Updated! 4 night mini National Trust Tour of Sussex
Mini National Trust tour of Sussex showing some of the sights as well as Estimated trip costs.
Est. Total Mileage:153
Est. Fuel Costs:£40
Campsite Fees including Electric hook up @ Sept 2013:£104(Couple)
by Nicky Atkinson
If you are a fan of H.G Wells this month (September) and all through December Uppark National Trust is the place to be. They are running a series of specialist events from child-friendly Martian and Monster inspired trails and gazing at the starry night to lectures on the great man and his inspirations from having lived there as a young boy. Some events are free if you are NT members; some attract an addtional cost Check this link to find out dates, costs and all other information...we might see you there !
If you fancy hiring a campervan and are not from the South what would I recommend?
Well, in the first of a series I will be blogging about a few tour suggestions for the South East. I will include mileage and fuel estimates as well as the cost of campsites to help you plan your next adventure.
In this episode I will make the assumption that you have National Trust (NT) membership, something that pays for itself well within the year. You can purchase membership at the first property or online prior to taking this specific trip. If you do so you will have saved yourself £10 as a couple or £25 as a family as well as having another 11 months and 3 weeks to enjoy free access to over 564 places and 14 other countries where the NT has reciprocal agreements such as Scotland and Jersey etc. Parking is always free for NT Members so this is another potential saving as not all properties offer free parking.
Upon collection of the campervan make your way to The Camping and Caravanning Club (C&CC) site of Graffham. This quiet and wooded site is perfect for walks and wildlife watching and is a regular haunt of ours as you will know from my other blogs.
The next morning head West for Uppark House near Petersfield. This gorgeous house and gardens needed to be totally restored after a fire by a workman's blowtorch caused the first floor to collapse in 1989. Many of the works of art and furniture on display that day were saved by members of the public visiting. H. G. Wells also spent part of his childhood here as his mother was the Housekeeper between 1880 and 1893. In his autobiography "Discoveries and Conclusions of a very ordinary brain (since 1866)" Wells references his life at Uppark House and also alludes to his experiences in his book "Tono Bungay".
If you are quick off the mark and/or the weather isn't great for strolling around the gardens I'd head back East towards the campsite via Petworth House. The House houses (?!) various artworks amongst them many Turner exhibits some of which are inspired by the park designed by Capability Brown. The park is also home to the UK's largest fallow deer herd making a walk in the park take on a more magical feel.
It's then back to the campsite for supper however there a few local pubs available such as The White Horse in Graffham village.
Day three I'd recommend heading East towards Tunbridge Wells and staying at the C&CC site at Crowborough in the Ashdown Forest, The journey across from Graffham should take about an hour and a half and if you take an in-land route via Haywards Heath you can stop off for lunch or afternoon tea at Nymans Gardens. You are now deep within the setting for A. A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh books - simply beautiful. There is also a great local bus service that stops outside the campsite should you want to give National Trust and driving a rest. Buses will take you to the coast as well as into Tunbridge Wells for some up-market shopping.
Day four I'd recommend Standen, a beautiful example of the Arts & Drafts Movement with a collaboration between Philip Webb and the one and only William Morris. The house was built for a wealthy London lawyer named James Beale as a holiday home for his wife and large family of seven children. It was completed in 1894 for the princely sum of £18,076 and it remained in the Beale family until the youngest daughter Helen bequeathed the house to the National Trust in 1972.
Day five and the return journey, there are many routes back to me but following the A26 through the country town of Lewes is worth considering and then travelling along the seafront at Brighton where tourism has been popular since 1750 when a certain Dr Richard Russell claimed the benefits of his salt water cures; including drinking the sea - Mmm not something I'd particularly recommend these days!
There are many other NT properies in both East and West Sussex as well as Woodlands; I picked these as known properties and a nice circular drive. If something like this tickles your fancy do get in touch to get your adventure started!
Read more about Nicky on Google+