The Best South Downs Hotel

15th May 2023

If you’re an avid walker or mountain biker who enjoys exploring the South Downs National Park you need look no further for the perfect ‘South Downs hotel’ than us. A stay at The Burlington Hotel puts you in a superb location for the numerous beauty spots, attractions, beautiful towns and villages to explore. And as the South Downs National Park stretches from Winchester in Hampshire to Beachy Head in East Sussex, we’ve chosen a selection of highlights closest to Worthing for you to explore…

Walk the South Downs Way from Worthing

The South Downs Way is a 100-mile (160km) trail through the national park that offers plenty of opportunities for walking, hiking and cycling. One popular walk is the Findon South Downs Loop. Start outside the village of Findon, just north of Worthing, and the walk takes you over the Downs to the north.

Cissbury Ring

This hill fort is the most historic hill on the South Downs, as it dates back more than 5,000 years. It was a flint mine during the Neolithic period, then a burial ground during the Bronze age. Now, Cissbury Ring offers a view like no other – from the top, you can see Chichester Cathedral, the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs and Beachy Head. There’s more history to the north of Cissbury Ring, too, on Monarch’s Way – a walking trail that runs all the way from the city of Worcester to Worthing’s neighbour Shoreham-by-Sea.

  • How to get there: It’s a short drive from Worthing, or you can take the bus (Stagecoach South Service 1 or Metrobus 23)


If you’re walking the section of the South Downs Way that spans from Upper Beeding (north-east of Worthing) to Kingston, you’ll want to pay Lewes a visit. Another Sussex town with a vivid history, Lewes has a castle and museum, Anne of Cleves’ House, and the ruins of a medieval priory you can explore up close. As well as its history, Lewes also has plenty of pubs, quirky shops and cobbled streets to explore.

  • How to get there: Lewes is about 45 minutes from Worthing by car, or an hour on the train (changing at Brighton)

Did you know? Anne of Cleves never actually lived at the house in Lewes, although it was given to her at the end of her marriage to Henry VIII.


The picturesque town of Arundel is a must for your itinerary. With its medieval castle, awe-inspiring cathedral, and wealth of pubs, cafes, restaurants and boutique shopping opportunities, a day spent soaking up the sights of this historic town will pass by in a flash.

In the summer months, take a leisurely stroll round Swanbourne Lake – or better yet, hire a rowing boat and enjoy the tranquillity from the water itself.

  • How to get there: It’s 20-25 minutes by car, and just over an hour by train (with a change at Barnham


If you’re staying within the South Downs National Park or close to it, escape for a few hours to the village of Amberley. With its medieval buildings, country lanes, and cottages with thatched roofs and flint walls, a relaxed walk around this tranquil Sussex village offers endless charming views.

Find out about the industrial heritage of Sussex at Amberley’s open-air museum, or visit Amberley Pottery for the opportunity to appreciate the craftsmanship of local potters up close – and maybe even pick up a souvenir or two.

  • How to get there: It’s easiest to go by car or taxi, as it’s about a 30-minute drive. Going by train is possible but can take over an hour


A South Downs hotel stay is incomplete without a visit to the city of Chichester. Steeped in history, Chichester’s origins can be traced back to the Roman times, and the building of its grand cathedral is said to have begun in the eleventh century. As you stroll around this small-but-perfectly-formed city, enjoying its wealth of cafes, bars, restaurants and shopping opportunities, you’ll catch sight of its historic buildings right there amongst its modern attractions.

Culture fans will enjoy catching a show at the Chichester Festival Theatre, and Pallant House Gallery is a must for lovers of modern art, as this leading gallery and museum specialises in showcasing British art from 1900 onwards.

A ten-minute drive north of Chichester will take you to the Weald & Downland Living Museum, a Sussex gem that celebrates the region’s rural past. Visitors can experience history up close – meet traditional breeds of farm animals, see live demonstrations of heritage crafts and Tudor cooking, and explore the surrounding gardens and woodland.

  • How to get there: It’s 30-50 minutes by car, or a 30-minute train journey

 Did you know? The hit BBC series ‘The Repair Shop’ is filmed at the Weald & Downland Living Museum.

Nymans Gardens

Of course, wherever you’re staying, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to lush green countryside surrounding you, but if it’s romantic gardens and unusual plants that inspire you, be sure to visit Nymans Gardens in Handcross near Haywards Heath.

Much of this Gothic mansion was destroyed by fire in 1947, but its gardens remain breathtaking. Carefully designed and planted with species from all over the world, Nymans is a must for horticulture enthusiasts.

  • How to get there: It’s 35-40 minutes by car or taxi. It’s possible to get there by public transport, but it will take nearly an hour and a half. Take the train to Haywards Heath and then a bus from there to Handcross


In the village of Firle near Lewes is Charleston, the famous gathering-place for the Bloomsbury group – the group of progressive twentieth-century writers, artists and thinkers that included Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell and E.M. Forster.

Charleston was the home of painters Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, and the house lives on as a piece of ‘living art’. On display there you’ll find paintings, murals, ceramics and textiles. The gardens are also works of art, filled with flowers and sculpture. Everywhere you look at Charleston, there’s something fascinating to catch your eye.

  • How to get there: It’s best to travel by car or taxi, as going by public transport can take up to two hours, whereas it’s about a 40-minute drive

Situated on Worthing’s seafront, The Burlington Hotel offers you the best of all worlds – beach walks and breath-taking sea views, miles of unspoilt countryside on the doorstep, and elegant rooms that are the ultimate in comfort and luxury.

Book your idyllic South Downs escape with us today.


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