Classic seaside treats and true Sussex treasures are yours to enjoy on our short Brighton break. We’ll roll through sweeping countryside aboard the vintage steam-powered Bluebell Railway, then explore over 250 acres of wonderful parkland at Sheffield Park, some of it designed by Capability Brown. Back in Brighton, we’ll take a guided walk through the famous Lanes and visit the Royal Pavilion, a Regency palace built for King George IV. We’ll also head to Arundel to immerse ourselves in the restored medieval castle’s 1,000-year history.
4 nights in hotel (accommodation as specified or similar)
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your journey to Brighton, where we stay at Jurys Inn Brighton (3T). We aim for you to arrive at the hotel between 4pm and 5pm. There will be free time to settle in before dinner at the hotel this evening.
Bluebell Railway - Sheffield Park
The Bluebell Railway is one of the county’s first preserved heritage lines, slowly extending its restored track through Sussex countryside to quaint Victorian stations used regularly in television programmes and films, including Downton Abbey. The vintage steam locomotives and carriages form one of the world’s finest collections, including ‘Fenchurch’, built in 1872, and ‘Stepney’, who appears in the famous Thomas the Tank Engine books. We climb aboard a beautiful train at Sheffield Park, where a small museum details the story of the line, to enjoy a return journey to East Grinstead. Back in Sheffield Park, take your time exploring the acres of beautiful garden, landscaped by Capability Brown and Arthur Soames. Paths criss-cross over 250 acres of parkland, linking waterfalls and water lily covered lakes so often photographed, woodland of vibrant greens or autumnal russets, fields of wildlife and livestock, and signs of its years as an extensive Second World War camp.
This morning we take a guided walk through the colourful Lanes. The old heart of unconventional Brighton is a maze of alleys full of independent, vintage stores, creative street art, old pubs and fishermen’s houses, and the Theatre Royal, one of the oldest theatres in the country. We finish in the gardens of Brighton’s most magnificent icon, the Royal Pavilion. The small Saxon village of Brighthelmstone became a popular destination for the rich when Dr Richard Russell issued a book in 1750, claiming the health benefits of bathing in the sea here were superior to inland spas. King George IV, then Prince of Wales, visited a few decades later, on the advice of his physicians, and transformed his modest villa in two stages to the extravagant Royal Pavilion that we visit today. His love of art and the orient is unmistakable in the magnificent collection of minarets and domes that decorate the roof, and his choice of colourful Chinese wallpapers and furnishings. The Music Room is particularly extraordinary, with nine lotus-shaped chandeliers reflecting in the gilded dome ceiling. At one entrance to the delightful gardens, you will spot the Indian Gate, a later addition to mark the Pavilion’s use as a hospital for Indian troops during World War I. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore further, maybe taking a stroll along the Victorian Palace Pier, considered the finest pier ever built.
Today we make the short journey to Arundel, a market town full of history and heritage. Our exploration starts at Arundel Cathedral, a magnificent French Gothic temple of stone, designed by the inventor of the Hansom Cab, Joseph Hansom, on the commission of the Duke of Norfolk to celebrate his coming of age in 1868. We continue to Arundel Castle. Much of its oldest parts were built by King Henry II; and the castle’s links to royalty continued through the heirs and heiresses with royal marriages and plots of treason. Its long, twisting history has filled the castle with historical, religious and heraldic items including personal possessions of Mary, Queen of Scots and portraits by Van Dyck and Gainsborough. After exploring the castle, take time to discover the wonderful formal gardens, and take a stroll around the town or along the beautiful banks of River Arun before we return to Brighton.
Day 5 Brighton
You will be collected at 10am by your Titan vehicle, for the journey home.