Christmas Discovery Tour at Abingworth
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Meadows & hills
Enjoy excellent food, great company, plus daily excursions that explore the delights of the South Downs on our festive Discovery Tour at Abingworth Hall.
- The historic village of Steyning with its different types of architecture
- Hever Castle
- Return to the warmth of Abingworth Hall at the end of each day for wonderful festive food and excellent company
Great Reasons to Join Us
- Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, plus four full-day mini-coach tours, with plenty of stops at places of interest
- Accommodation: enjoy high-quality accommodation and excellent food at our Country Houses. Our Festive holidays include afternoon tea & cakes every afternoon, and plenty of festive sweets and nuts
- Knowledgeable leader: learn more about the history and landscapes of the South Downs from your knowledgeable leaders
- Sociability: spend time with like-minded people in a relaxed and friendly environment
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.
Choose your room
• Check-in from 2:30pm
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• Tea and coffee-making facilities
• Single rooms available at no extra charge
• Check-in from 1:30pm
• Enjoy extra space or exceptional views
• Toweling robe, complimentary slippers
• Same facilities as our classic rooms
• Available from an extra £10 per person per night
• Check-in from 2:30pm
• 3 or 4 beds
• Same facilities as our classic rooms
• Full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk or occasional beds for children
|• 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)
|All 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.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
Abingworth Hall is generally accessible to wheelchair users and has a bedroom specifically designed for wheelchair access.
- 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
This is the 2016 holiday - the 2017 itinerary will be similar but some of the visits may change slightly.
All admission costs on this Christmas holiday are included, as is a light lunch every day while out touring.
Friday: Arrival day
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards. Please join us for afternoon tea at 4pm. All guests are invited – we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday.
Saturday: Christmas Eve
We’ll explore the small town of Steyning and discover its association with Saint Cuthman, an Anglo-Saxon hermit. Then it’s on to Brighton to visit the Royal Pavilion. This exotic palace was built as a seaside pleasure house for George IV and mixes Regency grandeur with the visual styles of India and China. After lunch, enjoy a little free time before we visit the attractive market town of Arundel.
Sunday: Christmas Day
Take a leisurely stroll after breakfast to the village of Thakeham, followed by a traditional Christmas lunch where guests will dress to impress. The afternoon is planned around Christmas entertainment, watching the Queen’s speech, and enjoying a favourite film. After a buffet supper enjoy some more festive fun.
Monday: Boxing Day
We’ll visit the historic city of Chichester and see the wonderful late 11th century cathedral. Enjoy a local pantomime in the afternoon.
Tuesday: 27 December
We’ll take a ride on the famous Bluebell Steam Railway. Then we’ll visit Hever Castle, set in the beautiful Kent countryside. The castle was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn and offers more than 700 years of history and romantic intrigue.
Wednesday: 28 December
The Jane Austen's House Museum is a listed building which was her home for the last 8 years of her life. We’ll explore this and learn about her life. After lunch, it’s a short journey to Selborne to visit the charming Gilbert White House and Oates Museum. The museum tells the fascinating story of Antarctic hero Captain Lawrence Oates, and the pioneering 18th century naturalist Gilbert White.
Thursday: 29 December:
Depart after a leisurely breakfast.
We wish we could, but we can’t manage the weather, traffic jams or other venue’s operations, so if this holiday needs to change for those, or any other reasons, your leader will help smooth the way.
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:
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
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
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
Just 10 to 15 minutes' drive away, Elizabethan Parham House is surrounded by an extensive deer park. www.parhaminsussex.co.uk
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
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
Weald & 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
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 to Abingworth
Our address is: Abingworth Hall, Storrington Road, Thakeham, West Sussex, RH20 3EF
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).
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.
From the north leave the M25 on either the A24 or the M23 and A264 to Horsham. Continue south on the A24 towards Worthing. About 5 miles south of Horsham turn right onto the A272 signposted to Billingshurst and Petersfield. After 3 miles turn onto the B2139 in the village of Coolham. After 3½ miles pass the turning for Thakeham on your left. Abingworth Hall is on the left after the Thakeham turn.
From the south take the M27 and continue on to the A27 and around Chichester. 4 miles before Arundel at Fontwell Park turn left on to the A29. After approx 4 miles at a roundabout, turn onto the A283 to Storrington. Turn right onto the A283 in Storrington. Continue through Storrington and left at the mini-roundabout at the Anchor Inn onto the B2139 towards Thakeham and Coolham. Go straight across at the next roundabout and then take a left at the Rydon Community College roundabout. Abingworth Hall is on the right, 2 miles north of Storrington.
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.
Mike is a professional Blue Badge Guide based at Winchester in Hampshire and enjoys combining the facts and stats with a bit of fun and trivia. A keen historian and member of an archaeology group in Hampshire, he likes nothing better than researching new places and learning about their ‘hidden secrets’ and telling their story. ‘History fascinates me. It’s like pulling at a thread that never stops unravelling.’ He’s also quick to acknowledge though that when people are on holidays, sometimes it’s just about relaxing - sharing a breathtaking piece of landscape or soaking up the atmosphere of a beautiful garden.
Mike has also worked in the theatre as a professional actor in the past including rep, national tours, West End and a production of 'Baby Doll' Tenessee Wiliiams at the Royal National Theatre in 2000.
Dates & Prices
We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.
Prices are per person
- Twin/double premium rooms: £5 per person per night
- Single rooms: £8 per night
- Non member associate fee: £5 per person