Plan your Sussex Winter Getaway
Beat the winter blues during these colder months and explore the beautiful South Downs. Although it can be very tempting to hunker down, there’s nothing more picturesque than the rolling hills on a crisp winter’s day, followed by a glass of English Sparkling Wine. Wiston Estate has 58 kilometres of footpath and bridleway to discover. So, wrap up warm and make the most of this stunning landscape. From wineries to wonderful walks, wildlife, cosy stays and delicious hearty menu’s, we have put together a few ideas for the perfect Sussex getaway.
WRAP UP & HEAD OUT
It is the best time of year for hitting the footpaths and getting some fresh air into your lungs. Panoramic views of the South Downs National Park are the reward for all ramblers in inland West Sussex. Rolling chalk hills provide tough terrain for both legs and roots, but there are leisurely walks and picnic spots aplenty too. Walks in West Sussex are a great way to see local wildlife, and we’ve highlighted spots where, if you’re lucky, you can see newts, hares and wild birds. With over 3,300km of rights of way, the South Downs National Park offers a landscape as diverse as it is breath-taking. Have a browse of some of our favourite routes here.
For those who prefer two wheels, Marmalade biking tours are a fantastic way to explore the South Downs with local experts. Indulge with a well-deserved lunch at Chalk with the Ride & Dine option. Marmalade will create a tailored mountain bike route around Wiston Estate with one of their professional local guides – the bike can be electric or conventional.
TIME TO PUT YOUR FEET UP
Charming and secluded, The Pump House is tucked away from the world at the foot of the South Downs. Situated at the heart of Wiston Estate, the renovated cottage has stunning views up to the ancient hill fort of Chanctonbury Ring and luxury interiors for a comfortable escape. Perfect for getting away from it all, with plentiful walks from the doorstep and within easy reach of the historic town of Steyning.
Guests at the Pumphouse can enjoy all that Wiston Estate has to offer, including our winery and Chalk restaurant just a stone’s throw away. You are never too far away from reaching a glass of English Sparkling Wine. The Pump House sleeps two, with dogs welcome – it’s an idyllic place for a winter walk followed by a cosy meal and award-winning wine.
TASTE THE LOCAL PRODUCE
At Chalk Restaurant we aim to create dishes that express the nature, heritage, and purpose of the land we share. On Friday and Saturday evenings we will be serving up our new ‘Estate Menu’ – see sample here. This will be a set menu of five courses which is built to showcase the produce grown, reared, farmed and foraged on Wiston Estate and from the South Coast. The team at Chalk have been working with local farmers and the estate managers to source the produce for this menu – they will be using pheasants and venison from the estate and vegetables from the Walled Garden at Wiston House. The offering will change regularly with the seasonal availability of the ingredients. Book here to taste for yourself.
We also have a new treat for weekdays – our award-winning Wiston Wine Tour & Tasting, followed by a set lunch in Chalk – all for £60 per person. You can simply select the lunch option when booking.
GO ON A WINERY TOUR (Ours are indoors)
Sussex has multiple wineries to explore, and these winery tours are not just for summer! Whilst our vineyard team are out in all weathers pruning and caring for the vines, and our winemakers are busy blending from the busy harvest – this is a great time to learn a little more about what goes into making award-winning wines. We run regular Tour & Tastings from Wednesday – Sunday. (This tour scooped the Gold Medal for Experience of the Year at the 2023/24 Beautiful South Awards!)
Guests will be taken through the story of the estate and learn about the vineyards. Then you will walk through the winery taking in the traditional Champagne coquard press, tank and barrel halls and finish up with a tutored tasting of a selection of our award-winning English Sparkling Wines in the new tasting room.
If you would like to make this an even more special experience, why not book onto one of our Top Drawer Tour & Dinner on Fridays throughout February. An opportunity to sample a selection of our rarest and most exciting wines, which we rarely pour at tastings, followed by a delicious seasonal dinner at Chalk.
explore other local attractions
Just down the road from Wiston, is Knepp Estate. Feel at one with nature with a Knepp Safaris visit – one of the largest rewilding projects in Lowland Britain. Encounter herds of wild ponies, cattle, deer and pigs as they roam 3,500 acres of Sussex, driving the forces of habitat regeneration.
Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens A magnificent Grade II listed garden, which has been part of the largest garden restoration in England. These spectacular and ancient gardens are now open for the public having been closed for the nine years’ restoration, which was carried out with the aim to protect this magnificent heritage so that future generations get to enjoy these beautiful green spaces and flora and fauna within.
Delve into the local culture. Just a short drive from Wiston is the stunning historic Arundel Castle. Dating back to 1067, Arundel Castle boasts Norman features, historical events, paintings by the likes of Canaletto and Gainsborough in spectacular interiors, and exceptional gardens.
Take a trip to the seaside and visit The Royal Pavilion is an exotic palace in the centre of Brighton with a colourful history. Built as a seaside pleasure palace for King George IV, this historic house mixes Regency grandeur with the visual style of India and China.
We hope there’s enough to inspire you to book your winter escape to Sussex