West Sussex is a green and pleasant county, where seasons and hills roll gently, all against the ever-shifting backdrop of the sea. Much of West Sussex is in the South Downs National Park. Whilst, there are no spectacular peaks or great dramas in this landscape its beauty lies in its rich quantity of space: a drive between sprawl-free villages may lead you up onto a big-sky point on the South Downs Way, or into ancient woodland.
The region boasts a spectacular coast line compete with a plentiful supply of natural harbours and beautiful coastal villages. As such, West Sussex is the natural home of the sailing enthusiast; you’re unlikely to travel more than a few miles along this coast without seeing a regatta in progress or hearing water slapping against the hull of a boat. Catch the action at one of Chichester Harbour’s regular meets (see www.chifed.org for dates), or, if spectating from the sidelines is not your style, Chichester Harbour Turtles (+44 (0)7863 567584) will show you the ropes, with sailing instruction. Alternatively, take a guided walk or cruise with the Chichester Harbour Conservancy (www.conservancy.co.uk).
The Cathedral City of Chichester also caters for the cultural enthusiast, steeped in history and the proud home of the Festival Theatre. The City is also great for a spot of retail therapy. In addition there are frequent racing or motorsports events at nearby Goodwood.
As with much of the temperate south coast, the area is pleasant to visit all year round.
Apart from its' internationally known racecourse which
offers the 'Glorious Goodwood' meeting in the summer, Goodwood also provides
many other facilities including golf, country club and airfield and plays host
to the world famous annual 'Festival of Speed' and the motor 'Revival' meeting
in September at the historic motor racing circuit.
There are exceptional walking, horse riding and
mountain biking opportunities to be enjoyed in the South Downs countryside
which now enjoys the status of a national park.
One thing Portsmouth is not short of is great world-class attractions, unfortunately just not the football team at the moment !. Start with a great view of the city and miles around from the top of the iconic Spinnaker Tower. Visit Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and discover 800 years of maritime history including visits to the Mary Rose, HMS Victory, HMS Warrior 1860 and the National Museum of the Royal Navy. We were amazed at how good the ships tours were , its a great choice for a rainy day. Head into Southsea and discover the story of the D-Day landings at the D-Day Museum and stand in awe at the mastery that is the Overlord Embroidery. Walk in the steps of Henry VIII as you explore his Southsea Castle, wander along the waterfront to Eastney and the fabulous Royal Marines Museum. Families can have great fun with a visit to the Blue Reef Aquarium, the Pyramids Centre entertainment complex, Cumberland House Natural History Museum or just enjoy the miles of waterfront and beaches.
Gunwharf Quays is home to over 95 premium retail outlet stores offering famous brand names at discount prices. If you love to shop then there really is no better place than Gunwharf Quays; with names like Jack Wills, Polo Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss, Karen Millen, L.K.Bennett, Hobbs and Molton Brown. And when it’s time to relax you’ll find an array of bars, coffee shops and restaurants to tempt you around the world, from mouth-watering French cuisine at Brasserie Blanc, fresh seafood at Loch Fyne and a host of fine Italian dishes to choose from at Carluccio’s. But if you want even more from your visit to Gunwharf Quays then there’s a 14-screen cinema, 26-lane bowling complex, 24-hour health and fitness club, contemporary art gallery, nightclub and casino.
The waters of the Solent and Chichester Harbour are
particularly popular with sailors. The harbour is made up of a series of tidal
creeks and is designated an area of outstanding natural beauty with wonderful
walks while Chichester Marina, Birdham Pool and Itchenor Sailing Club provide
the nearest sailing facilities. If Ben Ainslee has his way we could even see the America's Cup coming to Portsmouth. More than £7m of government funding is to go towards supporting Sir Ben Ainslie's America's Cup sailing team base in Portsmouth.
The 'National Trust' reserve (1.5 miles) at East Head has perhaps the most picturesque 'blue flag' beach in West Sussex and the award winning of the Witterings and Bracklesham Bay in general provides many opportunities for swimming, surfing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing.