The bustling cathedral city of Chichester is the county town of West Sussex, and is hugely rich in history (the Romans called it Noviomagus, and it was one of their first settlements in Britain). Today, it is a truly vibrant (though thankfully easily-navigable) place with numerous shopping and eating venues and has established itself as a world-class cultural destination with the Festival Theatre and Pallant House gallery of modern art. There's even an annual international film festival held at the New Park Cinema.
The Goodwood Estate
The Goodwood Estate is internationally renowned for its contribution to racing of many kinds; lovers of horse racing will find one of the most beautiful flat courses anywhere in the world hosting some of the most iconic events of the season such as Glorious Goodwood. Fans of motorsport aren't left out either as the motor circuit and estate grounds are the location for the annual Revival Meeting and Festival of Speed respectively. Visitors can also take in the golf course and sculpture park.
West Dean is home to the Edward James Foundation and known for the College which specialises in conservation, arts and crafts. The beautifully restored gardens are open to the public, and are the venue for numerous events throughout the year such as the Chilli Fiesta and Totally Tomato Show.
The Weald & Downland Museum
A hidden gem, nestling at the foot of the South Downs, the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum offers modernity and history in equal measure. The 50-acre site showcases 50 lovingly restored working buildings from a 600 year period including the Tudor and medieval eras. It is also the home of the astonishing Downland Gridshell Building which contains an impressive collection of local artefacts.
A naval port city of immense historical and strategic importance; both the Georgian navy as well as the D-Day invasion fleets set sail from here, and you can visit Nelson's flagship HMS Victory at the Historic Dockyard museum. In recent times, Portsmouth has enjoyed something of a resurgence, typified by the construction of the Spinnaker Tower landmark, which offers stunning views across the Solent. There is still a large civilian port here too, with ferry crossings to the Isle of Wight, France and beyond.
South Downs National Park
Encompassing Winchester in the west to Lewes in the east and Farnham in the north, the South Downs National Park covers an area of 1600 square kilometres and offers outstanding natural beauty throughout. There is an abundance of things to see and do within its boundaries, and it is much loved by walkers, cyclists and equestrians who can take up the challenge of travelling the length of the South Downs Way.
No visit to the area would be complete without a trip to one of its most picturesque towns. From its position next to the River Arun, Arundel offers cobbled streets teeming with cafes, art galleries and a plethora of antiques shops, as well as the cathedral that sits atop one of its hills. The town's undoubted centrepiece is the castle, which dates back to the Norman Conquest and is the residence of the Dukes of Norfolk.
Sussex by the Sea
With miles of virtually unspoilt coastline (and some of the cleanest beaches in Europe), Sussex is an ideal destination for aficionados of waterborne activity, or those who just want to spend the day relaxing in a deck chair. There's fantastic sailing to be had at Itchenor and Bosham, or how about some kite surfing in Littlehampton or Bracklesham Bay if extreme thrills are more your thing? A leisurely stroll along the East Head sand dunes in West Wittering also comes highly recommended.
Fishbourne Roman Palace
The palace at Fishbourne offers a rare opportunity to see what life must have been like for the Roman nobility in Britain, and is the largest preserved residence of its kind in the country. Highlights include one of the most important collections of mosaics in the UK, as well as one of its earliest private gardens.
In the summer months, the charming downland town of Midhurst comes alive as one of Polo's most hallowed venues, and provides visitors with the chance to get unparalleled levels of access this most exciting of equestrian sports. It is also possible to explore the ruins of Cowdray House that dates back to the Tudor period. The Cowdray Estate also offers numerous sporting activities including golf, fly fishing and clay pigeon shooting.
Brighton is quite possibly one of the most famous seaside cities in the world, and boasts grand Regency and Victorian architecture that belies its glory days as a favourite holiday resort for every section of British society, from royalty to the day-tripper escaping London's clutches. There is a great deal to see here including the Brighton Pavilion, the pleasure piers, and visitors can experience the alternative culture and eclectic shops of the Lanes area.