7 Night Creative Writing & Walking in the South Downs

Close up hand of young woman with pen writing on notebook at riverside in the evening.
Duration: 7 nights
Interests: Literary holidays
Walking Grade: 1 & 2
from £1,159pp £1,069pp

Combine a creative writing workshop with a walking holiday. Designed to help you become the writer you want to be, these breaks are perfect for both absolute beginners and budding authors looking to build their skills, style, and confidence in the stunning surrounds of the South Downs. You’ll enjoy a mix of group writing workshops and one-to-one sessions with a published author followed by guided afternoon walks in the great outdoors.

What you’ll love

  • Group writing workshops 
  • One-to-one session with your writing tutor* 
  • Half-day guided walks with our HF Holidays Leaders 
  • Free time to relax, write, and explore  
  • Sharing ideas with like-minded people 

    * To receive feedback from your tutor during the one-to-one session, you can submit a piece of writing in advance of your holiday. This can be submitted via an online form at least 14 days before your arrival date at the latest. The link for submissions will be included in your booking documents. 

What’s included

  • Comfortable en-suite accommodation in our country house 
  • Cream tea on arrival day 
  • Cooked or continental breakfast every morning 
  • Daily packed lunches 
  • Three-course evening meals, plus tea & coffee  
  • Easy-to-follow routes, maps, and information available in our Discovery Point if you want to explore independently 

Trip Notes

Easy to download as a PDF, our trip notes provide detailed information for every holiday. Please click below to find the trip notes for your departure date.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take alternative routes or adapt the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards. Enjoy a complimentary cream tea on arrival.


Our first workshop will focus on developing ideas and finding inspiration for your written work(s). After lunch, there’s the opportunity to have a one-to-one session with your tutor or enjoy some free time before venturing out on your first guided walk. After dinner, you can join your writing tutor and listen to readings from their own work. 


The second workshop of the week focuses on building characters. Again, there’ll be time for one-to-one sessions, but the afternoon and evening are yours to use as you choose. Write, explore, chat with your fellow guests, or simply relax. 


Discover more about Abingworth Hall and the local area for ideas on how to make the most of your free day.


This morning’s workshop is dedicated to carefully crafting the plot and structure. The afternoon offers another opportunity to enjoy a guided walk in the inspirational landscapes of the Cotswolds. In the evening, join your writing tutor for another reading from their works.


Today we turn our attention to the settings that your characters call home and the world your readers temporarily occupy. Free time is provided in the afternoon so you can further develop your writing or explore the local area independently using the easy-to-follow maps, routes, and information available in our Discovery Point. After dinner, the evening is relaxed and open for you to partake in any house activities or take a well-earned break from the creative process over a drink. 


Our final workshop focuses on the dialogue and interactions present in your writing and builds on everything we have discussed so far. In the afternoon, you’ll have the option of a short, guided walk from the house with your HF Holidays Leader. On our final evening together, there’s the opportunity for you to share a short snippet from your own writing with the group. Guests are asked to keep their readings to approximately 500 words to ensure everyone gets an opportunity.


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.


Abingworth Hall

Country living just got cosier at this former farmhouse. Abingworth Hall is just a skip away from the village of Thakeham at the foot of the South Downs – a landscape of ancient woodland, hidden valleys, chalky cliffs, and high-backed hills so deserving of its national park status finally bestowed in 2010. While the views from the doorstep are as wow-worthy as you’d expect, the walking opportunities around the sightseeing greats such as Devil’s Dyke, Seven Sisters Country Park, Kingley Vale, Parham House, and the Clayton Windmills (known locally as Jack and Jill) are equally standout. You’ll also be within easy driving distance of several historic towns and cities, most fabulously Arundel, Chichester, and Brighton.   

 

Rooms

Designed with your comfort in mind, Abingworth Hall has 27 well-appointed guest rooms available in two categories: Classic and Premium. 

Classic Rooms are comfortable en-suite guest rooms, ideal for a peaceful night's sleep. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, and shower gel), and a TV. 

Premium Rooms are more spacious en-suite guest rooms. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, body lotion, shower gel), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses. 

We love: The Premium Rooms for views of the impossibly pretty surrounds. 

The Choose Your Room service is available at our UK country houses, allowing you the option of choosing and confirming a specific room for an extra charge of £30 per room. This is subject to availability. Upgrade supplements apply. 

Check in & check out
You are welcome to check in from 4:00pm at the earliest. On arrival, you’ll enjoy a complimentary cream tea and get to meet your fellow guests, our HF Holidays Leaders, and the rest of the friendly team.  

On the day of departure, we kindly ask all guests to check out by 10:00am. You’ll be asked to settle your bill prior to leaving. You may, of course, make a charitable donation to our HF Holidays Pathways Fund if you wish. Please note that we only accept card payments.  

Room supplements

Premium single Premium double/twin Choose your room
£20 pppn £20 pppn £30 per room

About your stay

A warm welcome
We want you to feel comfortable from the moment you arrive. You’ll find a welcome pack in your room with guest registration forms, menus, order forms for dinners and picnic lunches, the Wi-Fi password, and the front door code. Our houses are locked at night, so we recommend noting the Duty Manager’s number on arrival in case of an emergency (or getting locked out). 

Evening entertainment
While evening entertainment varies from house to house, the HF Holidays Big Pub Quiz held after dinner on Wednesdays is a weekly staple. Your HF Holidays Leader may be around for tips on guided and self-guided walking routes as well as visit-worthy local attractions. 

Walks talks 
Our HF Holidays Leaders host guided walking information briefings before dinner on arrival days. This is followed by a group Walks Talk for information on the following day’s walking delights (held before dinner every evening). Self-guided walking guests are, of course, welcome.  

The walking day
Prior to setting off on walks, your HF Holidays Leader will run you through a short safety briefing. There’s also an up-to-date weather forecast on display at the house to ensure you have appropriate clothing and footwear. If you choose to do your own walks or are on a self-guided walking holiday, we ask that you please complete an Independent Walker Card each day. These can be found near the Discovery Point in the house. 

Food & drink

Led by experienced chefs, we serve a wide range of dishes made with fresh and seasonal ingredients. We always aim to source the best produce available and use home-grown herbs and vegetables from our own gardens whenever possible. Additionally, we have a licensed bar with beers, soft drinks, and a superb selection of spirits. Full-board comes as standard and includes a cream tea on arrival and a hearty breakfast on departure day.

HF Holidays understands the importance of managing allergens effectively to ensure food is safe for guests with food allergies. Whilst we are always able to confidently inform guests which allergens are present in our ingredients and dishes, we are unable to guarantee absolute freedom from the 14 main allergens in our kitchens. Vegetarian and vegan menu choices are available. If you have allergies, food intolerances, or any special dietary requirements, please inform our reservation team at the time of booking.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865 or view the accessibility information online for Abingworth Hall

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Getting to Abingworth Hall

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

Address

Abingworth Hall
Storrington Road
Thakeham
West Sussex RH20 3EF

Tel: +44 (0)1798 813636

By train

The nearest station is Pulborough.  

Pulborough station has a short platform, so you’ll need to check the departure boards for which carriage to sit in.  

National Rail have up-to-date routes and train times. 

By taxi

The six-mile journey from Pulborough railway station takes about 15 minutes.  

It’s best to avoid arriving at Pulborough station between 2:50pm and 3:20pm as there may not be any taxis available due to school pick-ups.

For pricing, please contact the taxi company directly.

MJ Cars
You can pre-book a taxi from with MJ Cars*. We recommend booking your taxi at least seven days in advance by contacting: 

Tel: +44 (0)1903 745414
Email: mjcars@btconnect.com

A return journey can be arranged on your behalf by the HF Holidays House Manager at Abingworth Hall.

*MJ Cars is not owned or managed by HF Holidays.

Sue's Private Hire
You can pre-book a taxi with Sue's Private Hire* by phone, text or email. Please pre-book asap as there are no taxis based at Pulborough Station. Your journey will be mostly with a lady driver and an electric car.

Tel: +44 (0)1798 874848 / +44 (0)7918 137066
Email:- sueph520@yahoo.com

*Sue's Private Hire is not owned or managed by HF Holidays and prices are subject to change

By car

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 two roundabouts and then at the traffic lights turn right onto the A272 to Billingshurst and Petersfield. After three miles turn left onto the B2139. Abingworth Hall is approximately four miles from this junction on the left hand side (go past Abingworth Meadows and Thakeham Pre-School). 

From the M27  
Continue onto the A27 around Chichester. At the second roundabout take the first exit on to the A29, then the second exit on to the B2139 to Storrington. At the mini roundabout, take the second exit onto the A283. Continue through Storrington then turn onto the B2139 towards Thakeham. Take the second exit at the next mini roundabout, then the first exit. Continue down this road until you reach Abingworth Hall on the right.  

By air

The nearest airport is Gatwick Airport. 

The easiest way to get from Gatwick Airport to Abingworth Hall is by taxi, a 29-mile journey taking around 40 minutes. 

For writing

  • Paper, pens and/or laptop (and charger) for writing
  • Any source or reference material you may require

For walking

The UK has a famously unpredictable climate so it's best to be prepared for weather that’s sunny one minute and raining the next. To make it easier, here’s a list of items you should consider packing. 

Essentials

  • Suitable footwear such as waterproof walking boots that provide ankle support and good grip 
  • Waterproof and windproof jacket, preferably insulated 
  • Comfortable clothing (jeans & waterproof capes are not suitable) 
  • Waterproof overtrousers 
  • Gloves and a warm hat (or sunhat) 
  • Rucksack 
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity) 
  • A small torch 
  • Sunscreen 
  • Mobile phone and portable charger 
  • Watch 
  • UV sunglasses 

Recommended 

  • Several base layers (long-sleeve or short-sleeve) 
  • Cushioned walking socks to avoid blisters 
  • First aid kit, including plasters and insect repellent 
  • Sit mat  
  • Spare pair of socks 
  • Energy snacks 
  • Waterproof pouch for valuables 
  • Rubbish bag (remember to always leave no trace) 
  • Wallet/purse 

Optional extras

  • Walking poles, useful for descents 
  • Flask for hot drinks 
  • Durable lunch box 
  • Gaiters 
  • Blister kit  
  • Waterproof rucksack liner 
  • Head torch 
  • GPS device 

Abingworth Hall Calendar

  • Guided Walking
  • Self-Guided Walking
  • Special Interests
  • Unavailable to Book

Guest reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Supplements may apply.

Non-member fee: £30 per person.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take an alternative route, or vary the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.


Holiday prices

Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book
2025

24 Oct - 31 Oct 2025

7 nights

Itinerary

Single from

£1,159 £1,069

Double from

£1,159 £1,069 pp

from

£1,159 £1,069 pp

from

£1,159 £1,069

Early Booking Offer Save £90 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now
Duration:
7 nights
Interests:
Literary holidays
Walking Grade:
1 & 2

7 nights from £1,159pp £1,069pp

or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ guests click here

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