Things to do in
West Sussex

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Our most recommended things to do in West Sussex

Downton Abbey and Village Small Group Tour from London

1. Downton Abbey and Village Small Group Tour from London

Become Lord or Lady Grantham for the day, as you visit the film locations used in the BAFTA award-winning Downton Abbey period drama. Hear how the global hit TV series was made and about the actors involved and the wonderful history of the places you visit on this full-day tour. You’ll depart central London in the morning on a drive to the charming Oxfordshire village that has been featured in the series as Downton village. Enjoy a guided tour of locations such as Downton Hospital, the village pub, the former home of Matthew Crawley, and the local church.  Take a short comfort break before continuing on to Highclere Castle, which is the main setting used in Downton Abbey. En route you’ll learn about the thousand-year history of Highclere Castle and life above and below the stairs. Lunch can be purchased at Highclere Castle or you can bring your own lunch and enjoy it on the beautiful grounds. Although guided tours are not allowed inside the castle, you’ll be able to explore the above-stairs area of Downton Abbey independently with the aid of a self-guided information sheet. Imagine life as it was over 100 years ago and enter the world of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants as you wander around the estate. The tour ends in central London.

From London: Downton Abbey and Village Coach Tour

2. From London: Downton Abbey and Village Coach Tour

Journey by comfortable air-conditioned coach towards the village of Bampton in Oxfordshire. Listen to an informative commentary about Downton Abbey and the locations you will visit along the way. Upon arrival in Bampton, take a guided walking tour of the village to see locations from the TV series, such as the post office and the house where Matthew Crawley lived before he moved to the abbey. Continue to Highclere Castle to enjoy approximately 3 hours to explore the house and grounds of the setting for Downton Abbey with the aid of a self-guided leaflet. Use the time to enjoy lunch at the castle (own expense) or purchase some souvenirs at the gift shop.

From London: Seven Sisters and South Downs Full-Day Tour

3. From London: Seven Sisters and South Downs Full-Day Tour

Catch the train to Brighton from London and climb aboard a luxury minibus on arrival. Journey to the beautiful South Downs and marvel at the rolling hills created over thousands of years by grazing animals. Visit Devil's Dyke to appreciate the view across the lowland weald, and learn how the landscape was formed before making your way to Middle Farm, where you can buy cheeses, sparkling wines or cider from Sussex. Continue along country lanes to Seven Sisters Country Park to see the Neolithic carving of the Longman of Wilmington. Go for a walk to Beachy Head and take stunning photos of the white cliffs before traveling to Birling Gap to look at the dramatic coastal erosion and to get your first glimpse of the Seven Sisters cliffs. Stop at Seaford Head to enjoy an iconic view of the Seven Sisters, and walk to the coastguard cottages to appreciate the area's beauty in full. Go for a stroll in Rudyard Kipling's gardens in Rottingdean, and then get some free time in Brighton or catch the train back to London straight away.

Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey Village & the Cotswolds

4. Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey Village & the Cotswolds

Blenheim Palace Blenheim Palace is a masterpiece of English Baroque architecture and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. The stunning State Rooms are brimming with priceless works of art and magnificent tapestries. The Palace is still inhabited today by the Duke of Marlborough. The Gardens are set in over 754 hectares of land with an exquisite water garden. The Cotswolds In the Cotswolds you'll visit one the areas most beautiful villages, Bourton-on-the-Water. This is a must-see village, referred to as the 'Venice of the Cotswolds' due to the number of attractive bridges that cross the gently-flowing river at its center. Downton Abbey Village Visit the village of Bampton; the film setting for many of the famous landmarks featured within the popular Downton Abbey TV series. See the buildings that played the part of the home of Isobel Crawley, the Downton Cottage Hospital, the church and also the location for two fictional local pubs, The Grantham Arms and The Dog & Duck.

From Brighton: Seven Sisters and South Downs Tour

5. From Brighton: Seven Sisters and South Downs Tour

Meet your friendly and local driver-guide at the Brighton pick-up point. This ancient landscape is characterized by the rolling chalk hills, created over thousands of years by farmers grazing their animals.  Stop at the eerily named Devil's Dyke with views of up to 30 miles across the lowland Weald. Learn how this landscape was created and see the unique Devil's Dyke, the largest dry valley in the UK. Head to Middle Farm, a traditional Sussex farm that has been in the same family for over 200 years, offering the largest selection of Sussex produce in its farm shop. Stop for 30 minutes to have a good look around and grab a snack. Continue to the Seven Sisters Country Park and the white cliffs, passing through old country lanes to see the mysterious and ancient Longman of Wilmington, a huge Neolithic carving on the side of the Downs. Walk to the top of England's highest chalk cliff, measuring 530 feet. Stop at Seaford Head for the iconic view of The Seven Sisters.  Before returning to Brighton, stop in the village of Rottingdean. Stroll through the gardens of Rudyard Kipling, author of The Jungle Book, before transferring back to the city center, arriving back in Brighton at 5:00 PM.

London: Guided Day Trip to Brighton and Seven Sisters

6. London: Guided Day Trip to Brighton and Seven Sisters

Get a local perspective on both the top attractions and lesser-known parts of Brighton on this full-day tour from London with an exciting and flexible itinerary. After being picked up from your central London hotel in the morning, you’ll visit Brighton, Hove, and Seven Sisters, including a stopover at the cherished Brighton pier and iconic Royal Pavilion. You’ll also get the chance to explore England's newest addition to its natural attractions, South Downs National Park, stopping to enjoy a classic fish and chips lunch by the seaside along an action-packed day of sightseeing.

Private Brighton & Arundel Castle or Petworth House Day Tour

7. Private Brighton & Arundel Castle or Petworth House Day Tour

Spend the day in the beautiful Regency town of Brighton with its famous Royal Pavilion and lively Brighton Pier. Then continue to Arundel Castle, boasting magnificent grounds and overlooking the River Arun, or visit Petworth House, set in Capability Brown gardens. You will be picked up from your central London hotel and driven in style through the Sussex countryside south of London. Your chauffeur will give you a panoramic tour, stopping at the sites you most want to see. First you will travel to the lively seaside resort of Brighton, best known for its ornate Royal Pavilion, designed by John Nash in the style of as a mystical pleasure dome of the Kubla Khan. You will also have time to wander the energetic town’s beautiful Lanes, tiny shopping streets crammed with cafés, antique stores and boutiques. Next, visit Arundel Castle. The former home of the Duke of Norfolk for over 700 years it has magnificent grounds overlooking the River Arun. Alternatively go to Petworth House, the stately home of the Duke of Somerset and rebuilt around 1690. Petworth houses one of the finest collections of paintings in England, as well as boasting gardens and a deer park landscaped by Capability Brown. Wander the antique stores of the village of Petworth before you return to London for your hotel drop-off.

Frequently asked questions about West Sussex

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What people are saying about West Sussex

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 514 reviews

First time we visited Brighton. This tour is definitely a must see! Lawrence was great, very knowledgeable, knew all the stories behind the attractions! Gave us some very interesting facts and of course the view was spectacular! Visited some lovely villages too with friendly local people. Highly recommend this tour! The Seven Sisters was fantastic and Lawrence knew the best, hidden spots too! Thank you for a great day out! Timi & Rita from Hungary

Despite a cloudy and windy day in Brighton and Seven Sisters, Lawrence never failed to keep our spirits up with his humour and patience. Always happy to share his great wealth of knowledge of the area. My family thoroughly enjoyed this tour. Highly recommended!

This tour was fantastic! Loved the Seven Sisters and just the drive through the countryside getting there. Our guide was wonderful and love the smaller mode of transportation.

Clearly understood what the guide has advised. Enjoy with trip, but at button on water was too short for lunch, no time to go sightseeing

tour guide was great.. provided a lot of information. enjoyed the trip