See Sussex's royal-worthy attractions on a slow rail escape

Alex McFadyen
Photo credit: Arundel Castle - Shutterstock

From Good Housekeeping

If you’re like us, you watched all of The Crown’s brilliant third series in one go, but there's another way to get your royal fix this summer and it involves hopping on a train.

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Fans of all things grand can relax in style on a tour of the Sussex countryside via the Bluebell Railway.

During the slow-paced staycation, brought to you by Good Housekeeping Holidays, you’ll be immersed in royal-worthy surroundings as you visit some of Sussex’s finest stately homes and ride one of the UK's most charming trains.

Go back in time on the vintage train

Puffing gently through Sussex's idyllic countryside, where the rolling South Downs meet sun-lit beaches, the Bluebell is the vintage steam train highlight of the four-day break.

Climbing aboard the train, you’ll step back in time to a more genteel era of rail travel on a line which runs for 11 miles from Sheffield Park to East Grinstead. Along the way, you’ll stop at the 1930s-themed Horsted Keynes Station, a popular TV and film location that appeared as Downton Station in Downton Abbey.

Visit top National Trust properties

During the trip, you'll also explore two National Trust properties with impressive Lancelot 'Capability' Brown-designed gardens.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Petworth House was built as an English 'Versailles' to rival the palaces of Europe, and has a collection of magnificent paintings by Turner, Reynolds, Blake and Van Dyck. Its 700-acre deer park, with views of the South Downs, is a must-see.

The 18th-century Sheffield Park is famous for its four descending lakes, creating a beautiful, peaceful setting during summer.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Meanwhile, another highlight of this staycation is a trip to Arundel Castle, a handsomely restored castle that houses over 900 years of history inside its walls, and evokes Britain’s distant past.

Cruise picturesque Chichester Harbour

There'll be a charming boat trip around Chichester’s scenic harbour, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, where a colony of more than 40 harbour and grey seals live.

Photo credit: Julian Gazzard - Getty Images

As you make your way along the coastline, get an up-close view of these adorable sea creatures.

Stay in an elegant hotel

Your home for the four days will be Avisford Park, an 18th-century manor house that’s been sympathetically resorted and converted into a classy hotel, run by Hilton. It features a golf course, pools, sauna and restaurant, where you'll dine each night.

Grab your place on this nostalgic summer steam tour of Sussex, visiting grand country homes and riding on the popular Bluebell Railway. BOOK NOW

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