Sussex Short Break and Holiday Guide

Sussex short breaks and holidays

If you are heading to Sussex for a short break or holiday and are looking for things to do for you, your partner, your family or a group of friends then our Sussex Guide is for you.

Sussex on the south east of England offers long coastlines and seaside resorts, a warm English climate, beautiful countryside that includes the South Downs National Park and so much more.... perfect for a apartment short break or self catering cottage holiday.

Below is our guide to where to head, what to see and do including:

Of course this is just an overview of some of the best bits so if we have missed out your favourite why not tell us about it on our Find Cottage Holidays Facebook page.

Historic cities and towns in Sussex

Sussex has a riched and varied history from the impact of Roman invaders to being the playground of Georgian England. So much to see, so where to head? We have listed some must see places in Sussex below:

  • Brighton. Best known for its most famous landmarks including the Royal Pavilion, Brighton Pier, the Lanes and, of course, its pebbly beach. Brighton & Hove which was made a city in 2000 offers everything from culture and arts to shopping and a thriving social scene.
  • Sussex short breaks and holidays
  • Chichester. Starting as a Roman settlement, the city of Chichester feels like a Sussex market town. Most visitors head for the Gothic Cathedral but it also widely renowned for being a leading culture centre including the famous Chichester Festival Theatre.
  • Eastbourne. One of Sussex's well known seaside resorts with one of the grandest piers on the south coast. Eastbournehas a big retirement ommunity so tends to be on the quiet side but its real advantage is its closeness to the South Downs and the drammatic Sussex coastline.
  • Lewes. The place to head to see old East Sussex, Lewes is full of old dwellings and Georgian houses around narrow lanes (also known as 'Twittens'). Lewes is also close to the famous opera venue, Glyndebourne.
  • Arundel. To see old West Sussex head to Arundel where you can see the well preserved Arundel castle and cathedral which dominate the cities skyline. There are quaint tea rooms aplenty in the old town while the Wetland Centre is worth a visit.


Wonderful Gardens in Sussex

A garden visit is such a pleasant and relaxing way to spend some time in Sussex and there are a number well worth visiting.

  • Denmans Garden in Fontwell is a unique 4 acre garden with year round interest and described as a "contemporary immensely stimulating garden".
  • Nymans Garden near Handcross is set in the Sussex Weald and is a feast of colour all year round.
  • Borde Hill Garden, Haywards Heath. Borde Hill boasts outstanding views across 200 acres of Grade 11* listed parkland and woodland, and has a nationally important collection of shrubs and champion trees.
  • Parham House and Gardens. Parham’s Gardens consist of seven acres of Pleasure Grounds and a four acre Walled Garden.
  • Wakehurst Place was leased by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in 1965 from the National Trust. It is situated in an 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty' on the High Weald of Sussex.
  • Sheffield Park Garden near Uckfield is a great landscaped garden created by Capability Brown in the 18th Century.

Historic buildings to Visit in Sussex

When talking about historic cities and towns in Sussex above we highlighted some great historic buildings to visits such as Brighton's Royal Pavilion, Chichester's Cathedral and Arundel's castle but here are some more to consider.

  • Herstmonceux Castle near Hailsham. Built originally as a country home in the mid- 15th - century, Herstmonceux Castle embodies the history of Medieval England your enchantment begins with your first sight of the castle as it breaks into view.
  • Bignor Roman Villa. One of the largest villas to be open to the public in Great Britain, with some of the finest mosaics all in situ and all under cover. Rediscovered in 1811, see the longest mosaic on display in Great Britain at 24 metres. Walk on original floors dating back to around 350AD.
  • Goodwood House. Nestled in the spectacular Sussex countryside and home to the Dukes of Richmond for centuries, Goodwood House combines the glamour of a great English country house with the warmth of a family home. The Goodwood art collection is one of the greatest in any English country house.

Sussex Attractions and Activities

Sussex has a lot of first class attractions that will keep you and your travelling companions of all ages busy. Here are a few of our suggestions:

  • Drusillas Zoo and Park at Alfriston. Widely regarded as the best small zoo in the country Drusillas Park offers an opportunity to get nose to nose with hundreds of fascinating and entertaining creatures from monkeys to otters to penguins and meekats.
  • Planet Earth Museum and Sussex History Trail. Planet Earth Museum & Sussex History Trail is one of the finest museums of its type in the country with life size moving dinosaurs and interactive displays. The Museum traces the origins of the Earth with a spectacular collection of fossils, minerals and crystals.
  • Brighton Sea Life Centre on Brighton sea front. Fancy diving beneath the sea without getting wet? You'll come eyeball to eyeball with everything from shrimps to sharks, and learn tons of great stuff from SEA LIFE experts. So go on, take the plunge and visit Brighton SEA LIFE centre
  • The Observatory Science Centre at Hertsmonceux. The Observatory Science Centre is unique because of its connection with astronomy. The copper clad domes and historic telescopes give the buildings a special atmosphere with hands-on exhibits, activities and science shows.
  • Goodwood Racecourse. Rightly regarded as one of the most beautiful racecourses in the world, Goodwood offers not just breathtaking views of the Sussex Downs and the Solent, but also top-quality Flat racing in the summer. If horse racing is not your scene then there is a lot more to it with the House and Gardens to explore and motorsports Festival of Speed.

See more Attraction in Sussex and across England

We are compiling a longer list of holiday attractions in Sussex and across England. To see more take a look at:


Staying in a Sussex Self Catering Cottage

There is so much to do and see in Sussex it is worthy of a short break or holiday so that you can explore it fully. We are able to offer a great choice of self catering accommodation in Sussex such as budget or luxury apartments, cottages, chalets and log cabins. You can search for cottages across Sussex or if you have a specific preference focus on the individual counties of East Sussex and West Sussex.

If you are taking a dog with you, you will also find a selection of pet friendly accommodation in West Sussex and East Sussex.


More Holiday Ideas for you to consider

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Find Cottage Holidays

Find Cottage Holidays mission is to promote the very best of the UK and Ireland's wonderful self catering accommodation, whether it be cottages, apartments, lodges, chalets, houses, villas or bungalows. But, it's not just about the cottages, we also try and bring you some helpful guides and information on the places to go, things to see and activities to do while you enjoy your break in England, Scotland, Wales or Ireland. In fact, we are adding to our list daily but if you think we have missed somewhere special tell us via our Facebook page. With wonderful countryside and superb coastlines to explore the UK and Ireland has so much to offer.

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