Railways of the South East

South Downs

Code: AWHRH

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Activity types:

  • History
  • Meadows & hills

Holiday overview

Enjoy the south of England from a variety of restored Victorian railways.

Holiday Highlights:

  • The beautifully restored Bluebell Line
  • The quaint Kent & East Sussex Railway
  • The unique narrow-gauge miniature Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch line along the coast

Great Reasons to Join Us

  • Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, coach transport and train travel
  • Accommodation: enjoy high quality accommodation and excellent food at Abingworth Hall
  • Knowledgeable leaders: all our leaders are experts in their field and will ensure you get the most out of your holiday
  • Sociability: we pride ourselves on the social atmosphere of our holidays – explore together, eat together and relax together

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.

 

 

Choose your room

Classic Rooms
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• TV
• Hairdryer
• Tea and coffee making facilities
• Single rooms available at no extra charge
Premium Rooms
• 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
Family Rooms
• 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

Facilities

• 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) 

Dining

All holidays at our Country Houses are full board with breakfast, picnic lunch and evening meal. 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

An example of Abingworth evening meal

Your evenings

Make the most of your evening or join us at the bar


Just 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.

Itinerary

Monday: 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.

Tuesday: Bluebell Railway & Volks Electric Railway

We’ll visit the Bluebell railway, running through delightful Sussex scenery and recently extended to East Grinstead, with time to explore the town if desired. Starting from Sheffield Park we can visit some of the other beautifully restored stations, such as Horsted Keynes. We’ll also have a trip to the seafront at Brighton to visit the unique Volks Electric Railway.

Wednesday: Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch line

Today we make for New Romney to ride on the 15 inch-gauge Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch line, which runs along the coast and out to remote Dungeness, as well as to the picturesque towns of Hythe and New Romney.

Thursday: Kent and East Sussex Railway

On our final day we head to the Kent and East Sussex Railway in the picturesque town of Tenterden, with time to look around the railway museum, as well as explore this charming area. The ten miles of line runs to Bodiam, with its mighty and quintessentially English moated castle (NT), dominating the landscape. There will be time to visit the castle, before we make our return journey.

Friday: Depart after a leisurely breakfast

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.

 

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).

Train at Pulborough station 

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:

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.

 

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.

 Quantas Boeing 747

Leaders

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.

 

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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

Information

  • Premium single room: £15 per night
  • Premium twin/double room: £10 per person per night
  • Non-member associate fee: £10 per person

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