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A deer in Petworth Park
Lizzie Walker-Arnott Petworth Park

11 of the best things to do in Petworth

With a stunning stately home, glorious countryside and excellent cafés and pubs, Petworth makes for the ideal city escape

Isabelle Aron
Joe Minihane
Written by
Isabelle Aron
&
Joe Minihane
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Petworth’s historic streets and array of cute cafés and classic pubs are the ideal tonic to the relentless buzz of the city. This peaceful West Sussex town is best known for Petworth House, but is also perfect for those looking to pick up trinkets in its first-rate antique shops or explore the South Downs by foot. An antidote to London and just a short drive away. On a day trip? Here are the best things to do in Petworth right now.

RECOMMENDED: More cute villages within easy reach of London

Best things to do in Petworth

First up

First up

Ease yourself into country life with a cuppa at the totally charming Tiffins Tea Room. Grab a spot at one of the pastel-coloured tables and treat yourself to a slice of one of the daily-changing homemade cake specials.

Soak up the vibes

Everything in the town is walkable, so get your bearings. Start at the market square and make a beeline for Augustus Brandt for scented candles and classy ceramics. Then mosey down Lombard Street, which brims with art galleries and boutique shops – don’t miss Artful Teasing for lovely soaps.

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Stop for lunch

Stop for lunch

With everything from zingy duck salads to mammoth falafel burgers, The Hungry Guest has all the bases covered. Don’t miss the Welsh rarebit, which you can (and should) upgrade with a fried egg. Stop by the excellent Hungry Guest shop afterwards (it’s a three-minute walk away) to stock up on tasty produce from the menu.

Splash the cash
Photograph: Tatchaphol/Shutterstock.com

Splash the cash

Petworth’s cobbled streets are home to loads of antique shops, so if you love rummaging through knick-knacks, you’re in the right place. With vintage jewellery, unique furniture and cute trinkets from more than 40 dealers, Petworth Antiques Market is a good place to start.

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Drink like a local

Drink like a local

Stroll through the Shimmings Valley to the Black Horse Inn, where you can sample beer from local Sussex breweries including the nearby Langham Brewery. Sure you can cosy up by the roaring fire, but if it’s warm enough, head to the beer garden for lovely views over the valley.

Back in town, grab a pint at The Star. Dating back to 1591, it's said to be haunted by a spirit called George.

If you only do one thing

If you only do one thing

Don your walking boots and explore Petworth Park, a lush 700-acre park attached to National Trust-owned Petworth House. Don’t fancy snooping around the grand pile? Access the park for free through a separate entrance. As well as being a beautiful place to wander, it’s home to a whopping 700 fallow deer – move over, Richmond Park.

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You won’t have to walk far to find your bed if you stay at The Angel Inn in the heart of Petworth. It was recently refurbished, but all of the building’s original features – wood beams, stone walls and welcoming fireplaces – are intact. Just watch your head: there are some particularly low door frames, but that’s part of the charm. Choose from seven cosy rooms and wake up to a breakfast of everything from smoked salmon and eggs to the full works. The kippers are an unexpected treat. After a night here, you’ll struggle to remember why you ever need to return to London. From £120 a night. 

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