Sussex includes some of the loveliest English countryside and many of the most beautiful British beaches. Split into the two counties of East and West Sussex in the 12th century, the county today still retains a sense of identity which binds its two parts. Located in South East England, its mild climate and proximity to the English Channel, make this county delightful to live in and a convenient base from which to travel to Europe and further afield.
The South Downs run approximately 100 miles across the county from beyond the county borders at Winchester (in Hampshire), to Eastbourne on the East Sussex coast. This eastern point of the Downs is marked by the magnificent Seven Sisters cliffs, which partly tower over the breathtaking beach at Cuckmere Haven.
Seven Sisters at Cuckmere Haven
Evidence of the human occupation of this part of England dates back 80,000 years. Flint, a natural building tool characteristic of many Sussex buildings, was being mined here 4100BC. The Romans invaded and lived successfully here from about 54BC; evidence of their occupation is particularly well-preserved at Fishbourne Palace, just north of the county town of Chichester.
Saxon attacks towards the final years of the Roman rule, eventually led to the establishment of the county whose name is based on that of these early invaders. Following their initial invasion in 477AD, they later landed at Pevensey, in 491AD and seized the castle.
From the vantage point of Ditchling Beacon, arguably the highest point on the chalk ridge of the South Downs, it is possible to look south towards the coast at Brighton and north across the Weald to the Ashdown Forest and the North Downs.
The county's coastline includes popular pebbley town beaches, often with sand at low tide, as well as some wonderful beaches which are surrounded by countryside and sometimes - as at Cuckmere Haven - nature reserves.
One of the great attractions of Sussex as a place to live, is its proximity to London. Train travel between most parts of the county and the capital, rarely takes more than 90 minutes. This also makes it a popular place for family days out. North-South and East-West rail routes pass through some particularly lovely countryside.
With the London Airport of Gatwick located at the heart of the county, we are also extraordinarily well-placed for international travel. Situated just 30 minutes from the capital, this airport is a convenient arrival and departure point for any short or long-haul overseas trip.
Whether you're planning a one-day trip, a weekend away or a holiday in this stunning county, you will be rewarded with numerous fascinating places to visit, including classic old English pubs, modern, cutting edge restaurants (British chefs are now among the best in the world and have inspired a revolution in food and cooking during the last few years), delightful Bed and Breakfast Guest Houses and Hotels, as well as many wonderful children's activity centres and small zoos, farms and castles, parks and beaches, hills and lovely countryside where you'll be free to cycle, walk and wander.
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