Steyning is a historic West Sussex town that is picture postcard pretty, surrounded by stunning countryside and yet not far from the south coast and the bustling city of Brighton and Hove. It’s also a town that oozes creativity and a sense of community and you’ll nearly always find something going on here. And, if you’re wondering what it’s like to live in Steyning, West Sussex, here is our guide:
Where is Steyning?
Steyning is in the Horsham district of West Sussex. It’s 8.5 km north of Shoreham and the south coast and it’s right at the foot of the South Downs. It’s also close to the River Adur and just over 80 km south of London.
How do you get to Steyning?
The nearest railway station to the town is Shoreham-by-Sea, 8.5 km away by road and on the main south coastline between Brighton, Portsmouth, and London. Steyning is also well served by local buses. If travelling by car, Steyning is just off the A283 which joins the A24 to the A27.
The history of Steyning
Steyning dates back to Anglo-Saxon times and you will find many historic and listed buildings in the town. During those early centuries, it became a busy and important port with a market and a royal mint. However, by the 14th century, the River Adur had started to silt up so the town gradually began to lose its importance.
Legends of Steyning
Legend has it that a humble boy used to pull his disabled mother around Sussex in a cart pulled by a rope and when the rope broke (in Steyning) he decided to build a church on the spot. That boy became St Cuthman and you’ll find a statue of him opposite the Norman church of St Andrew and St Cuthman. King Alfred the Great’s father, Æthelwulf of Wessex, was buried in the church but later his remains were moved to Winchester. Nearby Chanctonbury Ring is awash with legends and it is believed you can summon the devil from there.
Shops and amenities
Steyning has a good choice of shops including a variety of independents, a village supermarket and Cobblestone Walk. There are lots of coffee shops and cafés and a number of pubs and takeaways. The town has a regular Farmer’s Market as well as a doctor, a leisure centre and a library. If you’re looking for a sense of community, you’ll find community groups and organizations aplenty which include everything from horticulture to dance and Steyning also has its own museum.
Things to do
Nearby places to visit include the ruins of the Norman castle at Bramber, the historic house and gardens of St Mary’s in Bramber and the Wiston Estate vineyards where you can enjoy tastings and tours. Steyning is also home to a number of events throughout the year. These include the Steyning Art Trail in May and June and the Food and Drink Festival in September. Walking and cycling are particularly well catered for nearby as the town is not far from the South Downs Way and a number of other trails including Monarch’s Way and the Downs Link.
Sompting Abbotts Prep school is just a short drive away from Steyning and local private secondary schools include Lancing College, Brighton College, Hurst College, Roedean, Christ’s Hospital, Seaford, Worth, Brighton Girls, Farlington and Burgess Hill Girls. The town is home to Steyning Grammar School which became an academy school in 2020. It is rated by Ofsted as Good with some Outstanding features. Steyning also has a primary school and a pre-school.
Property prices in Steyning
According to Rightmove, in May 2023, the average property price in Steyning was £518,084. The average detached home sold for £704,516 with semi-detached properties selling for £533,504.
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