If you’re ready to explore Sussex, you’re probably looking for a guide. The sort of guide who knows all the usual haunts but better still, knows the ever so slightly off the beaten track haunts, the unusual, the quirky. A guide who will give you a bit of the inside story of Sussex so that as you explore, you can really get under the hood of our vast and varied county. And although you may be wondering where you’ll find such a person or guide, the answer is actually … in your pocket!
An unusual guide
Secret Sussex is a handy-sized “unusual guide” to Sussex by local blogger and travel writer, Ellie Seymour. Ellie is a lover of the unusual and unique and is often to be found well and truly off the beaten track searching out something new, and that means this guide is a temptation to even the most well-travelled Sussex explorer.
Where to start?
The guide is divided into five areas: Burgess Hill to Seaford, Chichester to Petworth, Crawley to Crowborough. Eastbourne to Rye and Horsham to Worthing. There’s also an additional two sections on unusual bars, cafés and restaurants, and hidden vineyards. In short, it’s pretty much got you covered as you set off on your explorations.
Each of the main sections has between 10 and 25 items, all of them set out in nice bite-sized chunks, with enough information to whet your appetite but not so much as to leave feeling like you already visited it all. It’s easy to read, all round informative but fully accessible, and perfect for the job of exploring.
What does it cover?
Well, it covers pretty much everything from art, history and heritage to new walks, local folklore, secret suppers in hidden forests, and fine houses and gardens.
What will you discover?
The burning question for me was whether, having spent the last year pounding the streets, footpaths and bridlepaths of Sussex, there was anything I hadn’t heard of? And the answer is yes, loads!
From backstage tours at Gyndebourne Opera House, to Blake’s Cottage near Felpham and the world’s largest subterranean skate park in Hastings, there are all sorts of curiosities and intrigues in this guide which are just begging you to head on over and unearth them. And in addition to new adventures to be had, Ellie also gently draws our attention to some of the weird and the wonderful places, that for those of us who live in Sussex, are often right under our nose!
I’ve already picked out a number of must-see and dos to add to my list, and these have to include the Amsterdam shipwreck near Hastings only visible a few times a year at low tide, the Surrealist Picnic (an eccentric summer garden party like no other) in Chiddingly, and the Dark Skies Festival on the South Downs!
Set sail and go forth
In a post-Covid world what is apparent is that we need to spend more time on our home turf, exploring what’s right on our doorstep. And Secret Sussex gives you the means and the chance to do this. Plan your days with stops at Ellie’s cafe recommendations, stop at a vineyard or two and take a moment to discover the genuinely off-the-beaten-track or unknown delicacies that Sussex has on offer.
You can buy Secret Sussex from all the big bookshops including Amazon, Bookshop and Waterstones or direct from Ellie at: https://www.ellieandco.co.uk/shop