On this charming short break, you’ll take in one of the UK’s oldest steam railways, five beautiful English country homes see the seals at Chichester harbour

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Chuffing gently through the bucolic Sussex countryside on a vintage steam engine is just one highlight of this four-day heritage break exclusively for Country Living readers. Your tour also includes visits to two National Trust properties, Lancing College's stunning chapel and a boat cruise around bustling Chichester harbour - an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. As you sail across the waters, look out for the colony of adorable seals that call the harbour home.

You'll step back in time on the Bluebell Railway, which runs for 11 miles from Sheffield Park to East Grinstead and stops at the 1930s-themed Horsted Keynes station, a popular TV and film location that appeared as 'Downton' station in Downton Abbey. Recently voted the best steam railway in England, the Bluebell was one of the first heritage railways in the country to be preserved, so it has a wonderful collection of vintage steam locomotives and carriages.

Visiting the county's stately homes, you'll see two with impressive Lancelot 'Capability' Brown-designed gardens: Petworth House, which was built as an English 'Versailles' to rival the palaces of Europe and has a collection of works by Turner, Reynolds, Blake and Van Dyck, and the 18th-century Sheffield Park, with its series of four descending lakes that were further developed in the early 20th century by its then owner, Arthur Gilstrap Soames.

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Price includes

  • Three nights' stay with breakfast at the four-star Hilton Avisford Park hotel near Arundel
  • Dinner each evening in the hotel's Cedar Restaurant
  • Round trip on the heritage Bluebell Railway, plus a guided tour of Sheffield Park station, museum and engine shed
  • Guided evening walk around the ancient market town of Arundel
  • Visit to Sheffield Park and Garden
  • Visit to Petworth House
  • Guided tour of Goodwood House
  • Visit to Arundel Castle and Gardens
  • Chichester Harbour boat trip to see the seal colony
  • Visit to Lancing College Chapel
  • Visit to Parham House and Gardens
  • Comfortable coach travel throughout your short break
  • Services of a Brightwater Holidays tour manager
  • Porterage
  • Low deposit of only £50pp

Availability

From
Mon, Mon, Sep 7, 2020
To
Thu, Thu, Sep 10, 2020
Duration
4 Days
Price per person
£665*
* Based on two sharing a room. Single rooms are available on request at a supplement and subject to availability. Low deposit of only £50pp. There may be slight alterations to the itinerary due to operational restrictions. This trip is ATOL protected. This promotion is exclusive to Hearst UK and may be promoted by other Hearst UK brands.
From
Sun, Sun, Jun 13, 2021
To
Wed, Wed, Jun 16, 2021
Duration
4 Days
Price per person
£665*
* Based on two sharing a room. Single rooms are available on request at a supplement and subject to availability. Low deposit of only £50pp. There may be slight alterations to the itinerary due to operational restrictions. This trip is ATOL protected. This promotion is exclusive to Hearst UK and may be promoted by other Hearst UK brands.
From
Mon, Mon, Sep 6, 2021
To
Thu, Thu, Sep 9, 2021
Duration
4 Days
Price per person
£665*
* Based on two sharing a room. Single rooms are available on request at a supplement and subject to availability. Low deposit of only £50pp. There may be slight alterations to the itinerary due to operational restrictions. This trip is ATOL protected. This promotion is exclusive to Hearst UK and may be promoted by other Hearst UK brands.
Call now to book 01334441849
Quote ref: BLUEBELL RAILWAY
Got any questions about this trip? Send us an enquiry

Itinerary

  1. Day
    1
    Petworth House and Arundel
    Arundel, United Kingdom

    We depart by coach from London and Gatwick and travel into West Sussex where we will visit Petworth House. We will have an opportunity for lunch on arrival (not included) before exploring the mansion, along with its 700-acre deer park landscaped by none other than Lancelot 'Capability' Brown. The house itself is in possession of arguably the finest collection of art in the care of the National Trust, including works by Turner, Reynolds, Blake and Van Dyck.

    Following our visit we continue to our hotel, the 4-star Hilton Avisford Park, Arundel. All rooms are en-suite with television, Wi-Fi and tea/coffee making facilities. The hotel also has a pool and sauna

    This evening we will enjoy a drinks reception after which dinner will be served. We will then be treated to an evening walk around Arundel in the company of our tour manager.

    Meals - Dinner
  2. Day
    2
    Bluebell Railway and Sheffield Park and Garden
    Haywards Heath, United Kingdom

    This morning after breakfast we depart for the station at Sheffield Park, the starting point for our journey on the Bluebell Railway, which has been voted as the Best Steam Railway in England. It was one of the first preserved heritage railways in the country, resulting in one of the finest collections of vintage steam locomotives and carriages, many of which were preserved straight out of service from British Railways. Recreating trains from the 1880s through to the 1960s, the Bluebell is popular with film and television productions and Horsted Keynes station has been seen regularly on television and in films, including Downton Abbey. Our train journey will take us at a leisurely pace over the 11 miles to East Grinstead and back to Sheffield Park, where we will enjoy a special guided tour of the station, museum and locomotive shed.

    In the afternoon we visit the nearby National Trust property of Sheffield Park. There is something dream-like about Sheffield Park and it is certainly one of the most memorable of all gardens. The house sits on an eminence at the head of a broad valley, with a series of four descending lakes extending far into the distance, attributed to a plan devised by Capability Brown in 1776. The appearance of the garden today is due to Arthur Gilstrap Soames who bought the estate in 1910 and embarked on a great programme of planting, especially rhododendrons. Leading away from the lakes are paths edged with herbaceous planting - ferns, gentians, lilies, primulas and trilliums.

    Following our visit we return to our hotel where dinner will be served this evening.

    Meals - Breakfast, Dinner
  3. Day
    3
    Lancing College Chapel, Chichester Harbour cruise and Arundel Castle and Gardens
    Chichester, United Kingdom

    This morning after breakfast we visit the breath-taking Lancing College Chapel, an architectural masterpiece which attracts several thousand visitors fascinated by its attractive interior, in addition to its regular worshippers.

    We then head for Itchenor where we join our boat for a leisurely cruise around bustling Chichester Harbour and if we are lucky we may see some seals.

    In the afternoon we travel to Arundel Castle and Gardens where we enjoy a guided tour. Set high on a hill, its aspect gifts it with spectacular views across South Downs and the River Arun. It has been home to the Dukes of Norfolk and their ancestors since its founding in the 11th century.

    From here we travel the short distance to our hotel, where dinner is served in the evening.

    Meals - Breakfast, Dinner
  4. Day
    4
    Parham House and Goodwood House
    Pulborough, United Kingdom

    After breakfast this morning we begin with a visit to Parham House and its award-winning gardens. It was featured in Simon Jenkin's England's Thousand Best Houses, where he wrote that "nothing at Parham is superfluous, nothing unloved. It is a house of magic."

    We conclude at Goodwood House, where we will have a guided tour. Here, the glamour of the great English country house is tempered by the warmth of a family home, that of the Earl and Countess of March. Don't let the cosiness fool you though, Goodwood House is also home to one of the most significant private art collections in the United Kingdom, and the State Apartments remain a paean to the opulence of the period in which it was built.

    Following this we will return to our original departure points in the afternoon.

    Meals - Breakfast

Accommodation

Avisford Park

4
Arundel, United Kingdom

18th-century manor house converted into a Hilton hotel with a golf course, pools, sauna and restaurant

Retreat to the beautiful English countryside at the elegant Hilton Avisford Park, Arundel, one of the UK's most historic destinations. This quintessential Georgian manor house, first opened in 1756, is set on 89 acres of picturesque land between Chichester and Arundel, 51 minutes from Gatwick Airport. Explore old Arundel touring the Castle grounds and botanical gardens or the huge Gothic Cathedral which flanks the hillside over this riverside town.

Brought to you by

Brightwater Holidays
This tour is operated solely by Brightwater Holidays
Brightwater Holidays is an award-winning tour operator specialising in garden and special-interest escorted tours worldwide.

To view Brightwater Holidays’ supplier’s terms and conditions click here.

This tour is protected by the following:

Availability

From
Mon, Mon, Sep 7, 2020
To
Thu, Thu, Sep 10, 2020
Duration
4 Days
Price per person
£665*
* Based on two sharing a room. Single rooms are available on request at a supplement and subject to availability. Low deposit of only £50pp. There may be slight alterations to the itinerary due to operational restrictions. This trip is ATOL protected. This promotion is exclusive to Hearst UK and may be promoted by other Hearst UK brands.
From
Sun, Sun, Jun 13, 2021
To
Wed, Wed, Jun 16, 2021
Duration
4 Days
Price per person
£665*
* Based on two sharing a room. Single rooms are available on request at a supplement and subject to availability. Low deposit of only £50pp. There may be slight alterations to the itinerary due to operational restrictions. This trip is ATOL protected. This promotion is exclusive to Hearst UK and may be promoted by other Hearst UK brands.
From
Mon, Mon, Sep 6, 2021
To
Thu, Thu, Sep 9, 2021
Duration
4 Days
Price per person
£665*
* Based on two sharing a room. Single rooms are available on request at a supplement and subject to availability. Low deposit of only £50pp. There may be slight alterations to the itinerary due to operational restrictions. This trip is ATOL protected. This promotion is exclusive to Hearst UK and may be promoted by other Hearst UK brands.
Call now to book 01334441849
Quote ref: BLUEBELL RAILWAY