Set atop a prominent ridge, with its church spire visible for miles around, East Grinstead deserves its position as capital of the historic High Weald. First recorded in the 11th century Domesday Book, the old town hugs the ridge and boasts an impressive row of timber-framed 14th-century buildings along the High Street, as well as the 17th-century sandstone almshouse, Sackville College, where John Mason Neale wrote the Christmas carol “Good King Wenceslas”.

Local Area/Activities

City Day Trips: approximately midway between London and Brighton, East Grinstead provides an excellent stepping-off point to explore England’s rich cultural heritage, both ancient and modern.

Walking & Cycling: Great Harwoods Farm offers superb opportunities to explore the High Weald, either on foot or by bike, with miles of public footpaths and bridleways leading straight out from the house, to Weir Wood Reservoir, Forest Row, and further afield – with beautiful countryside and breathtaking views along the way.

Bike Hire: Is available from Great Harwoods Farm. Please book in advance.

Ashdown Forest: Home to Winnie-the-Pooh and friends; 6500 acres of open-access heath and woodland with beautiful views to the South and North Downs.

Standen House: A National Trust-owned Arts and Crafts family home with Morris & Co. interiors, set in a beautiful hillside garden – a ‘gem of the Arts & Crafts Movement’. Distance: 2.1 miles

Hever Castle: 13-century castle, early home to Anne Boleyn of Henry VIII fame, beautiful gardens and maze. Distance: 12.5 miles

Bluebell Railway: Travel by steam train along the border between East and West Sussex on the first public-service heritage railway line – service extended to East Grinstead in 2013. Distance: 1.7 miles

Llama Park: regular llama walks through Ashdown Forest; alpacas, reindeer, horses; adventure playground; alpaca knitwear gift shop. Distance: 6.6 miles

Blacklands Farm: Multi-purpose activity centre – cycling, climbing, kayaking, abseiling, archery, and more; supervised or non-supervised activities available; advanced booking recommended. Distance: 3.4 miles

Wakehurst Place: Country estate of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; the National Trust's most visited site; beautiful mix of formal gardens, lakes and woodland; home to the world's largest seed conservation project. Distance: 6.7 miles