Storrington is a bustling town just to the north of the South Downs in West Sussex. It dates back to the Domesday Book and has interesting architecture as well as lots of different shops and businesses. And if you’re visiting or moving to this part of the world, here is our list of things to do in Storrington and the surrounding area.
Explore the town
Any trip to Storrington should start with a good reccé. Turn off the main street into Church Street and Greyfriars Lane for some of the oldest houses in the town including the 15th century forge (now a restaurant), a beautiful Indo-Islamic style door installed in 1911 in the wall on the corner of Browns Lane, St. Joseph’s Hall (which was the residence of the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton) and the church.
Storrington Priory is a Catholic house of welcome and a retreat centre. They are part of the Chemin Neuf community and run various programmes including spiritual exercises and inner healing retreats. More unusually perhaps is that Storrington Priory has a vineyard with 4,000 vines that were planted in 2006 by local wine legend, Dermot Sugrue, with the first major harvest of their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes taking place in 2009. Their wine is processed at nearby Wiston and you can buy it at Hennings Wine Merchants in Petworth.
Storrington Museum is in The Old School, School Lane, opposite St Mary’s Church. As is so often the case with small museums, it has an eclectic collection that includes an agricultural cabinet, pottery, books, and all sorts of memorabilia connected to the town and residents past. It’s a great place to gain a deeper understanding of Storrington.
Every Friday between 9.45 am to 11.15 am, the local market meets in the Village Hall and is a chance to buy local and often homegrown produce including cakes and savouries, honey, plants and craft items.
The Storrington Mystery Trail
In the Horsham District, there are currently seven free outdoor mystery trail games running, one of which is based in Storrington. It’s called Mycellium Mayhem and the Woodland Gatekeeper and it starts at Storrington Library. From there, you follow 14 clues around the town. The trails are being run until March 2023 (although let’s hope they extend this). You can download the trail map here: Storrington Mystery Trail.
Take a class
For a small town, Storrington has a lively number of classes available, many of which take place in the Village Hall. So try your hand at an art class, stitching, yoga, choir or dance!
Explore the South Downs
One of the great attractions of Storrington is the fact that it’s right on the edge of the magnificent South Downs. In fact, half of the parish is within the South Downs National Park and a good starting point for any walk is the Gerston Farm Grab ‘n’ Go kiosk which is dog friendly, has outdoor seating and serves hot and cold food (although it closes in the winter). You’ll find it down Greyfriars Lane. The town is about halfway along the South Downs Way making it a great base from which to explore. Heading east, you’ll come to charismatic Chanctonbury Ring but whichever way you go, you have miles and miles of stunning countryside to explore on foot or by bike. And as luck would have it, South Downs Bikes are based in Storrington.
If you’re looking for a walk in the area, here are two suggestions:
Sullington is just to the east of Storrington and there are various things to explore here. Sullington Manor Farm is a wedding venue and working farm but they have a beautiful coffee shop in their 16th century barn where you’ll also find local pottery and art for sale and an informative and interactive exhibition on the history of Sullington and farming on the Downs. You can also pick up a picnic hamper from here if you’re walking and don’t forget to visit the yew tree in the churchyard next door. The tree is apparently 1200 years old.
On the opposite side of the road (the A283) at Sullington, you’ll find Sullington Warren. This is a 61-acre Site of Special Scientific Interest owned by the National Trust and home to several Scheduled Monuments. But it also happens to be a great place for walking:
Just over a mile to the west of the town is Parham House and Gardens, a beautiful Elizabethan house with a lovely walled garden, pleasure grounds and private chapel. You can also walk through the grounds. They open in early April and you can read more here:
Head a little further east and you come to Amberley which is home to a stunning castle. With a rich history, Amberley Castle is now a luxury hotel but even if you’re not staying, you can enjoy a fabulous afternoon tea or eat in their outstanding restaurant. For guests, there is an 18-hole putting course, tennis, croquet, and 12 acres of grounds to explore.
A skip and a jump from the castle and you’ll find Amberley Museum where there are simply oodles of things to do. There are over 40 exhibit areas which cover everything from historic buses, a print room, rural crafts, communications displays and lots more. They also have a year-round programme of different events and they are dog friendly.
A short drive south east of Storrington and you come to the Wiston Estate which apart from being a historic (if private) house is now home to a prestigious vineyard and restaurant (Chalk). Here you can enjoy wine tours and tastings and they are now also offering off-road bike tours with lunch, as well as landscape and nature tours.
Bramber Castle and St Mary’s House
Head a little further east, and you come to Bramber with its Medieval castle ruins and St Mary’s House (where it’s rumoured Charles II stayed as he tried to make his way to Shoreham and escape the Civil War). The castle is free to explore and offers up some amazing views. St Mary’s House is a treasure trove of historic facts and artefacts.
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