South Downs Discovery Tour

Abingworth Hall

Code: AWHCR

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Activity types:

  • Coastal
  • Food & drink
  • Free WiFi
  • History
From £364.00 - 3 to 7 nights

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Prices are per person

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Holiday overview

Peaceful countryside, rolling chalk hills and beautiful gardens make the South Downs an enchanting area to explore. Discover the historic town of Arundel, with its iconic castle and cathedral that has one of the best views of the South Downs. Glimpse into the past at the open air Weald and Downland Museum, wander round the Elizabethan manor house at Parham and explore the Norman port of Bosham.

Our South Downs Discovery Tour really gets into the heart of the countryside. These are sightseeing tours by minibus, visiting places not normally reached by a full-sized coach. Small groups and friendly leaders make this a great way to enjoy Britain at its best.

Holiday highlights

  • The fascinating garden at Highdown
  • The Elizabethan manor house at Parham
  • Petworth where Capability Brown designed the rolling parkland landscape 
  • The interesting old Norman port of Bosham
  • Optional short strolls of up to 1½ miles

Price includes

  • High quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our country house
  • The services of our knowledgeable HF Holidays’ leader, ensuring you get the most from your holiday
  • Full-day excursions with all transport on touring days in a good-quality, comfortable mini-coach

In pictures...

Accommodation

HF Holidays' Abingworth Hall in the South Downs

Nestled at the foot of the South Downs, Abingworth Hall is ideally located for a short break or a longer holiday. A peaceful ambiance and excellent facilities make it a relaxing place to stay. It offers great viewing for short or long strolls in the beautiful surrounding meadows.

Rooms

'Good' Rooms 

These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:

  • Check in from 2:30pm
  • Tea and coffee-making facilities
  • 23 inch TV
  • Toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Free WiFi

'Better' Rooms 

These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:

  • Early check in from 1pm
  • Tea & Coffee making facilities
  • Fluffy bathrobe & slippers
  • 32 inch TV
  • More luxurious mattress
  • Enhanced toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Smalls drying rack
  • Free WiFi

Only an extra £15 per person per night

Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplement to upgrade to 'Better' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.

At the house

  • Excellent boot and drying rooms
  • Three comfortable lounges, the largest of which opens onto the attractive conservatory and bar
  • Large ballroom
  • Dining room
  • Free WiFi avaliable in some public rooms
  • Range of board games and books
  • Surrounded by eight acres of gardens
  • Putting green and croquet lawn
  • Heated outdoor swimming pool
    (open May to September) 

Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplement to upgrade to 'Better' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.

Dining

An example of Abingworth evening mealAll holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.

Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
 Take your fill from our famous self-service picnic lunches
A relaxed social dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses

Your evenings

Make the most of your evening or join us at the barJust relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our optional evening activities.

All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.

Accessibility

Abingworth Hall is generally accessible to wheelchair users and has a bedroom specifically designed for wheelchair access.

More details on Abingworth accessibility

Additional information 

  • Fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance at an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards are issued
  • Mobile phone reception is generally good from the main building
  • Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome; dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times
  • Information can be provided in large print
  • Staff have received disability awareness training
  • Special diets can be catered for. Specialist food can be obtained with prior notice
  • Fridge for medication can be supplied

Itinerary

During your Discovery Tour you'll have the opportunity to visit many fascinating places. The following is our provisional programme, and your HF Holidays' leader may adjust it at their discretion, taking into account factors such as weather, local opening times, or other events. This holiday includes active sightseeing and you should expect to spend lots of time on your feet.

For maximum flexibility, admissions are not included; please remember to bring your National Trust or English Heritage cards if you have them. Otherwise please allow up to £10 a day for entrances (there may be concessionary and group discounts which may reduce this price). Please bring cash as card machines are not always available at all venues.

 

Sometimes things happen beyond our control – the weather, traffic jams or changes at the places we visit. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way.

Arrival day

You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (1pm for better rooms). Please join us for afternoon tea.

Petworth and Midhurst

Exterior of Petworth HouseStart with a walk through Petworth Park, hopefully among the deer, with a chance to visit Petworth House (National Trust). After lunch we drive through pretty villages to Midhurst, forever associated with H G Wells. Walk through the historic centre and view the fascinating and atmospheric ruins of Tudor Cowdray House.

Sussex Villages

Exterior of Elizabethan Parham HouseThis morning we stroll around one of the most beautiful villages in Sussex - Amberley. Time for coffee at the village café before the short journey to Bignor Roman Villa, which has some of the finest mosaics in Britain. We spend the afternoon at the fascinating Elizabethan Parham House, exploring the house and extensive gardens.

7-night holiday: Free day

A free day for you to explore the local area or to relax in the Country House. Our Discovery Points help you make the most out of your free day. There’s plenty of maps and a selection of the best local walking routes, as well as weather forecasts and public transport options – plus details about other places to visit.

3-night holiday: Depart after a leisurely breakfast

4-night holiday: Arrival day

You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (better rooms from 1pm). Please join us for afternoon tea.

Around Chichester

View from the top of the TrundleWe visit the delightful village of Bosham on Chichester Harbour, which appears on the Bayeux Tapestry and is also associated with King Cnut. We then spend some time in Chichester where you can visit the cathedral, explore the town, walk on the town wall or even indulge in a little ‘retail therapy’. The day finishes at West Dean with the opportunity to enjoy the walled garden or take a walk on the Monarch’s Way.

Arun Valley

Exterior of Arundel CastleFirst stop, Littlehampton, where you can chose to take a walk alongside the River Arun on a smart new promenade to the sea. We then visit the delightful Highdown Gardens, built into a chalk quarry, followed by a visit to an unusual chapel, with a painted reproduction of the Sistine Chapel. The afternoon will be spent in Arundel, with time to visit spectacular Arundel Castle and The Collector Earl’s garden.

Over the Downs

View from Devil's Dyke Enjoy a morning spent exploring the Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre, which is dedicated to the industrial heritage of the south east. In the afternoon, we visit Lancing College which contains a magnificent chapel.

Depart after a leisurely breakfast

Local area

Discover Sussex and the South Downs

Abingworth Hall is situated amidst gentle rolling farmland at the foot of the South Downs.

The nearest facilities are in the village of Storrington, about two miles away. Here you’ll find a small supermarket, post office, newsagent, pubs and a bank.

During your stay at Abingworth Hall you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest:

Arundel Castle from the airArundel
The quaint town of Arundel, about 30 minutes' drive away, is dominated by its castle, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk. During your visit you may enjoy a walk in the Castle's extensive grounds, or beside the river Arun. www.arundelcastle.org

 

 

Frontage to Uppark HouseUppark House
Completely restored after an extensive fire, this stately National Trust property has ornate rooms and gardens. Uppark is around 50 minutes' drive from Abingworth. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/uppark

 

 

Brighton
The cosmopolitan seaside city of Brighton is about 40 minutes' drive from Abingworth Hall and has an excellent range of specialist shops, entertainment, and its famous beach. You may also enjoy a visit to the Royal Pavilion, built in the early 19th century by George IV. www.brighton-hove-rpml.org.uk

Amberley Working Museum
Just 15 minutes' drive from Abingworth Hall, this large open-air museum tells the industrial story of the downs, complete with a steam railway, vintage buses and restored quarry machinery. www.amberleymuseum.co.uk

Parham House
Just 10 to 15 minutes' drive away, Elizabethan Parham House  is surrounded by an extensive deer park. www.parhaminsussex.co.uk

Chichester
The historic cathedral city of Chichester, about 45 minutes' drive away, has plenty of interest. Just a couple of miles away is the fascinating Fishbourne Roman Palace, uncovered in 1960, which has many superb mosaics. www.chichestercathedral.org.uk or www.sussexpast.co.uk/fishbourne

Imposing stone fascade of Petworth HousePetworth House
A large late 17th century mansion, now run by the National Trust with extensive grounds that were landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown. Around 30 minutes' drive from Abingworth. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/petworth-house

 

 

Historic Houses at museumWeald & Downland Museum
Located on the Downs, near the village of Singleton, this excellent open-air museum contains many restored buildings that bring the history of Sussex to life. These include a working watermill and a re-creation of a typical downland village. The museum is around 45 minutes' drive from Abingworth. www.wealddown.co.uk

 

Bluebell Railway
One of Britain’s premier steam railways with an impressive collection of 50 locomotives, representing the Southern Railway and its predecessors. The line runs through rolling countryside from Sheffield Park to East Grinstead, about 40 minutes' drive from Abingworth. www.bluebell-railway.co.uk

 

Uppark House and Petworth House image ©National Trust Images/John Miller

Travel

Travel to Abingworth

Our address is: Abingworth Hall, Storrington Road, Thakeham, West Sussex, RH20 3EF

How to get to us by train

By train:

The nearest railway station is at Pulborough. For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).

Get to us by Taxi

By taxi:

The 6 mile journey from Pulborough railway station takes approximately 15 minutes. Pre-booked taxis cost approx £14. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Abingworth Hall Manager.

Driving to us

By car:

For those with satellite navigation, enter the postcode RH20 3EF and Storrington Road if required.

From the M25 take either the A24 or the M23 and then the A264 towards Horsham. At the Great Daux roundabout go south on the A24 towards Worthing. Go straight over 2 roundabouts and then at the traffic light cross roads turn right onto the A272 signposted to Billingshurst and Petersfield. After 3 miles turn left onto the B2139 (The Selsey Arms on left). After 3.5 miles pass the turning for Thakeham on the left. After half a mile, Abingworth Hall is on the left, directly after the national speed limit signs.

From the M27 continue onto the A27 and around Chichester. At Fontwell Park roundabout take the first exit to continue on the A27 and at the next roundabout take the first exit on to the A29. After approx. 4 miles, at a roundabout, take the 2nd exit on to the B2139 to Storrington. At the mini roundabout in Storrington, take the 2nd exit onto the A283. Continue through Storrington and take the first exit at the mini roundabout by the Anchor Inn on to the B2139 towards Thakeham. Take the 2nd exit at the next mini roundabout and then take the 1st exit at next mini roundabout (by Steyning Grammar School). Continue down this road until you see 30mph signs. Abingworth Hall is just before these signs, on the right. 

Travel by plane

Travelling from overseas

Abingworth is particularly convenient from London Gatwick Airport, which is served by a large range of long-haul and European flights.

From Gatwick Airport station there are trains every 30 minutes to Pulborough - journey time 40 minutes. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times. From Pulborough station complete your journey to Abingworth by taxi (see above)

London Heathrow airport is a little further away, so you'll need to travel via the centre of London. Allow 2½ hours to get to Pulborough.

Leaders

Graham Horn

After 30 years as a Transport Planner, Graham successfully retrained as a Blue Badge Tourist Guide. He is a geographer by qualification and an explorer by instinct, and frequently has a map in his hand. Graham's travels have taken him to many parts of the country, where he enjoys discovering out-of-the-way places as well as an area's better known towns and buildings. He has a particular interest in the countryside, waterways, industrial heritage and places where history happened. Graham is also an HF Holidays' walking leader and has led at more than half of the UK's Country Houses.

Excellent leader. Did his best to make the holiday as good as possible for each one of the guests on the Discovery Tour.

Chrissie Le Marchant

Chrissie grew up in Yorkshire and spent her early years exploring the North York Moors. Having obtained a degree in Geology and Geography, she spent the next few years working for an international mining company, prospecting in the West Country and gold mining in Africa, driving home overland from Johannesburg via India.

She spent the next few years raising children and working for two National Parks, Snowdonia and Dartmoor. After training as a teacher of design technology she returned to civil engineering building roads. Eventually she became a Blue Badge Tourist Guide and has worked in the West Country and southern England and all over Europe as a guide and tour manager.

As a ‘Deviationist’ on the Ffestiniog Railway she drove trains, tipped wagons and appeared on Blue Peter and has been leading railway holidays for several years.

Chrissie was superb and made the week memorable. She was super and very knowledgeable about everything.

Phil Laverack

A dedicated traveller, Phil researches all his holidays with enthusiasm and dedication. He has trekked all over the world for cancer and children's charities and has a love of the countryside born out of his childhood within the boundaries of the North Yorkshire National Park. History has always been a fascination for him. As a guide Phil hopes the guests on his tours will leave having had a pleasurable and memorable experience and been part of a happy team that really did “discover”.

Took us to some small interesting local features as well as the more obvious tourist attractions. He had researched the area well and had planned and organised very lovely venues for lunch!

Reviews

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
12 Apr 2019 AWHCR - Discovery Tour - Abingworth 7 £835.00 £735.00 Early Booking Offer - Save £100 Per Person Book Now
12 Apr 2019 AWHCR - Discovery Tour - Abingworth 3 £379.00 £364.00 Offer - £15.00 off pp - 3 night special Book Now
15 Apr 2019 AWHCR - Discovery Tour - Abingworth 4 £515.00 £490.00 Offer - £25.00 off pp - 4 night special Book Now
17 May 2019 AWHCR - Discovery Tour - Abingworth 7 £915.00 £875.00 Early Booking Offer - Save £40 Per Person Book Now
17 May 2019 AWHCR - Discovery Tour - Abingworth 3 £389.00 £374.00 Offer - £15.00 off pp - 3 night special Book Now
20 May 2019 AWHCR - Discovery Tour - Abingworth 4 £549.00 £524.00 Offer - £25.00 off pp - 4 night special Book Now
2 Aug 2019 AWHCR - Discovery Tour - Abingworth 3 £389.00 £374.00 Offer - £15.00 off pp - 3 night special Book Now
2 Aug 2019 AWHCR - Discovery Tour - Abingworth 7 £915.00 £875.00 Early Booking Offer - Save £40 Per Person Book Now

Prices are per person

Information

  • Non-member associate fee: £10 per person

We like to reward early bookers with our best rooms so book early to avoid disappointment.
Please note that we aren't able to take room number requests as we are unable to guarantee them. 

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