The vibrant town of Midhurst dates back to the Middle Ages with the Market Square surrounded by stunning period buildings. A visit to this part of the South Downs is great for those who wish to get away from the bustling city while still having their creature comforts.
Cowdray Ruins are all that’s left of one of the finest Tudor houses. A great fire in 1793 destroyed this fortified manor and nearly burnt it to the ground. If you visit this ruin, you can explore the grounds and some parts of the house which have remained intact, namely the Kitchen Tower. This tower has been refurbished by Viscountess Cowdray and turned into a Renaissance Art Studio, an impressive hexagonal space hidden away at the top of the romantic structure.
Weald and Downland Living Museum
This collection of historic buildings is set over forty acres and many of the buildings have been furnished to recreate historic interiors. There are regular programmes of craft and domestic demonstrations, including blacksmithing in the Victorian smithy and cooking in Tudor kitchens. If you’re interested in historic crafts and tools, then the extensive artefact collection at the award-winning Downland Gridshell Building will be for you.
Woolbeding Countryside is a heath which houses rare birds such as nightjar and woodlark. Reptiles thrive here and certain insects like the long-horned beetle can also be found. A wide variety of mammals live here and each species targets a different spot of Woolbeding Countryside. Old Spot pigs break up rhizomes while Belted Galloway cows graze the lowland heath and parkland along with Herdwick sheep.
Uppark House and Gardens
Located on the South Downs ridge, Uppark House and Gardens gives you spectacular panoramic views. There’s a woodland nearby that is great for exploring while the gardens have been restored to their original 18th-century design. The house’s Georgian interiors show the comfort of upper-class life compared to the servant’s world downstairs, with an example of a 17th-century doll’s house in their collection.
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