Located on the English Channel coast, West Sussex lays claim to being the sunniest county in England according to the Meteorological Office. West Sussex has a well-established reputation for rural beauty but is in fact home to a very diverse landscape including the South Downs National Park, rolling farmland, picturesque market towns, stately homes and an attractive coastline with some famous harbour towns and seaside destinations.
The South Downs National Park is a stunning tapestry of farmland interspersed with wide open spaces, ancient woodlands and meandering rivers. Laced with pretty Sussex villages, this is the perfect backdrop for a rural wedding and with plenty of accommodation available in farms, converted barns and cottages. The vibe is gently rustic but with an air of real quality, whether you choose the grand backdrop of a stately home, an iconic timber barn or a mellow manor house on an ancient farmstead.
For a town wedding, pick the classic backdrop of Arundel with its imposing castle, home to the Dukes of Norfolk for more than 850 years or Midhurst, a pretty and historic market town at the western end of the Sussex weald, with charming black and white timbered buildings and numerous pubs and restaurants. The county town is Chichester, the only city in West Sussex and famous for its magnificent cathedral. With splendid medieval architecture and a picturesque harbourside designated an Area of Outstanding Beauty (AONB), Chichester is hard to beat for style and amenities.
The coastline of West Sussex spans around fifty miles and if you are looking for a nostalgic and charming seaside town with promenades and piers then let yourself be tempted by the delights of Worthing, Littlehampton or Bognor Regis. There are also plenty of locations off the beaten track with the panoramic seascapes of West and East Wittering favoured for their dramatic views and just a touch of wild romance.
Naturally with its coastline of harbourside towns, fresh seafood is one delicacy you won’t want to miss out on although Sussex is particularly famous for its puddings – it was said that “to venture into the county was to risk being turned into a pudding yourself” such were the sweet and savoury treats on offer. As a largely agricultural and rural county, there are numerous local food businesses and farm shops with tempting produce which many of the ceremony and reception venues take full advantage of on their wedding menus.
Good road links run through the county with the M23 linking West Sussex to the M25 London Orbital motorway and offering access to the motorway network across the UK. Gatwick airport is just over forty miles away and there are regular train services from London Victoria which take between an hour and an hour and a half depending on your destination.