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The Buying Agent Insider Guide
Formerly a medieval kingdom, West Sussex is the less urban half of the county of Sussex, having, as it does, relatively fewer large towns and cities than its easterly neighbour. That’s not to say there are not larger communities in this side of the county though – and most are delightful and thus extremely popular with homeowners who want to enjoy the lush greenery in these parts, together with the sea on their doorsteps and all the while enjoying relatively easy access to London via road or rail.
The charming town of Chichester – designated as the county town – typifies West Sussex with its mix of fantastic historical streets and properties, together with nearby beaches and plenty of facilities for those who enjoy the water.
Stately homes such as Goodwood and Uppark only add to the charm, as do the iconic castles at Arundel and Bramber. All in all, West Sussex is one of those places the locals who love it would rather keep a secret…and once you discover it you will see why!
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Midhurst - Proud of having been recognised as one of the best places to live in the UK, Midhurst is an attractive, historic market town nestling in the heart of the South Downs National Park. Its mix of medieval, Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian architecture provides a compelling array of properties and only adds to its picturesque nature.
Chichester – the charming cathedral city of Chichester is just about the quintessential English spot. Its mix of medieval streets, Roman ruins and classical architecture means it’s dripping in history and offers properties of all types to purchase. Add in the proximity to the sea, the iconic arts festival each summer and the short distance from the Sussex Downs and you are spoilt for choice with amenities.
Worthing – often overlooked by those buying property in favour of Brighton and Hove further eastwards along the coast, Worthing is worth another look because your money will go further and you will still enjoy the cosmopolitan mix in this classic English seaside town which is on the up and up.
Horsham – the market town of Horsham is pretty and popular and enjoys close access to the nearby Weald, with an easy charm about the place.
Crawley – the large town of Crawley is these days popular for its amazing transport links - with Gatwick Airport close by and a quick railway line into London proving popular with commuters. Its size means it offers so many facilities for its townsfolk, from eateries to nightspots to shops.
Best hotels in West Sussex
South Lodge (https://www.exclusive.co.uk) is a luxury spot with breathtaking views over the South Downs and offering award-winning dining options and a wide range of facilities. Amberley Castle (https://www.amberleycastle.co.uk) is luxurious, historic and distinctive, offering guests a relaxing stay in complete luxury with wonderful options on the dining front. Gravetye Manor (https://www.gravetyemanor.co.uk) is a magnificent 16th Century hotel which has been tastefully modernised but still provides charm and first class service in a wonderfully relaxing setting.
Best restaurants in West Sussex
Restaurant Tristan in Horsham (http://www.restauranttristan.co.uk) is home to the eponymous Tristan Mason, a chef whose reputation for excellence has diners flocking to this charming place for cooking which justifiably has been awarded a Michelin star. Also holding a star is the aforementioned Gravetye Manor, so even if you are not planning to stay there, make a beeline for the amazing food. The Cat Inn at West Hoathly (https://www.catinn.co.uk) is a 16th Century freehouse with a superb menu served in charming surroundings.
Best schools in West Sussex
Ardingly College (https://www.ardingly.com) is a day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 13 to 18 and can trace its roots back to the founding of St Saviour’s College in 1858. It has a first class record for achievement and pastoral care of its pupils. It has a linked prep school. Christ’s Hospital (https://www.christs-hospital.org.uk) prides itself on being “a school like no other”, with the emphasis on transformation through education for its mix of boys and girls aged 11 to 18. Lancing College (https://www.lancingcollege.co.uk) is an independent school for boys and girls aged 13 to 18, where the emphasis is on focusing on the individual tablets of each pupil, inspiring them to learn. It also has a linked prep school.
Buying Agents West Sussex Fact
The heaviest hailstone ever recorded in the UK fell in Horsham on 5th September 1958, when a whopper weighing 140g (4.9 oz) landed in the town. It was similar in size to a tennis ball and impact speeds have been calculated to be 224 mph!