All around Sussex
Travelling around Sussex more than usual in the past few months has reminded me what a fabulously varied, beautiful and interesting county it is. Did you know that it's been officially two counties - East Sussex and West Sussex - since the 12th Century, but didn't have separate county councils until 1888? And it remained a single ceremonial county until the early 1970s. I've always had trouble dividing it into two in my mind; that is, until I travel around the area again.
Then you see just how many different aspects Sussex has. West Sussex, which I call home, has a comfortable, quite cosy feel to it; though once you head onto the western end of the South Downs towards Winchester the scale expands and it becomes fabulously open. But the wonderful views there are inland - fields, woodland, sky - so even that has a different feel, somehow more enclosed than the other end of the Downs with their panoramic views towards the sea, and the coastal tract of East Sussex, where the spaces and skies seem to grow to vast proportions.
Then head inland back to where Sussex borders Kent, and you're into the Weald, where wooded hills and green fields take your breath away. Villages seem more hidden, and holiday cottages are real hideaways.
It's hard to believe that a short break less than two hours' drive from home could be such a revelation. But it was so different, and really refreshing not to have a huge journey at either end of the holiday - even if we did manage to get lost in East Grinstead: so coming home we gave up trying the efficient main-road route and pottered across the Ashdown Forest, where a rainbow touched our car bonnet. Honestly, I wasn't hallucinating and it definitely wasn't a sheep in disguise.
So join us for your next holiday or short break and explore Sussex - and I hope you'll love it as much as I do. Click here to view our selection of Sussex holiday cottages.