Capability Brown. This lovely setting once inspired the painter Turner who had a working studio there. His works can be viewed in the house along with those by Gainsborough, Holbein, Rembrandt, and Van Dyck.
Run by National Trust*

Opening times: Apr~Oct from 10.30am (closed Thu-Fri) Park open dawn to dusk Admission Charge*
Location: Petworth, West Sussex, GU28 0AE - Tel: 01798 342207 - Website
Facilities: Parking, café, restaurant, shop, wheelchair access

Standen

A large Art and Crafts style family house, circa 1890s, designed by Philip Webb (friend of William Morris). The remarkably complete interior has been carefully restored with Morris textiles and wallpapers. Contains much good furniture, pottery and pictures of the period. Original electric light fittings, billiard room and conservatory. Hillside garden with fine views over the Medway valley. Run by National Trust*

Opening times: Feb-Nov Daily 11am to 4:30pm (Nov-24th Dec till 3pm) Admission Charge*
Location: West Hoathly Road, East Grinstead, RH19 4NE - Tel: 01342 323029 - Website
Facilities: Restaurant, shop, plant sales, toilets, free parking (200 metres)

Uppark

Brick built 17th C. Queen Ann Mansion, overlooking extensive landscaped gardens on the South Downs, with sweeping views to the sea. Contains a fine portrait collection and many period rooms. Its mid 18th C. furnishings remain unchanged, including original wallpapers and curtains. Queen Anne dolls' house. Victorian kitchen quarters. Garden landscaped by Repton.

The house was once home to Nelson's mistress, Lady Hamilton. Run by National Trust*

Opening times: Mar~Oct, Sun-Thu from 11am Admission Charge*
Location: South Harting, Petersfield, GU31 5QR - Tel: 01730 825857 - Website
Facilities: Parking, café, restaurant, shop, wheelchair access

Wakehurst Place Garden

An important collection of exotic trees, shrubs and other plants. Picturesque watercourse links several lakes and ponds. Heath garden and rock walk. Natural History Exhibition.

Managed by National Trust* and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Opening times: all year, daily, Jan-Dec 10am to 4:30pm (till 6pm Mar-Oct) Admission Charge*
Location: Ardingly, Haywards Heath, RH17 6TN - Tel: 01444 894066 Website
Facilities: Parking (charged), cafe, restaurant, plant centre, toilets.

Weald & Downland Open Air Museum

The history of Sussex has been preserved in this unique open-air museum located in a wooded valley at the nearby village of Singleton. Many historic buildings, threatened by decay or demolition, have been painstakingly reconstructed to provide a showcase of English architectural heritage in this beautiful parkland setting.

Opening times: Mar~Oct, daily 10.30am to 4/6pm Admission Charge
Location: Singleton, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 0EU - Tel: 01243 811363 Website
Facilities: Parking, café, shop, wheelchair access

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Please note that the above information was accurate at the time this page was last updated. This information is subject to change at any time (opening times in particular), therefore if you plan on visiting any of the above attractions, please check the owner's website first or phone them for the latest details.

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