Towns and Villages
You'll be fascinated by the towns and villages in the area, each with their own individual character. The historic streets, spired churches, traditional Sussex village greens, thriving shops and superb eating and drinking establishments, all set against beautiful Sussex landscape offering superb walking, cycling and riding opportunities, are all part of the Sussex scene. Scroll down the list below and click on the individual town websites for more details about what's on offer in each town.
For further information about Places to Visit in the Horsham District click on the links in the bottom right blue box.
Amberley is set on the River Arun with many flint walled, thatched cottages, a medieval castle (now a hotel) and a fascinating Industrial Museum. An impressive river bridge with superb views of the area is an ideal starting place for leisurely walks through the "Wildbrooks" internationally known for its wildlife.
Barns Green is 4 miles south of Horsham, between the A24 and A29 roads which run north south between London and the South Coast. Gatwick airport is 24 miles to the north. The villagehas many fine timber framed houses (including the local pub) and can be a starting point for many attractive walks.
Billingshurst, The village of Billingshurst is situated in the heart of the Sussex Weald, in beautiful countryside. With its history dating back to Roman times - the main north to south road (A29) being Stane Street, an old Roman road - the village has a conservation area at its centre and many beautiful period buildings. With a recently refurbished High Street making shopping a pleasure, the village has a thriving community. The local Countryside is ideal for walking having four long distance walks and many bridleways and footpaths. Excellent local produce can be sampled in the cafes, restaurants, and pubs which attract many visitors from across the district. There is also a Farmers Market once a month.
Bramber: The village of Bramber regularly wins the 'South East in Bloom' competition and features the 15th century St. Mary's House - a magnificent medieval house with the best late 15th century timber framing in Sussex. The ruins of Bramber Castle sits on a natural mound above the village and provides superb views of the River Adur valley. The castle, built soon after 1066, is a beautiful, romantic setting - ideal for a picnic. Bramber was once an important river port but when the sea level dropped this bustling centre lost its trade and much of its population. It is now a pretty Sussex village bordering the beautiful countryside of the South Downs National Park.
Cowfold: The village of Cowfold is mid-way between Horsham and the South Downs and although a very busy village retains much original charm. The old cottages around the churchyard all turn inwards towards the ancient church of St. Peters which has one of the largest church brasses in Sussex. St. Peters Cottage, now a restaurant, is a fine example of a fifteenth century Sussex timber-framed house with a Horsham stone roof.
Henfield is a delightful market town overlooking the River Adur and the South Downs with a long history dating from 770 AD. The many listed buildings, its old streets and twittens make Henfield an important conservation area. There is a vibrant centre with a wide selection of shops, restaurants, pubs and many active clubs and societies. The local museum is well worth a visit and contains a wide range of rural and historic artefacts. Leaflets giving information about a range of local attractions are available both in Henfield Museum and outside the Parish offices in the village hall. They include an excellent free Official Guide to the village of Henfield.
Horsham: Set in outstanding parkland the historic market town of Horsham offers a welcoming and attractive environment for shopping, meeting friends, enjoying the local arts and culture and eating out. Enjoy shopping at our unique boutiques or well known high street stores, take a swim in the Pavilions In The Park, visit one of the regularly-changing exhibition at Horsham Museum, catch a show at the theatre, or just soak up the atmosphere of this medieval town, listening to musicians play on the Victorian bandstand, and admiring the award-winning displays of Horsham in Bloom.
Itchingfield church dates back to 1125, it has a fine early norman window still surviving and a particular feature of the church is its Medieval Bell Tower. The unique "Priests House" in the grounds of the church dates from 15th century and was used as an Almhouse in the 19th century.
Nuthurst, nestling in the countryside with the 900 year old church of St Andrew and very attractive 16th Century buildings.
Pulborough: Standing on the River Arun Pulborough has been an important settlement since ancient times and boasts over one hundred listed buildings and monuments. Today, the landscape provides outstanding views across ‘The Brooks’ towards the South Downs National Park and numerous trails invite the keen walker. Traditional pubs, tea shops and restaurants offer some of the finest food and wine in the area.
The Parish of Rudgwick lies in the heart of the Low Weald and has a unique heritage of timber-framed buildings dating from before the 1750's. Rudgwick also has the distinction of being the location for a find of bones from a unique dinosaur known as Polacanthus Rudgwickensis. These bones can now be seen at Horsham Museum
Shipley, with the unique church of St Mary's built by the Knights Templars who were famously connected with the Crusades in Israel. Just a short distance from the church, is the magnificent smock windmill built in 1879, which was once owned by Hilaire Belloc, author and poet, more recently it served as a setting for the BBC television series "Jonathan Creek". Shipley also boasts a popular annual Arts Festival which celebrates the arts with performances of international standard and supports the creation of a series of new pieces to reflect Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos with the aim of performing them again during the 2012 Olympics.
Slinfold is a typical medieval Wealden village which hosts many superb timber-framed buildings.
Southwater: The development of Southwater in the early 20th century was due chiefly to the growth of its brickworks from where, in its heyday, the famous "red" bricks were exported all over the world. The Claypits were restored to nature in the 1980's as a Country Park with a large lake and now attracts many visitors each year. From here you can join the Downs Link which follows the track of the disused railway line and explore on foot or bicycle the lovely surrounding countryside. Discover too the old houses and cottages of this former scattered farming community, not forgetting the little Victorian Church on the hill.
Steyning: Steyning is a charming town, rich in history and in a wonderful location at the foot of the South Downs. Check out the town's website Steyning South Downs for more information.
The High Street where the market was held for many centuries has echoes of Steyning's long history: Discover the town's Tudor and Stuart timber-framed buildings, the Market House where Quaker George Fox once preached, and Mouse Lane, commemorated in verse written in the trenches in 1915. Don't forget to take time to look in at the museum to discover the legacy of the Normans in the fine 12th century church of St Andrew’s and the ruins of Bramber Castle.
There is ample free parking with a wide choice of interesting shops, including the award winning Cobblestone Walk, tea rooms, pubs and restaurants and a monthly Farmers Market. Hosting an active events programme visitors can look forward to events such as the Easter Monday Festival of Sport, the stunning two-week Steyning Festival of Arts, Theatre, Music and Culture, and the Country Fair.
Storrington: First mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086 Storrington is now a busy and lively community nestling under the South Downs, with an attractive High Street and a Square which was once the cattle market. The town boasts a good range of specialist shops, an excellent local museum, three public houses, many good restaurants and tea rooms and a good range of accommodation for visitors. The church of St. Mary dates from the Eleventh Century and is mentioned in the Domesday Book.
Washington, once the centre of a large Saxon estate, whose owner was given Horsham as a gift, is now a quiet rural Downland village.
West Chiltington is a charming village with sunken tree lined lanes, a small museum, and the attractive, un-altered 12th Century church of St Mary's with an oak shingle covered spire and ancient wall paintings. Wines from local vineyards can be purchased in the village.
For further information about places of interest and attractions in the Horsham District please contact Horsham Visitor Information Centre.