The Historic Houses & Heritage of Sussex

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1 – Polesden Lacey

Board our private executive coach at your preferred pick up points – stop at a convenient property en route such as the National Trust’s Polesden Lacey, home to famous Edwardian hostess Mrs Greville who entertained royalty and the celebrities of her time – continue to the 3* Best Western York House Hotel in Eastbourne.   

Day 2 – Herstmonceux Castle & Gardens & Bateman’s

Our Blue Badge guide meets us at our hotel this morning and accompanies us throughout the day – set within 300 acres of carefully managed woodland with themed formal gardens, the 15th century moated Herstmonceux Castle and Gardens embodies the history of medieval England and the romance of Renaissance Europe – the National Trust’s Bateman’s property is a beautiful 17th century manor house that was the home of Rudyard Kipling from 1920 to 1936 with most of the rooms much as he left them. 

Day 3 – Sheffield Park & Garden, Bluebell Railway & Standen House & Gardens

Sheffield Park features a Grade 1 listed garden laid out in the 18th century by ‘Capability’ Brown – continue to nearby Sheffield Park station for a one way excursion to East Grinstead on the picturesque Bluebell Railway heritage line – designed by Philip Webb, Standen House is one of the finest examples of Arts and Crafts workmanship, with Morris & Co interiors creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere while the hillside garden overlooking the Medway Valley and Weir Wood Reservoir is made up of delightful woodland and a succession of small very English gardens.   

Day 4 – Brighton Pavilion, Charleston House & Anne of Cleves House

Built for the Prince Regent, later King George IV, in stages between 1787 and 1823, a guided tour of Brighton’s Royal Pavilion reveals the magnificent royal pleasure palace that was revered by fashionable Regency society and is still a distinctive Brighton landmark – a guided tour of Charleston House, the home of the artists Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell (sister of Virginia Woolf), explores the country meeting place for the group of writers, artists and intellectuals known as the Bloomsbury Group – Anne of Cleves House formed part of her divorce settlement from Henry VIII in 1541 and it now displays period furnishings, everyday domestic objects and tells the story of Lewes from 15th century to modern times.   

Day 5 – Chartwell

Stop at a convenient property en route home such as the National Trust’s Chartwell property, the family home of Sir Winston Churchill from 1924 until the end of his life with the rooms and gardens remaining much as they were when he lived there.

Tour Features

Half board accommodation

All excursions & guided tours included

Blue Badge guide in Sussex

Executive coach throughout

One free place per 10 paying passengers

Polesden Lacey

Herstmonceux Castle & Gardens


Sheffield Park & Garden

Bluebell Railway

Standen House & Gardens

Brighton Pavilion

Charleston House

Anne of Cleves House



Four nights on half board basis at the 3* Best Western York House Hotel. Located on the seafront close to Eastbourne Pier, facilities include a restaurant, bar and indoor swimming pool and all rooms are en suite.

Tailor-make this tour

Your tailor made tour

Here are some more suggested places of interest you might like to include:

  • Bodiam Castle - dating back to 1385 and constructed as both a defence and a comfortable home for Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, the exterior is virtually complete with ramparts rising dramatically above the moat
  • Great Dixter House & Gardens - once the family home of the late Christopher Lloyd who created one of the most experimental, exciting and constantly changing gardens of our time
  • Parham House & Gardens - a beautiful Elizabethan house dating back to 1577 set in an ancient deer park and one of the top twenty in Simon Jenkins’ book ‘England’s Thousand Best Houses

Tour Reviews

Reviews for The Historic Houses & Heritage of Sussex

Date of Tour: July 2019

The holiday to Sussex was a resounding success and the members came away having had an excellent time which was enhanced by the lovely weather!! The programme was excellent and gave a wide variety of artistic and landscape events which we all appreciated. I have to give you a big thank you for the excellent guide. He was a first rate guide who gave such a detailed history of the area, and organised our 3 days to perfection. It made the holiday go well for me. He had everyone entertained by his dialogue and we all now have a detailed knowledge of Sussex! Garry was an excellent driver and he got on so well with everyone. He was particularly helpful with the three people who had mobility problems. The timings were always well calculated and revised as necessary. We were well looked after at the hotel, the rooms seemed to suit everyone even though it was hot. The management were helpful with the time adjustment and dealt well with the 2 or 3 who were not happy with the food. We did have a good time and I was impressed with the really varied programme we had.
TF, Shrewsbury 

Date of tour: October 2018

We had an excellent visit to Sussex, and thank you for the documentation you provided for me which was most helpful. Everything worked out so well, good weather, good accommodation and an interesting programme so well arranged. The visit to Glyndebourne was a great success, and appreciated by all our members helped by the knowledge of our Blue Badge Guide (a star performer). Many thanks and all good wishes.
JC, Altrincham

Date of tour: May 2018

Just a few lines to say thank you for arranging the great week we have had in Sussex. Everywhere was immensely popular especially Greys Court, Charleston, Standen and Michelham Priory. Anne of Cleves house was opted out of by a few but those who visited were wowed by the bedroom which was open to the roof with wonderful rafters. We should have had more time in Chichester and possibly Lewes. Our two guides in the Cathedral were both very erudite men with clear and interesting stories to tell. The hotel was very good and we had a party in a private room for someone celebrating their 70th birthday and I purchased cakes that the dining room staff cut up and distributed so I would certainly recommend it. Our driver Neil was extraordinarily efficient and talented and we got everywhere on time. Again many thanks for all your work, we all appreciated it.
KE, Clitheroe

Date of tour: November 2017

As you know I did not personally go on the tour to Sussex but I can say that all reports to me have been very favourable. We would certainly ask you to organise any other holidays we decide to put on. Please pass on our thanks to all your staff who were involved, particularly Louise who very quickly and efficiently sorted out all the queries I had.
BH, Kingham

Call us on
020 7064 4970
to tailor this tour
for your group

Tailor make your group tour

Remember this itinerary is just our suggestion. Tailor make this tour exclusively for your group to suit your members’ budget or preferences. You could:

  • stay at a 4* hotel
  • for more (or fewer) days
  • include different excursions – see ‘Tailor-make this tour’ tab for suggestions
  • bring a specialist lecturer
  • include all entrance fees & gratuities

Call us on
020 7064 4970
to tailor make the perfect tour
for your group