Sussex was one of the first Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in Britain and its name means ‘land of the south Saxons’. Sitting on the south coast of England, West Sussex is a quiet county of small towns and picturesque villages. Here you’ll find beautiful countryside, coastal retreats, and mysterious tales and legends of days gone by.
West Sussex is home to historic buildings, ruined castles and ancient monuments. The remains of a Roman palace at Fishbourne and a Roman villa at Bignor are well preserved and make interesting trips while on West Sussex holidays. These historical sites are tucked away and the Roman villa at Bignor is accompanied by a pretty village and some lovely walks.
West Sussex is full of legends and stories of the past. This county also demonstrates a large interest in ghostly happenings and UFO sightings in the area. West Sussex has many haunted inns, a haunted road, and the mysterious Clapham Woods. Clapham Woods has had plenty of reports of UFOs, strange apparitions and suggestions of satanic devil worshipping!
It remains an eerie place and one which you might not want to get lost in at night, but Clapham does make an interesting day trip for the UK school holidays. The village of Clapham has just one street, named ‘The Street’. The manor here was held for around 300 years by the Shelley family, famous for their poet son, Percy Bysshe Shelley and his wife Mary Shelley who wrote Frankenstein.
Bignor and Clapham both fall within the South Downs National Park, as does much of West Sussex. This area is a haven for walkers, cyclists, horse riders, or those simply wanting to explore the countryside and its wildlife. Sitting just inside the South Downs National Park is Arundel. Dominated by its spectacular castle, Arundel is a picturesque town of Georgian buildings and hilly little streets and makes a relaxing day out during the half term break.
Coastal West Sussex consists of peaceful beaches and unspoilt harbour towns. Shoreham-by-sea has a pretty port, an historic old town and a modern new town. The old town centres around the church of St. Nicholas and is the site of a pre-Norman settlement. The new town also has some interesting sites, with The Marlipins Museum being the oldest non-religious building in Sussex.
The most famous coastal town in West Sussex is Bognor Regis. Bognor was made popular by Edward V after he stayed here to recover from illness in 1929. Today Bognor Regis is a traditional seaside town with an attractive esplanade and some interesting events.
The annual birdman competition takes place on Bognor pier, where you can watch hopefuls queue up with their flying machines. The competition is also held once a year at nearby Worthing, which is a quiet seaside town with an impressive pier and a vibrant town centre.
With a good mix of seaside fun, towns and villages, and some fascinating tales and legends, West Sussex is an interesting place to spend the half term dates.