Posted 3 April 2012 by Andrew Gardner
Well I’m happy to report that finally the Easter holidays are here. We’ve had a busy lead up to Easter in Sussex this year – and if you're spending your Easter in one of our pretty Sussex cottages as I know many are, you won't be disappointed. I really think there's something here for everyone. Sussex has lots of lovely old churches and, of course, two magnificent cathedrals – Arundel and Chichester; National Trust and other stately homes and gardens start opening up for the summer season, complete with Easter egg trails in many cases; and, as if you could miss it on the South Downs, it's the tail end of lambing time.
If you appreciate ecclesiastical architecture from outside as well as in, I recommend the view of Arundel castle from the train. I caught the train from Pulborough to Chichester the other week and as the line curves around Arundel you're treated to the most glorious sight of the cathedral and castle towering above the flat coastal plain. Look the opposite way and you're faced with the South Downs escarpment. In fact the whole journey is beautiful and really shows some of the scenic variety Sussex has to offer.
No disrespect to Arundel though, but Chichester cathedral is a favourite probably because it has so much art. It contains tapestries by John Piper, a Graham Sutherland painting, a Chagall window and, outside, a magnificent, modern bronze statue of St Richard by favourite public-art sculptor, Philip Jackson (whose gallery at Midhurst is worth a visit, too).
For the kids there is some serious stuff with Easter egg hunts. Borde Hill Gardens, near Haywards Heath, opens its Easter Bunny Trail up to 18 April; it's perfect for three- to eleven-year-olds and the camellias and magnolias will look good at the same time!. Parham House, at Storrington, holds its egg hunts on Easter Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday in the pleasure garden, and there's one at Michelham Priory, near Hailsham in East Sussex, on Easter Sunday. And sure there'll be plenty of smaller, local ones too, near to your holiday cottage.
Finally, don't forget the lambs. You're on the South Downs, or at least very near them, so you probably can't – Great views from the top too.