10 great Sussex staycations to book today
- Credit: Claire Takacs Photography
Luxury hotels in Sussex
Gravetye Manor, West Hoathly
This historic hotel was built in 1598 for Richard Infield and his bride Katharine Compton - you can still see their initials carved into the stone above the main entrance door from the formal garden. Today, the heritage-rich Manor House as 17-bedrooms, as well as over 1,000 acres of tranquil English countryside to explore. Push the boat out with a stay in The Robinson Suite, which is a good fit for families and those seeking a longer stay, with its a spacious bedroom, sitting room and stunning garden views. The one-Michelin-star restaurant, The Dining Room, makes the most of produce the walled kitchen garden.
The Robinson Suite costs from £995 a night on a bed and breakfast basis during the summer months. 01342 810 567, gravetyemanor.co.uk
Ockenden Manor Hotel & Spa, Cuckfield
This grand Elizabethan manor house has 28 rooms, from the characterful Sussex rooms nestled in the oldest part of the house to the Junior Spa Suites offering fabulous views of Cuckfield Park from the terrace. De-stress with a trip to the spa, which has a saltwater floatation tank, heated outdoor pool and walk-through rainforest shower fed by Ockenden's own natural underground spring. There are nine acres of grounds to explore and a croquet lawn.
From £219 per room per night. 01444 416 111, hshotels.co.uk/ockenden-manor
Hotel du Vin Brighton
This newly-revamped hotel is a savvy choice among those seeking a seaside stay due to its coveted address in The Lanes just a stone’s throw from the beach. It’s also something of a foodie hotspot, with French home-style cooking the order of the day at Bistro du Vin and a top-notch wine list.
Plump for one of the Sea View Suites, which will lull you into a serene state of mind with the super king-sized bed, twin roll top bath and telescope for watching the waves roll in.
From £85 per room per night. 01273 855 221, hotelduvin.com
Vineyards to stay at in Sussex
Rathfinny Wine Estate, Alfriston
Established in 2010 by husband-and-wife team, Mark and Sarah Driver, Rathfinny Wine Estate’s location enjoys the perfect storm of climate, chalk, soil and aspect, making it an especially great site for producing sparkling wine. You can stay in the historic Flint Barns in the Cradle Valley at the western end of the estate overlooking the South Downs National Park. There are 10 en-suite bedrooms, with a dining room located on the ground floor. Vineyard and winery tours invite you to learn about the Rathfinny story and how they make their wines, followed by a tasting, from £25 a head.
From £95 a night for a Cosy Double bedroom including breakfast. rathfinnyestate.com
Tinwood Estate, Chichester
Known for its English sparkling wines, Tinwood began planting in 2007 and has gone from strength to strength. There are three luxurious, dog-friendly lodges with an elevated design that frames stunning views of the vines. Each features an extra-large king-sized bed and the bathrooms are like mini spas, with their two-person Jacuzzi baths, huge walk-in showers and barrel saunas. Unwind on the private decked terrace with the tipple of your choice from your fully-stocked wine fridge. You can swot up on winemaking by joining one of the vineyard tours, or hop on a mountain bike and explore under your own steam.
£195 per night. Vineyard tours and tastings are available daily, from £18 per person. The lodges book up quickly, so plan in advance. tinwoodestate.com
Battle Vineyard, Battle
If you have a taste for bubbles, you’ll be in your element at this artisan vineyard, which specialises in sparkling wine. You can glamp in the canvas lodges, which sleep four or six people (maximum five adults) and have an en-suite shower, living area with a wood stove and roofed veranda with a wooden terrace for eating and drinking alfresco. If you’re booking the four-person tent, we say push the boat out and reserve the hot tub (£20 per night), which can be delivered to the deck for the duration of your stay. There are lots of activities to take part in, but the wine tastings and winery talks are a highlight.
From £480 per lodge for a two-night stay (minimum). featherdown.co.uk
Mannings Heath Golf & Wine Estate, Horsham
Escape to this 500-acre estate, which is home to vineyards, two golf courses and a fishing lake.
Stays here are rather excusive, with the 17th century, four-bedroom Fullers Cottage the sole option. It accommodates up to eight guests, so is perfect for larger families. Staying there grants you access to the private garden and all the clubhouse facilities, including the tennis court. There are daily wine tastings and golf fans can play a round at the 18-hole Waterfall Course or the 9-hole Kingfisher Course.
£200 per night (for up to four guests) or £300 per night (4-8 guests). manningsheath.com
Horse & Groom, East Ashling
Husband and wife team, John Ayton MBE and Annoushka Ducas MBE, who co-founded jewellery companies Links of London and Annoushka, took over their 200-year-old local pub the Horse & Groom in 2019 and have since transformed it into an impressively stylish bolthole. The 10 bedrooms, named after local villages and towns, are brimming with great design details – think rustic exposed beams, statement headboards and bold colours, with original oil paintings and watercolours on the walls. The restaurant serves seasonal dishes and, in the evenings, you can head outdoors to the courtyard to sip your drink under the stars with a cosy blanket over your shoulders.
From £125 per room per night, thehorseandgroom.pub
The Crown Inn at Dial Post, Horsham
This handsome free house has four beautifully appointed rooms situated above the pub. Each features stripped floorboards, Farrow & Ball paint on the walls and antique beds with dreamy mattresses. Dog owners will be pleased to hear that their four-legged friends are welcome. They’re provided with a bowl, blanket and a tasty snack to help them settle in for the night. We like the sound of the Butterfly Room, with its wood panelled walls, butterfly display case, Victorian fireplace, king size bed and walk-in shower room. Owned and run by Penny and James Middleton Burn (who is also the head chef), the pub draws people near and far for its hearty homemade food.
From £120 per room per night on a bed and breakfast basis. For children aged eight and over, with their parents. crown-inn-dialpost.co.uk
The Bull, Ditchling
This AA five-star rated inn is one of the oldest buildings in Ditchling, dating to the 16th century. Today, it draws upon its rich heritage to offer a charming blend of individually designed rooms, modern British food and pretty alfresco dining space. There are six rooms and while each is styled differently, they all have a number of luxuries in common: kind size beds, Roberts radios, minibars and modern bathrooms stocked with plush Cowshed goodies. Many of the ingredients used in the dishes are sourced locally, including from The Bull’s own kitchen garden. If you fancy a ramble, request a copy of the Bull Walking Route – a two-and-a-half-hour high-level wooded walk through the South Downs.
From £160 per room per night. thebullditchling.com