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Sussex Holiday Updates

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A Sussex Christmas!

Posted on 20 December 2011

Julian, Debbie, Rebecca and myself would like to take the opportunity of wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.. We have many guests enjoying a Sussex holiday cottage over Christmas this year whether gathering to see family or to just enjoy this beautiful part of southern England at this festive time. A cosy Sussex cottage with roaring fire is appealing at the best of times but particularly when it is specially decorated for the festive period. Step back hundreds of years and a Sussex Christmas was always spent with immediate family and maybe with a few villagers much merriment was had.

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Save the Stripes!

Posted on 25 November 2011

The Beachy Head Lighthouse at the foot of the chalk downs at Beachy Head in East Sussex is one of the most famous landmarks in England and attracts thousands of holiday makers to this wonderful spot at the far end of the South Downs every year. Sadly the iconic structure is set to lose its distinctive red and white stripes as Trinity House, the owners of the Lighthouse can no longer justify spending money on maintaining the paintwork and it will be left to return to its natural grey granite.

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The Wings of a Dove!

Posted on 15 November 2011

 From now until January 2012 Chichester Cathedral's North Transept is transformed by a 25ft pair of dove wings suspended from the ceiling.

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Arundel Food Festival

Posted on 15 October 2011

The first one was so successful they decided to organise another! This will be the second year of the Arundel Food Festival. The West Sussex town famous for its historical castle that is home to the Dukes of Norfolk is ideally located between the South Downs and the coast meaning there is a feast of fresh foods on offer.  As well as local produce stalls and markets the surrounding restaurants, cafes and shopkeepers all get in on the act too. The event starts with a Farmers Market and for those keen to have a hands on experience, there will be guided walks with a ranger from the South Downs National Park Authority which will explore the relationship between food and farming on the South Downs. This will be followed by the Arundel Picnic.

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It's never too early to think of Christmas!

Posted on 13 October 2011

From this weekend it is a mere ten weeks to Christmas Day. I won't break that down into the number of shopping days left apart from saying there are plenty!! Well it's certainly not too early to consider celebrating Christmas and New Year in a cosy cottage in the heart of the Sussex countryside. After a long year and all those preparations you probably deserve it!

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1066 and all that!

Posted on 6 October 2011

This month is the 945th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings where England changed forever and almost certainly the single most significant event on the soil of Sussex.  The Battle of Hastings fought on 14 October 1066, changed English history. We all know that William the Conqueror landed at Pevensey and defeated the army of King Harold at Battle.where Battle Abbey now stands. Well perhaps that's not the case!

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South Downs Way Walk

Posted on 23 September 2011

I took part in the South Downs Way Walk over the weekend as part of the Horsham 100 challenge in aid of the Dame Vera Lynn Trust for Children with Cerebral Palsy. Joining my colleagues from our sister company Guy Leonard & Co we relay walked 100 kilometres from Arundel in West Sussex to Beachy Head in East Sussex.  Although I have lived in Sussex for the majority of my life it is always a pleasure to get the chance to walk on the South Downs. We had five relays in total and I walked the final stretch from Bo Peep Lane at Alciston through to Beachy Head.

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Sussex Late Availability Offers!

Posted on 15 September 2011

We still have late availability for September and October in a number of our Sussex and South Downs holiday cottages. Check our Autumn availability pages where a number of properties have late availability offers for your imminent arrival.  So it's not too late to bag some fine Autumn weather and enjoy Sussex and the South Downs before a number of our glorious country houses and gardens close for the season. Nearest to our offices here in Pulborough West Sussex, Parham House and Gardens, a beautiful Elizabethan home will close its doors at the end of September and our National Trust Houses such as Petworth House, Standen, Batemans and Uppark will close by the end of October.

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Brighton Food and Drink Festival

Posted on 9 September 2011

The Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival is the largest festival of its kind in the south of England. It is now running throughout September and will finish on Tuesday 4 October 2011.  With local producers, growers, restaurants, bars and food retailers firmly at it’s heart, it’s a showcase of the fantastic food, drink and hospitality to be found in the city and surrounding Sussex.

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Arundel Castle - Top Ten Places to Visit

Posted on 31 August 2011

I never get around to reading the weekend papers until much later in the week, so some news is way out of date, but in this case I'm definitely not too late!  The Telegraph Online published an article on the top ten places to visit over the Bank Holiday weekend featuring Arundel Castle, the seat of the Dukes of Norfolk in West Sussex as number one in Britain. Anyone who read their articles more promptly than me would have had time to get to Arundel in time for the conclusion of this year's Arundel Festival! If you didn't Arundel and Arundel Castle still awaits your visit.  

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The Shoreham Airshow

Posted on 22 August 2011

I spent an enjoyable day on Saturday at the Shoreham Airshow, one of our listed What's on events in Sussex. It was good to have a few hours free to enjoy a great day out. The back drop at Shoreham by Sea is really picturesque. Not only is Shoreham Airport the oldest civillian airport in the country with its art deco designed terminal building, it has views straight to the South Downs and the imposing Lancing College to the north.

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Historic Houses and The National Trust

Posted on 20 August 2011

I wrote in my previous blog about the expected impact the Olympic Games will have next year and in particular the number of visitors we hope we will welcome from the United States and elsewhere overseas. The buzz, competition and sheer atmosphere that will surround the Olympics will bring a vibrance to London that visitors will relish. In addition many will also want to combine and contrast the excitement of having a UK vacation at this great time with experiencing the history we have to offer.

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Visiting from across the Pond!

Posted on 14 August 2011

I have begun thinking about our friends who will be visiting from overseas between now and the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. I read a statistic very recently via Facebook that there are approximately 43 million US citizens aged between 35 and 60 who either already do or have shown an interest in taking their vacation in the United Kingdom.  As we build towards next summer I wonder how many will actually make the journey across. It will be interesting to see whether the impact of the Olympics is limited to just the period of the games or whether its influence will go beyond that and we see a growth in tourism over a much broader period as a result.

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The Antiques Roadshow is coming to Sussex!

Posted on 5 August 2011

The BBC Antiques Roadshow is coming to Sussex in September. The roadshow will be at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum at Singleton near to Goodwood on 8 September 2011. Admission to the roadshow is between 9.30am and 4.30pm and will be free. For anyone who wants a great day out in a most scenic part of West Sussex that is within the South Downs National Park then the Weald and Downland Museum is a perfect setting. We're not expecting you to go on holiday with some of your finest treasures, but if you do have that special book or ornament that has always intrigued you then there could be an oportuniy to present it to one of the BBC experts!

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The Hindhead Tunnel

Posted on 27 July 2011

After eight years of planning and four years of construction, the Hindhead Tunnel on the A3 finally opens to traffic today. The tunnel at 1.2 miles is the longest road tunnel in Great Britain and it is reckoned it will cut 20 minutes off the journey between Portsmouth and Guildford. The Hindhead Tunnel passes beneath the Devils Punch Bowl an area of outstanding natural beauty that is owned by the National Trust and is close to the Sussex border with Surrey. It is expected that the opening of the tunnel will lead to many visitors now wanting to come and enjoy the western end of the South Downs at Petersfield and on towards Winchester. The old road junction at Hindhead was such a barrier to easy access to this beautiful area of Sussex and Hampshire Downland.

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Enjoy a break in Chichester!

Posted on 21 July 2011

With its own Cathedral, Theatre and Harbour, Chichester is chic, beautiful and compact and deservedly the Capital of West Sussex. There is history on every corner, but also does modern very well too. In 2002 Chichester opened its own South Downs Planetarium, one of the largest in the UK, with spectacular shows of the night sky.

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The Lodge features in the Daily Mail

Posted on 18 July 2011

The Lodge at Warningcamp just a mile from Arundel in West Sussex has featured in a holiday article published by the Daily Mail online. A traditional gate keeper's home it forms the centre piece of an article about the historic town of Arundel and the beautiful Arun Valley. We recently placed a journalist and her young family at the Lodge for an enjoyable few days away.  

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The Sunshine County and a great Airshow!

Posted on 15 July 2011

If you want the most hours of sunshine in the British Isles then you'll find it here in Sussex. Yes it's pretty much given that Sussex has the best climate in the UK.  If you want the most hours of sunshine on the coast, then head to Eastbourne, for good reason it's officially called the Sunshine Coast with award winning beaches and an excellent sunshine record. I can't remember it ever raining there!

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Expansion at Amberley House!

Posted on 6 July 2011

Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Debbie and I have just joined Andrew, Julian and Rebecca at Amberley House Cottage Holidays.  My background over the last couple of years has been in Events Management, mainly organising Weddings, Conferences, Open Air Concerts etc and I am looking forward to bringing my knowledge and skills to the team and to the holiday lettings market.

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Festivities in Chichester

Posted on 1 July 2011

I wrote about the Petworth Festival in an earlier blog, so now it's only right to comment on the Chichester Festivities which has one of the longest established festivities programmes in the country. The Chichester Festivities were featured in an article by Nick Trend writing in the travel section of the Daily Telegraph where he listed ten reasons to take a break in July. Most of us don't need an excuse to travel, so he made a selection of the more offbeat or happening places to see.

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Glorious South Downs

Posted on 30 June 2011

Two journalists from Country Life Magazine have this week written about their experiences walking the South Downs Way, describing it as "one of England's epic walks" Here are the opening paragraphs of their piece that I felt were worth sharing since they beautifully portray the wonderful chalk downland we enjoy here in Sussex and East Hampshire. The South Downs of course is England's very latest National Park.

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Petworth Festival 2011

Posted on 28 June 2011

A giant lobster, birthdays, brass and boogie woogie all combine in Petworth West Sussex in July for the 33rd annual festival. The Festival begins on Saturday 9 July with the town fete in the grounds of Petworth House featuring outstanding street theatre acts, stilt walkers, comedy and strolling music with the Swervy World Band.

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Top Ten National Trust Butterfly Walks

Posted on 14 June 2011

Three of the Top 10 Butterfly walks in England recently featured by the National Trust are in the south east of England. Two are on the South Downs while the third at Selborne in Hampshire is within the Western Weald area of the South Downs National Park.  For an enjoyable day out walking, here they are;

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Sussex Day - Thursday 16 June

Posted on 11 June 2011

To celebrate Sussex Day on Thursday 16 June, Horsham District Council’s Health Walks team has organised two free to attend scenic walks on the South Downs. Both walks start from the car park in the centre of Steyning High Street. Those who wish to attend are being invited to meet at 9.45am to start walking at 10am. There are two circular walks, one of 4.5 miles (2 hours) and one of 6 miles (2.5 to 3 hours).

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Jaguar E-Type in Sussex!

Posted on 8 June 2011

 The legendary E - Type Jaguar celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2011 and has been seen in Sussex already, and is still to come to Sussex in real style!  One of my 'scouts' informs me, the owner of Keesha House in Eastbourne East Sussex, that BBC Top Gear were filming with the E - Type at Beachy Head over the weekend for the series to be broadcast in the autumn. It is a fantastic backdrop and great road for such a legendary car running parallel with the chalk cliffs and sweeping behind the Belle Tout Lighthouse before heading west towards Birling Gap.  

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Open your Eyes - to the South Downs

Posted on 5 June 2011

A new South Downs Field Guide will help holidaymakers recognise the wildlife and identify key birds, insects, flowers and crops around them in the South Downs National Park. This illustrated publication in full colour is a response to public feedback that walkers, cyclists and those on holiday in the South Downs, Sussex and East Hampshire needed more maps and guides. Produced in partnership with the Field Studies Council (FSC) the guide includes a map of The South Downs National Park, information about the landscape and habitats of the South Downs and the countryside code. There are beautiful detailed images and specially commissioned images.

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Battle Abbey - 100 Places that made Britain

Posted on 2 June 2011

Castles, cathedrals and the Cavern Club, historians make their choices in key sites for Britain's past.for a new book that has been published by BBC Books today. Battle Abbey in East Sussex has been placed in the top ten in a book covering 100 places that made Britain. Battle Abbey was of course where Harold lost both his crown and his life to William the Conqueror in 1066.

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Arundel, Sussex in Style!

Posted on 29 May 2011

Arundel is Sussex in style according to the official town website when describing this quintessential market town. It is also a magnet for tourists who are attracted to Arundel's historic castle and cathedral.along with its art galleries, cafe bars, pubs and restaurants.  Arundel is also a successful town for Amberley House Cottage Holidays since we are able to offer an increasing number of Arundel holiday cottages for your enjoyment from the Sail Loft in a stunning setting overlooking the River Arun to cosy xottages at the top of the town and Byass House a gorguous Georgian townhouse that can sleep up to ten guests close to Arundel Castle and with the most wonderful south facing private walled garden.

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International Tennis at Devonshire Park

Posted on 28 May 2011

With the French Open tennis in full swing it will soon be time to turn our attention once again to Wimbledon and as a tennis fan it is a time of year I particularly enjoy. The days are long and it's the official start to summer! The AEGON International Tennis in Devonshire Park in Eastbourne, East Sussex is held just before. The tournament an annual favourite on the sunshine coast attracts many of the top professional players. For many visitors coming to Eastbourne, spending time in Devonshire Park makes a perfect day as well as enjoying a relaxing break in this most traditional of towns found right beneath the magnificent chalk cliffs of Beachy Head.

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Spring Bank Holiday Availability!

Posted on 21 May 2011

We still have availability across Sussex for this coming Bank Holiday weekend. Whether you fancy a last minute long weekend away or a well earned week off we have Sussex holiday cottages and luxury house retreats still available for arrivals from either Friday or Saturday. Come and take time out in the South Downs, enjoy the diverse Sussex coastline from The Witterings through to Camber Sands, sample a few of our fine country pubs in the most beautiful East Sussex and West Sussex villages, or visit some of our 55 local visitor attractions with enough choice to satisfy everyone's interest from young families visiting Fishers Farm Park or Drusillas, to those who enjoy somewhere a little quieter like Firle Place or Borde Hill Gardens.

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Prince Michael of Kent at Amberley

Posted on 16 May 2011

Eighteen restored kilns at Amberley Museum West Sussex which had been used for burning chalk with coal to create lime, were oficially opened by Prince Michael of Kent, the museum's president. The Belgian - designed De Witt kilns were built in 1905. Over the years the heat inside the kilns caused them to distort making them structurally unsafe. An award of nearly £400,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund allowed the museum to restore the kilns, improve public access and provide a new exhibition called 'Life and Lime at Amberley'

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Real History at Kingley Vale

Posted on 14 May 2011

Having lived in Sussex all my life, there are still places to visit that I haven't seen before, some of which are not too far from my own doorstep! No excuses then, but to the visitor here is another reason to come and see our stunning county or for those of you shortly en route, add this to the agenda! I took a trip to Kingley Vale just four miles from Chichester this week. It's just great for walking and is one of England's National Nature Reserves. It is home to one of Europe's most impressive yew forests. The forest contains yews as much as 2000 years old. Their survival is remarkable because most ancient yew forests were felled prior to the 14th Century as their wood was the preferred material for the staves of English longbows.

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Woolbeding Gardens

Posted on 5 May 2011

Here's a little known National Trust garden. An acquaintance of ours who also happens to be a professional gardener here in Sussex recently visited Woolbeding near to Midhurst West Sussex, as part of an organised trip for professional gardeners. She could not speak more highly about it. Woolbeding is a 20th - century garden of two halves, with the colour themed garden rooms surrounding the house plus a woodland garden. A short walk over open pasture land provides views to the River Rother and leads to the fantasy garden which includes a Chinese - style bridge, waterfall and stumpery. As a professional she was rightly impressed and a three hour visit could have been much longer.

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A Sussex Investment

Posted on 29 April 2011

I wrote in January about the changes to the Furnished Holiday Let regulations that come into force in the Finance Act 2011. If the idea of owning a holiday let appeals to you, then I am aware of an ideal investment opportunity here in Sussex. This is a ground floor farm building that is awaiting conversion and has full planning permission as a holiday let. It will have two bedrooms one with an ensuite bathroom. The large living room and kitchen area wll have a vaulted ceiling something which is very popular amongst holiday guests. Outside there is good sized private garden space along with parking for two cars. In high season we anticipate this conversion would achieve rental income in the region of £650 per week.

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Chichester Peregrines

Posted on 27 April 2011

Over the Easter weekend the family of Peregrine Falcons who nest at Chichester Cathedral have hatched two chicks. Up until the end of June it will be possible to stand in the centre of Chichester and around the cathedral and observe these amazing birds. This pair have been nesting here for over 10 years and have raised 34 chicks. The parents are not ringed but are estimated to be about 13 years old. The Peregrines who nest in one of the south turrets beside the spire hatched their first egg at 3pm on Easter Monday, while early yesterday morning the second chick hatched.

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The Romans in Bignor

Posted on 25 April 2011

I wrote in my last blog how we create a positive visitor experience here in Sussex, so we give our visitors every reason to want to return again, either to sample something new or to revisit many old favourite places of interest. In addition I hope we are achieving our own objective at Amberley House Cottage Holidays by successfully offering fine self catering holiday accommodation from quaint downland cottages to town and coastal properties where guests want to return again and again following a comfortable stay!

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A sunshine Easter!

Posted on 21 April 2011

The weather is forecast to be excellent over Easter with temperatures in Brighton and Eastbourne expected to reach 25 degrees centigrade the warmest on record. Eastbourne is already recognised as the sunniest resort in the UK and hence with good reason it is known as the sunshine coast!  It is anticipated that well over 200,000 visitors will come to Sussex over the Easter weekend. We have to acknowledge that excellent weather is always a positive boost to tourism numbers, however what about when the weather is overcast, chilly or even worse raining, what can we do then to encourage visitors to the county?

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Petworth - Putting a House to Bed!

Posted on 15 April 2011

There is a fascinating documentary on BBC4 which continues over the next five weeks that looks at the work undertaken at National Trust properties over the winter months. The series is filmed at Petworth House in West Sussex, one of the finest period houses in England and follows the conservation work involved when putting "the house to bed" over the winter months. Now that the National Trust properties have again reopened for the 2011 season and have that clean fresh feel about them, this series is well timed.

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Sussex Food Fair

Posted on 7 April 2011

Over the May Bank Holiday weekend, the Weald and Downland Museum in Singleton West Sussex is holding a Sussex Food and Farming Fair. There will be a wonderful choce of quality Sussex fare to sample and buy from local producers, plus tastings, cookery classes and many children's activities. With delightful period music playing you can enjoy this wonderful museum site set right in the heart of the South Downs National Park.

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Eastbourne Cycling Festival 2011

Posted on 4 April 2011

The inaugural Eastbourne Cycling Festival will be held over the weekend of 21 and 22 May 2011. Eastbourne has become a terrific holiday venue for young people as evidenced by both the AEGON International Tennis held in June and the Eastbourne Airborne in August. The cycling festival will further showcase the town. It sounds a really exciting event with road races starting and finishing in front of the Grand Hotel on the Eastbourne seafront

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The South Downs National Park

Posted on 1 April 2011

The South Downs National Park Authority is born today! Coming into full operation on Friday 1 April 2011, it is the latest National Park in England for 60 years. The Park Authority will be working closely with local communities, environmental groups and landowners to protect and enhance the Park for residents and visitors today, and for future generations.

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Latest Easter Availability

Posted on 29 March 2011

We have just launched a new web page which shows our latest holiday cottage availability for Easter here in Sussex, UK. Easter is always a popular time to take a short break away and with Easter being much later this year we remain confident for some good spring weather.

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