South Downs Discovery Tour 2024

From$2,870 pp
From$2,870 pp
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8 Days / 7 Nights
Availability : June 21 and October 11
Start: Abingworth Hall, Thakeham, West Sussex, England
End: Abingworth Hall, Thakeham, West Sussex, England
South Downs Discovery Tour: 7 nights based at Abingworth Hall, Thakeham, West Sussex

Contact DHTour at 1-888-597-3519 or 905-639-9954 or to book.

A 7-night South Downs Discovery Tour gives you wildlife-spotting opportunities in Petworth Park, plus a visit to Parham House to admire grand floral displays. Elsewhere, you can visit natural wonders such as Devil’s Dyke, enjoy the bucket-and-spade charms of Brighton, and stop by the Roman-founded city of Chichester. But the real showstopper is Amberley Museum. This huge open-air homage to the region’s industrial past has vintage vehicles, traditional craft exhibitions, and even a narrow-gauge railway ride.

Tour Details


  • Explore the Roman city of Chichester
  • Spending time by the seaside in Brighton
  • Wildlife-spotting in Petworth Park
  • Visiting Devil’s Dyke
  • Discovering Sussex’s industrial heritage at the Amberley Museum

Pick Up Location & TIme

Abingworth Hall, Storrington Road, Thakeham, West Sussex, RH20 3EF (Google Map)
4:00pm – You’re welcome to check into the country house hotel from 4pm onwards.

Drop off Location & Time

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way onward.

Price Includes

  • High quality en-suite upgraded accommodation at Abingworth Hall
  • Excellent food in our country house, full board (B,L,D daily)
  • The services of our knowledgeable leader, ensuring you get the most from your holiday
  • Full-day excursions with all transport on touring days in a good-quality, comfortable mini-coach


All meals from dinner on arrival day, to breakfast on departure day
  • breakfasts
  • lunches
  • dinners
  • 1 tea

Price Excludes

  • Airfare
  • Transfers
  • Pre / Post hotel nights
  • Travel to/from the Country Hotel (The nearest railway station is Pulborough)
  • Admissions (please allow approx. £25 per day for entrances)
  • Driver / Tour Leader gratuity is at your discretion
  • Travel Insurance
What to Expect

Unpack Once!

Explore places of interest, beauty, heritage and wonder. Enjoy active guided sightseeing on relaxed-pace trips to revel in the history, landscapes, architecture and culture of your chosen destination. Our knowledgeable leaders will provide fascinating detail to bring it all to life. Travel between locations by mini-coach or public transport following a carefully planned itinerary.

  • Accommodation at a country house hotel
  • Full Board Meals – from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day
  • Knowledgeable leader
  • Transport between locations

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take alternative routes or adapt the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.

On each Discovery day, you will be walking roughly 3-5 miles (5-8km) throughout the course of the day as you explore the venues and locations we visit. You’ll also be hopping on and off the coach throughout – you should expect to spend the majority of the day on your feet. Most of this walking will be at attractions but some may be across country tracks or footpaths so be sure to bring sturdy shoes. There will also be stairs to climb in the majority of the venues you visit, though other more accessible options may be available. At some venues, there may also be uneven surfaces, such as cobbles or rocky paths.


Day 1Arrival Day

You’re welcome to check in from 4pm onwards where you’ll have a complimentary cream tea to tuck in to. (D, T)

Accommodation: Abingworth Hall

Day 2Petworth & Midhurst

We begin with a visit to Petworth House, home to one of the finest art collections in the care of the National Trust, before taking a gentle walk through Petworth Park to see the large herd of fallow deer which live here. After lunch we continue to Midhurst, forever associated with HG Wells, who both went to school and then taught at Midhurst Grammar School. There will be time to explore the historic centre to see some of its most characterful old buildings. Look out for the ones with woodwork painted dark yellow, a shade known locally as ‘Gold Cup’, denoting properties belonging to the Cowdray Estate. We’ll also visit the atmospheric ruins of Cowdray House – a large Tudor mansion whose guests included Henry VIII and Elizabeth I during its heyday. It was all but destroyed by fire in 1793 and the kitchen tower is the only part of the mansion which remained intact. (B, L, D)

Accommodation: Abingworth Hall

Day 3Sussex Towns & Gardens

This morning we visit picturesque Steyning, dating back to Anglo-Saxon times when it was a port on the River Adur. Home to an impressive Norman church, timber-framed buildings and Georgian townhouses, we’ll make a walking tour of the town with a chance to visit the museum and the independent shops at Cobblestone Walk. There’s time for refreshments in one of the tea rooms before the journey to Bignor Roman Villa, which has some of the finest mosaics in Britain. We spend the afternoon at the fascinating Elizabethan Parham House, exploring the house and extensive gardens. The surrounding deer park is home to around 350 fallow deer which have been bred to have dark coats rather than the more usual pale ones. (B, L, D)

Accommodation: Abingworth Hall

Day 4Free day

A free day for you to explore the local area or to relax in the Country House. Our Discovery Points help you make the most out of your free day. There’s plenty of maps and a selection of the best local walking routes, as well as weather forecasts and public transport options – plus details about other places to visit. (B, L, D)

Accommodation: Abingworth Hall

Day 5Brighton & The Downs

Today we head to the famous seaside resort of Brighton, made popular as a watering hole for London high society in the 18th century. There’s the opportunity to visit the Royal Pavilion, remodelled in Indian style as a seaside palace for King George IV when he was Prince Regent, before wandering along the promenade or Brighton’s Palace Pier. This afternoon we venture inland to explore Devil’s Dyke, the longest, deepest and widest ‘dry valley’ in the UK, where we can enjoy spectacular views over the South Downs and to the sea. (B, L, D)

Accommodation: Abingworth Hall

Day 6Amberley & Arundel

Enjoy a morning exploring Amberley Museum, set in a former chalk quarry and dedicated to the industrial heritage of England’s south-east. There are over 40 exhibit areas to discover, including a narrow-gauge railway, restored buses, rural crafts and trades, and historic communications. The afternoon will be spent in Arundel, with time to visit spectacular Arundel Castle and the formal Collector Earl’s garden, Arundel Cathedral or perhaps explore Swanbourne Lake. (B, L, D)

Accommodation: Abingworth Hall

Day 7Around Chichester

Our day starts in Chichester, founded by the Romans who built its city walls and featuring the 12th century gothic-style cathedral; its 61-foot spire can be seen for miles around. There are many historic buildings in the city and its Roman heritage is one of the many features of the Novium Museum, whose 500,000 exhibits include the remains of Roman baths and the burial possessions of the ‘Mystery Warrior’ – an Iron Age man who was buried in Chichester. From here we will travel to nearby West Dean, where you have the choice of visiting either West Dean Gardens or Weald & Downland Living Museum. West Dean Gardens date back to 1622 but much of what we see today was created in the 1800s, with Victorian glasshouses, a 300-foot Edwardian pergola, a walled kitchen garden and a sunken garden. Weald & Downland Living Museum is perhaps most famous for being the place where they film The Repair Shop. It has a rich variety of working buildings, historic rural vehicles, displays of past domestic life and furnishings, and examples of period gardens. We end the day with a scenic drive back to Abingworth Hall. (B, L, D)

Accommodation: Abingworth Hall

Day 8Departure Day

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. (B)

Dates and Prices
Departure Dates Per person (single or twin) Single in a double room
2024: June 21 $2,980 $3,260
2024: October 11 $2,870 $3,150


Pricing is per person (pp) based on single/twin/double occupancy.

Supplement applied for single in a double room.

Rates include room upgrade (premium) and membership fees. 

Rates are in $ CAD.

Contact DHTour at 1-888-597-3519 or 905-639-9954 or to book.

Ask us for the best available pricing for your dates & choice of airline. We can assist in your travel to/from the Country House.

During your Discovery Tour you’ll have the opportunity to visit many fascinating places. The following is our provisional programme, and your leader may adjust it at their discretion, taking into account factors such as weather, local opening times, or other events. This holiday includes active sightseeing and you should expect to spend lots of time on your feet.

Most admissions to places of interest are not included. Please allow up to £25 per day for admissions to all the places of interest we will be visiting. The full adult price is given but there are usually good reductions for parties and seniors. If you are a member of the National Trust, English Heritage or similar, remember to bring your card for free admission to their properties. Please bring cash as card machines are not always available at all venues.

Sometimes things happen beyond our control – the weather, traffic jams or changes at the places we visit. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way.

Travel Details:
Address is: Abingworth Hall, Storrington Road, Thakeham, West Sussex, RH20 3EF

By Rail:
The nearest railway station to Abingworth Hall is Pulborough. Please note that Pulborough station has a short platform, check the departure boards for which carriage to sit in.

By Taxi:
The 6-mile journey from Pulborough railway station takes approximately 15 minutes. Please try to avoid arriving at Pulborough station between 2.45pm and 3.20pm, as there may not be taxis available for your onward journey to Abingworth Hall due to school pick-ups. You can pre-book a taxi from our recommended taxi company, MJ Cars. The price for a 4-seat taxi is around £16. 8-seat taxis are also available at a higher rate. Please pre-book your taxi at least 7 days in advance by contacting:

MJ Cars*
Tel: +44 (0)1903 745414
The return journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Abingworth Hall Manager.
*MJ Cars is not owned or managed by us.

By Car:
From the M25 take either the A24 or the M23 and then the A264 towards Horsham. At the Great Daux roundabout go south on the A24 towards Worthing. Go straight over 2 roundabouts and then at the traffic light cross roads turn right onto the A272 signposted to Billingshurst and Petersfield. After 3 miles turn left onto the B2139 (The Selsey Arms on left). After 3.5 miles pass the turning for Thakeham on the left. After half a mile, Abingworth Hall is on the left, directly after the national speed limit signs.

From the M27 continue onto the A27 and around Chichester. At Fontwell Park roundabout take the first exit to continue on the A27 and at the next roundabout take the first exit on to the A29. After approx. 4 miles, at a roundabout, take the 2nd exit on to the B2139 to Storrington. At the mini roundabout in Storrington, take the 2nd exit onto the A283. Continue through Storrington and take the first exit at the mini roundabout by the Anchor Inn on to the B2139 towards Thakeham. Take the 2nd exit at the next mini roundabout and then take the 1st exit at next mini roundabout (by Steyning Grammar School). Continue down this road until you see 30mph signs. Abingworth Hall is just before these signs, on the right.

Hotel Descriptions

Abingworth Hall

Tucked away in the village of Thakeham at the foot of the South Downs, Abingworth Hall has stood in one form another since the 13th century. Gutted by fire, it was rebuilt in 1910 in its current distinctive style. As well as 27 ensuite rooms the house has all the ingredients you need for the perfect country house stay: three comfortable lounges with squishy sofas to kick back in, the largest of which opens onto an attractive conservatory and bar in which to dally, great food and super-comfy rooms to retire to. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to walking here; go for a lazy amble around the wildlife rich chalk Downlands to discover a colourful tapestry of historic villages, thatched cottages, pastoral landscapes and vibrant market towns. Highlights of your stay might include the Seven Sisters, the Glorious Goodwood estate, the Devil’s Dyke and Chantonbury Ring, as well as Arundel and the National Trust property at Petworth. Take your pick.

Address: Abingworth Hall, Storrington Road, Thakeham, West Sussex, RH20 3EF

Room Amenities: Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi

Stay in one of the Hall’s smartly presented rooms, which make use of every nook-and-cranny in the interesting architecture of this characterful house. With 27 bedrooms, Abingworth Hall has plenty of space and there’s a range of ‘Classic’ and ‘Premium’ Rooms to choose from. Clean and bright, with accent colours to offset the simple palette, the rooms are airy and light. Premium Rooms might have a feature wall or strong print wallpaper as well as pretty tiles in the ensuite bathroom.

Premium Rooms are more spacious en-suite guest rooms. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, body lotion, shower gel), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses.

Hotel Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, extensive garden, outdoor swimming pool, multi-purpose activity room, three lounges, library and board games to borrow

After a day strolling on the South Downs, come back to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. Relax in the large gardens and sit by the pretty pond, turn your hand to croquet or practice on the putting green. Ease through a couple of lengths of the heated outdoor pool if you’ve still got energy to burn. Hole up in the light-filled conservatory with pretty views of the gardens or retire to the Drawing Room with its wood-panelled walls, log burner, library of books to browse and comfy seats to sink in to; there’s a telescope for you to scour the night sky too. In the evening, take your seat in the bar or join fellow guests in the large ballroom for the evening activity.



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