The name of the former county means “Südsachsen” and points out that Sussex was a small Anglo-Saxon kingdom from the 5th century. In the east it shares borders with Kent, in the north with Surrey and in the west with Wessex. The landscape is mostly flat, with the hills of the South Downs and the Weald being the highest elevations. The rivers are short and of little importance. The coast is the major economic factor. Besides Brighton, Bognor Regis and Eastbourne are major seaside resorts. Inland, fruit growing and cattle breeding are of great importance. The South Downs Foopath reveals some particularly nice locations.
South of London, where the metropolitan area gives way to the Sussex hill country, stands a former royal hunting park made famous by the author of Winnie the Pooh, A. A. Milne. The 6,500 acre forest, the remainder of what was once a massive woodland steeped in legend, is a designated “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty”. Activities include horseback riding and hiking. A museum at the edge of the forest is dedicated to the famous bear.
Garden idyll at the High Wealds
When the German-Jewish businessman Ludwig Ernst Wilhelm Leonard Messel emigrated to England at the end of the 19th century, he bought the 120-hectare Nymans estate because of its wonderful view of the High Weald of Sussex. From then on, the transformation of the estate became his life's work. After his death, his family continued the work. A wild garden was created. In the adjoining forest plants from the temperate latitudes of the whole world were planted. A stone mansion replaced the inconspicuous “Regentschaftshaus”. Today the garden is one of the most beautiful in England and open to the public.
National Trust Touring Pass
English gardening at its finest
This enchanting market town is located in the county of West Sussex. Petworth features numerous lovely cottages and the famous Petworth House, where the Earls of Egremont once resided. The surrounding landscape garden dates back to the 13th century and is an example of English gardening at its finest. The kitchen garden is on the southern side of the house, and the Pleasure Grounds, where laurels, sycamores, limes and cedars grow, is spread out over 30 acres to the north of the residence. Here, there are paths which will lead you through the gardens and a sight line that will direct your gaze toward a nearby rotunda.
National Trust Touring Pass
The South Downs National Park is England's newest National Park, established in 2011 and covers more than 1,600 km ² along the coast between Southampton in the west and Eastbourne in the east. Mainly under protection are the South Downs, a landscape that is dominated by chalk cliffs that culminates in the Beachy Heads. In addition, the Western Weald is included, whose hills are covered with dense forest. A good opportunity to get to know the particularly beautiful scenery is to wander a bit on the South Downs Way, which crosses the 140 km long park from east to west.