7-Night South Downs Discovery Tour

Abingworth - Local Area - Arundel Castle - AdobeStock_152434790.jpeg
Duration: 7 nights
Interests: Discovery Tours
from £1,189pp

Peaceful countryside, a backdrop of 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, walk in Petworth Park to see its large herd of fallow deer and explore the Elizabethan manor house and gardens at Parham. An exploration of picture-postcard Amberley delights with its quaint cottages and sleepy charm while a visit to Bignor Roman Villa reveals the area's ancient history. There's also time to explore Chichester - a city founded in Roman times - and the chance to learn more about Amberley's Museum & Heritage Centre.

Holiday Highlights

  • Explore the Roman city of Chichester 
  • Discover the mighty Arundel Castle, founded in 1067
  • See the large herds of deer in Petworth Park
  • Visit the picturesque village of Bosham in Chichester Harbour
  • Enjoy the floral displays of West Dean Gardens

What’s included

  • 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

For 2022 departures, all admission costs are included on Discovery tours, including National Trust & English Heritage. 

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDF’s for each holiday, please click the button below to find the right trip notes for your departure date.

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.

Enjoy a complimentary Afternoon Tea on arrival.


Start with a gentle walk through Petworth Park, hopefully seeing some of the large herd of fallow deer which live here, before paying a visit to Petworth House (National Trust). After lunch we drive through pretty villages to Midhurst, forever associated with HG Wells; he attended Midhurst Grammar School firstly as a pupil and latterly as a teacher. He also briefly worked in the town's chemist shop and lived above a sweet shop in the town. The town featured under the name of 'Wimblehurst' in The Invisible Man. We shall walk through the historic centre to see some of its most characterful old buildings. Look out for ones whose woodwork is painted dark yellow, a shade known locally as 'Gold Cup'. This colour denotes properties which belong to the Cowdray Estate; the 1st Viscount Cowdray was connected with the Liberal Party - the party's colour is yellow. We'll also visit the atmospheric ruins of Cowdray House - a large Tudor mansion which was all but destroyed by fire in 1793. The kitchen tower is the only part of the mansion which stayed intact. Both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I stayed at Cowdray House during its heyday.

 


This morning we stroll around one of the most beautiful villages in Sussex - Amberley. This sleepy village has many picturesque thatched cottages complete with classic cottage gardens growing a selection of traditional cottage garden flowers. In summer, many of the streets are lined with blooming hollyhocks which add to the village's charm. There is a small pottery, a 900 year old Grade 1 listed church and an equally ancient castle, now a luxury hotel. There's time for a coffee at the village tea rooms 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. The surrounding deer park is home to around 350 fallow deer which have been bred to have dark coats rather than the more usual pale ones.


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


This morning we'll be heading off for a day in Brighton. We’ll begin with a visit to the Royal Pavilion, remodelled in Indian style as a seaside palace for King George IV when he was Prince Regent, and then you'll have plenty of free time to explore. You might want to wander along the promenade of Brighton Beach, soak up some history at the Brighton Museum, or pop your head into the city's more unusual boutiques in North Laine.


Enjoy a morning spent exploring the Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre, which is dedicated to the industrial heritage of the south east. The afternoon will be spent in Arundel, with time to visit spectacular Arundel Castle and The Collector Earl’s garden.


Our day starts with a visit to the pretty village of Bosham which overlooks one of the small inlets of Chichester harbour. A short distance away is the city of Chichester which was founded by the Romans. Its most obvious feature is the 12th century gothic-style cathedral which we’ll visit for a tour; its 61-foot spire can be seen for miles around. There are many historic buildings in the city and the remains of the city walls which were built in Roman times. The city's Roman heritage is one of the many features of the Novium Museum whose 500,000 exhibits include the remains of some Roman baths and the burial possessions of the 'Mystery Warrior' - an Iron Age man who was buried in Chichester. From Chichester we will travel to the nearby West Dean Gardens. These wonderful gardens date back to 1622 but much of what we see today was created in the 1800s. The gardens come complete with Victorian glasshouses, a 300-foot Edwardian pergola, a walled kitchen garden and a sunken garden.


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.


Abingworth Hall

Tucked away in the village of Thakeham at the foot of the South Downs, Abingworth Hall has stood in one form another since the 13th century. Gutted by fire, it was rebuilt in 1910 in its current distinctive style. As well as 27 en-suite rooms the house has all the ingredients you need for the perfect country house stay: three comfortable lounges with squishy sofas to kick back in, the largest of which opens onto an attractive conservatory and bar in which to dally, great food and super-comfy rooms to retire to. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to walking here; go for a lazy amble around the wildlife rich chalk Downlands to discover a colourful tapestry of historic villages, thatched cottages, pastoral landscapes and vibrant market towns. Highlights of your stay might include the Seven Sisters, the Glorious Goodwood estate, the Devil’s Dyke and Chanctonbury Ring, as well as Arundel and the National Trust property at Petworth. Take your pick.

 

Rooms

Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi

Stay in one of the Hall’s smartly presented rooms, which make use of every nook-and-cranny in the interesting architecture of this characterful house. With 27 bedrooms, Abingworth Hall has plenty of space and there’s a range of Classic and Premium Rooms to choose from. Clean and bright, with accent colours to offset the simple palette, the rooms are airy and light. Premium Rooms might have a feature wall or strong print wallpaper as well as pretty tiles in the ensuite bathroom.

All ‘Classic' rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Premium' Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress and larger television – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-25 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.

Facilities

Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, extensive garden, outdoor swimming pool, multi-purpose activity room, three lounges, library and board games to borrow

After a day strolling on the South Downs, come back to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. Relax in the large gardens and sit by the pretty pond, turn your hand to croquet or practice on the putting green. Ease through a couple of lengths of the heated outdoor pool if you’ve still got energy to burn. Hole up in the light-filled conservatory with pretty views of the gardens or retire to the Drawing Room with its wood-panelled walls, log burner, library of books to browse and comfy seats to sink in to; there’s a telescope for you to scour the night sky too. In the evening, take your seat in the bar or join fellow guests in the large ballroom for the evening activity.

Food & Drink

As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Food at Abingworth Hall is varied with a strong emphasis on the use of seasonal British produce. Our experienced chefs create each dish using only the freshest ingredients and, when in season, use home grown herbs and vegetables taken from our own gardens to give a true taste of the local area.

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

Essential Information

To enjoy your holiday comfortably and safely, it’s essential that your clothing and footwear is suitable for the conditions likely to be encountered. Changeable weather is possible throughout the year, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities – hot, cold, wet or dry.

All of our Discovery tours involve active sightseeing and you should therefore be prepared for walking between the sights and wear flat, comfortable shoes. In the evening most guests wear casual clothing. You will probably find a small rucksack or cross-body bag useful for carrying spare clothing, a camera and drinks (at least 1 litre) during the day.

Please note: For 2022 departures, all admission costs are included on Discovery tours, including National Trust & English Heritage.

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £30 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
2022
19 Aug - 26 Aug 2022
7 Discovery Tour £1,189 Trip Notes Book Now
Duration:
7 nights
Interests:
Discovery Tours

7 nights from £1,189pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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