I don’t want to mention the V word, not this early in the year but … actually, we shouldn’t wait until February to add a little romance to our lives. Because romance can go a long way to brightening up dull, grey days. So whether you’re thinking of getting down on one knee in February or just want to make your year a little more, well, lovely, here are the some of the most romantic things to do in Sussex.
Enjoy breath-taking views of Sussex
In the north west of Sussex, Blackdown (also spelt Black Down) is the highest point in the South Downs National Park and is also one of the highest points in the south east. But what makes it romantic? Well, firstly, it has a long past with people settling here since the Mesolithic period and one owner of the area even fought at the Battle of Agincourt. Secondly, it was once the home of poet Alfred Lord Tennyson. But perhaps most importantly of all, it is here that you’ll find the Temple of the Winds. This is a viewing point, with a circular bench and the most magnificent views across Sussex and the South Downs where on a clear day you can see as far as the sea (although not on the day of our visit!). In fact, Tennyson wrote of the view, “‘You came, and look’d, and loved the view long known and loved by me: green Sussex fading into blue, and one gray glimpse of sea’.”
Hoots Luxury Treehouse near Mayfield
What could be more romantic than staying in a gorgeous and luxurious treehouse in ancient woodland and surrounded by nature and birdsong? And did we mention the king-size bed, Eygptian sheets, decking and woodburner? All within reach of the hopelessly pretty village of Mayfield and not far from Tunbridge Wells.
Watch the sunset across the sea
Let’s face it, there are plenty of places along the Sussex coast from which to watch the sunset but which are the most romantic? Well, you really have three choices. Firstly, to watch the sunset from the top of the cliffs. Beachy Head is steeped in legend and history and affords magnificent views across the seas. Secondly, you might wish to be closer to the sea, like the beaches of West Wittering or Climping which still manage to feel wild and remote as the sun sets. Finally, perhaps you fancy somewhere a little more cosmopolitan in which case, head to the end of Worthing or Hasting Pier. Throw in good old-fashioned fish ‘n chips and what could be better?
Afternoon tea or dinner for two at a luxury hotel
In Sussex, we have a superb combination of outstanding chefs and some gorgeous luxury hotels. Pop over to our luxury hotel feature and take your pick from Elizabethan country houses, and stunning Victorian city-style hotels and everything in between.
Stay in a cabin amongst the vines, and walk through a famous tunnel of trees
Tinwood Vineyard just outside Chichester sits between the stunningly evocative ruins of Boxgrove Priory and Halnaker windmill. You can stay in a beautiful and luxury lodge with views across the Tinwood vineyards, and enjoy superb sparkling wine whilst soaking in your own private jacuzzi. Then you can walk to the ruins of the early 12th century priory, or climb up through the famous Halnaker tree tunnel to the windmill that has commanding views across Sussex.
Enjoy a drink 450 feet high in the sky and then share oysters and champagne
Brighton’s i360 is home to the south coast’s highest bar and as the name suggests, offers 360 views of the coast and city of Brighton. Apart from enjoying locally produced sparkling wine, and craft gin, they also have a Valentine’s Sky Dining event stargazing and more. When you come back to earth, make your way along the seafront to the Riddle & Finns Champagne and Oyster Bar with views over the beach and sea. And yes, they serve Sussex sparkling wine as well as Champagne.
Fly high with a hot air balloon flight
There are various hot air balloon flights you can do in both East and West Sussex and what could be more romantic than flying silently over some of our county’s beautiful landmarks and houses such as Uppark House, Petworth House, the Bluebell Railway, Wakehurst Place, Ditchling Beacon and more. You could even book a private VIP flight for just two people!
Sleep in a castle
Amberley Castle is both stunning and historic and has 19 luxurious rooms. They offer a luxury escape that includes a three-course dinner and Champagne and their dining room (the Queen’s Room or the Great Room) has a unique and winning combination of Medieval charm and luxury.
Star gaze on the South Downs
The South Downs are always romantic, whether you’re at the top of Cissbury Ring, Highdown Hill, Chanctonbury Hill or Devil’s Dyke but star gazing adds that extra dimension. Check out the South Downs National Park’s recommendations for the best places to star gaze and what’s on or head to The Observatory at Herstmonceux for one of their special star gazing evenings.
Take to the water
Take a cream tea canal cruise on Chichester Canal, at Loxwood on the Wey and Arun Canal network or at the Bodiam Boating Station. But if you want bigger and bolder then head to Newhaven and to Sussex Boat Trips. They offer sunset cruises off the south coast and bespoke chartered cruises whereby you stop off for a meal at either Brighton or Eastbourne marina or you stop for a few hours of peace and quiet in Cuckmere Haven.
Step back in time
What could be more romantic than afternoon tea or dinner as you fly through the countryside on a steam train? The Bluebell Railway has a Pullman service with luxury cars and a first-class dining carriage evoking the charm and romance of the 1920/30s.
Canter across a sandy beach
There are a couple of places where you can ride along the beach and if you’re confident, jump the groynes too! Romantic and fun too provided you and your partner are both happy on a horse! Check out our Sussex Holiday Feature for further details.
Relax in a rooftop bar
The Sussex Roof Garden Bar is a botanically themed bar at Goodwood Racecourse with views of the South Downs (and the race course). Alternatively, head to Rockwater in Hove which is both on the seafront and where they can take the roof off their restaurant on a sunny day while you enjoy cocktails and seafood.
Hopefully, this list of romantic things to do in Sussex has got your heart pumping and the love flowing. If you’ve enjoyed it, you may also like: