The Local Area

Along with the rest of the U.K. we are getting back to more normal times.

The greatsussexway.org website is updated daily and holds a list of local attractions which are open. During the Covid-19 Pandemic, Government advice may have restricted access or numbers of visitors to various places. Please contact them for an update on their current status, should you wish to visit any of them during your stay, as you may still have to book.

Honeysuckle Lodge sits in the middle of Ham Farm, an arable farm on the southern edge of the Manhood Peninsula, in the parish of Sidlesham, close to Pagham Harbour and Medmerry RSPB Reserves. Recent bird sightings are logged on Birdtrack and our local RSPB Reserve websites.

It is relatively flat here and great for cycling with bridleways across the reserves. Check out Bill Way, part of Route 88 shown on www.sustrans.org.uk. which will take you to Chichester and beyond. Take a look at MarmaladeMTB guided bike rides over the South Downs, and contact Sean if you would like to hire their bikes or try App-Bike or Barreg Cycles, in advance of your stay. The Ramblers Association arrange regular walks in this area, or consider City Walls Walks around Chichester when you have exhausted the local footpaths around Sidlesham.

Local rural pubs and restaurants offer a wide choice of menu, but since social distancing rules, they may have reduced their covers, so book ahead to ensure a table. Chichester Golf Club is less than five miles away, offering two 18 hole courses, a par3 course, driving range, crazy golf and other activities including Escape Rooms. Selsey has a nine hole links style course.

The cottage is within a few miles of the National Trust sand spit, East Head, and the village shops and beaches of East and West Wittering. Parking for East Head is restricted, with pre-book and pre-pay through JustPark.com. Shore Watersports and 2XS provide a range of watersports, tuition and equipment from the Wittering beaches.

Mulberry Marine Experiences, based in Selsey, focus on marine ecology, and offer a range of water and ecology based family friendly activities: beach walks and beach clean activities, snorkelling, scuba and free diving opportunities. More experienced divers are also welcome.

Itchenor, Birdham Pool, Dell Quay and Chichester Marina give access for keen sailors to Chichester Harbour and the Solent. West Dean Gardens and Denman’s Gardens at Fontwell are a must for those with green fingers looking for inspiration.

The Solent and the Isle of Wight from Medmerry Reserve

The Roman Palace at Fishbourne and the historic city of Chichester, with its well documented Roman connections, lie to the north of Sidlesham. Within the City Walls, The Novium Museum, Chichester Cathedral and the medieval Market Cross are located in the pedestrianised city centre. There is a range of independent shops, tea rooms, restaurants and pubs tucked away down narrow side streets. Pallant House, a typical Georgian townhouse, with the adjacent Art Gallery, are also located in the City centre. To the north of the pedestrian precinct is Chichester Festival Theatre and the smaller Minerva Theatre, hosting a wide range of live performances throughout the year,. Chichester Canal lies to the south of the city centre with canal trips as well as watersports provided by Fluid Adventures both in the Canal Basin and at Hunston. Chichester Gate is home to a variety of attractions including Cineworld, Ten Pin Chichester and Air Arena. There is also a Flip-Out complex on the opposite side of town.

Sited at an old RAF fighter station, operational from 1918 until 1958, Tangmere Military Aviation Museum is a must for those with an interest in 20th century history and engineering, as well as anyone keen to try the flight simulators available for take off and landing.

Tinwood and Ashling Park vineyards, situated on the southern slopes of the South Downs, are open to the public with bookable tours and tasting sessions. Goodwood Estate, less than ten miles to the north of the cottage, is on the edge of the South Downs National Park. The Estate hosts the internationally renowned annual Festival of Speed and the Goodwood Revival, along with other lesser events through the year at the Goodwood motor circuit, with a diary of events available to download. The circuit surrounds an airfield, home to the Spitfire Flight Academy, along with other helicopter and small plane experiences. Goodwood Racecourse is home to flat racing. The Grandstand, with far reaching views to the coast, provides a spectacular venue for evening events and race days through the season, culminating in Glorious Goodwood at the end of July. Fontwell Racecourse is also within easy reach, with race days and special events. The Weald and Downland Open Air Museum in Singleton, home to BBC’s Repair Shop, and the Edward James Foundation at West Dean College also sit in the Downs, along with several National Trust properties. Pied a Terre Adventures offer inspiring private small group walking and outdoor experiences around the Sussex countryside.

Further along the south coast to the west lies Portsmouth, with its historic dockyard, The Victory, and Mary Rose Exhibition, with ferry ports to the Isle of Wight and the continent. Arundel, Worthing and Brighton, with a wide variety of attractions, are to the east.