Exploring National Trust Sites and Castles of Sussex

By Kristy · Oct 25, 2016

Windsor, Berkshire, England
Sussex, England
Main mode of transport
Cost per person
High end
We stayed in two different hotels; the first was in Chilgrove, near the South Downs National Park. The White Horse Inn, http://www.thewhitehorse.co.uk/. The second hotel was in Pevensey, right across from Pevensey Castle. Priory Court Hotel. http://www.thepriorycourthotel.com/

Kristy in Sussex

Best Bits

Arundel Castle is an amazing site and it is one of the working castles in England owned by the Duke of Norfolk. The castle is over 1000 years old, but still well maintained and the Duke and his famiy will still live in portions of the Castle. We were able to climb the towers, explore the gardens and visit the resting place of the Dukes of Norfolk in the Fitzlan Chapel.

The Bodiam Castle by contrast was largely just a shell of a castle. While not functioning, the National Trust has created a great site for exploring and during our visit they had a medieval village established with artisans and activities for younger kids.

Finally, we spent an afternoon at the ocean skipping rocks and took a walk along the cliffs of Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters.

Worst Bits

While the distance between locations appears short on a map, take into account the narrow English roads and account for the additional travel time if required. More direct routes are available if you take the highway, but not as scenic.

Trip Dates and Comments on Timing

August — We found that the first week in August was the perfect time to travel. Clear skies and not overly crowded.

Arrival Logistics

We drove down to Chilgrove through Surrey on the A322, A31 and connecting to the A3 highway.

From Chilgrove, we did a day trip to Brighton before driving the coast on the A259 through Eastbourne.

General Overview

3 days in Chilgrove, including trips to the South Downs National Park, Uppark House, Arundel Castle and Brighton Beach.

2 days in Pevensey, including a drive through Eastbourne, Pevensey Castle, and Bodiam Castle

Main Activities

Culture, Food, Historical visits, National Parks, Relaxing, Road trip, Walking

Food and Drink Highlights

The White Horse Inn in Chilgrove had amazing breakfasts and dinners. Pub dinner at the Smugglers Inn in Pevensey.

Essential Packing for this Trip

Hiking shoes, jackets for cool evenings and because you are in England always have a rain jacket or umbrella.

What Kristy got up to…

Kristy in Sussex

We recently moved to England after nearly 20 years in Asia. For our first summer trip we wanted to visit some castles and get a sense of the history of England. We chose Sussex as a place to be able to do some country walks, stay in some English pubs and visit some of the best castles in the country.

Our first stop was Chilgrove, at the White Horse Inn. A great pub with amazing rooms and delicious food. The best part were the little bottles of fresh milk left on your doorstep in the morning for your fresh coffee.

While in Chilgrove we visited a few National Trust sites, including the Harting Downs, Uppark House (where H.G. Wells spent part of his childhood, while his mother worked as a housekeeper) and the beautiful Arundel Castle.

Kristy in Sussex

After a few days we then moved to Pevensey to visit the site of the Norman landing prior to the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Our hotel looked over the ruins of the Pevensey Castle (where the Normans camped) and we wandered around the cute little village of Pevensey. The next day we set out to visit Bodiam Castle, with its photogenic, if a bit odoriferous, moat!

Our favorite part of Pevensey was a visit to the Smugglers Inn on a Tuesday to see the Pevensey Ukulele Group play at their weekly gathering!

About The Traveller

Gender & Age Range
Female, 46 - 50

I’m from


My favourite trip as of late
Perth, Australia

Travelling Style
Book the important stuff, but leave some flexibility in the schedule.

I like to go on the following types of trips
Culture, Food, Historical visits, National Parks, Relaxing, Road trip, Walking

It’s a dealbreaker when
Poor customer service and long lines

Continent I know the best

First Last Name

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

I’m from Perth, Western Australia

My favourite trip as of late is New Zealand, solo travel in lots of nature for a soul-refresher.

My travelling style is to Book the first night, then wing it from there!

It’s a dealbreaker when I’m stuck around large groups of package tourists.

Continent I know best is Asia.

See profile

Enjoyed this trip?!

Then we think you'll love...