Posted 2 October 2015 by Andrew Gardner
Food fairs are always high on the agenda in autumn, otherwise known as harvest time. I don't know if there's a word for apple enthusiasts (the fruit, not the techno-stuff) but I am one, so the Apple Fair at West Dean (3-4 October this year, slipping in towards the end of British Food Week) is one of my favourites. It celebrates all things apple, including orchard tours and tastings of the many British varieties grown there, displays and inspirational cookery demonstrations. And although it's officially apple-fest, pumpkins and gourds from the Victorian kitchen garden are on the menu too, just in time for Hallowe'en.
Don't worry if you've missed it though, Sussex still has plenty on the menu. Over at the lovely Weald and Downland Museum at Singleton on 10-11 October, the Autumn Countryside Show brings you all the sights and sounds of a traditional harvest. You won't get to gawp at massive modern combine harvesters, but machinery-enthusiasts will love the vintage tractors and threshing machines; and who can resist the sight of a team of Shire horses quietly going about the ploughing? The annual horticultural show has plenty of classes to compete in and produce to buy, and the dog show, dog agility displays and falconry are always popular.
The Weald and Downland is a great place for a family outing at any time, though. One building that never fails to wow me is the Downland Gridshell, a large oak barn-like structure completed in 2002 which was the first building of its kind in the UK; and I could spend hours browsing the historical artefact collection containing thousands of tools and bits'n'bobs for almost anything to do with the local rural economy, from building and crafts to transport and agriculture.
We have some fab holiday hideaways nestled around this part of the South Downs, but it's also within easy reach by car of Chichester and some of our nearby coastal cottages. Being close to Goodwood, we can also offer you a choice of luxury lets in the area as well as holiday properties for large groups. So whether it's half-term mayhem, a quiet getaway or a group holiday, I think we can help. Click here to view our entire selection.