This month I got to escape the energetic capital for a relaxing break away in the picturesque countryside. Staying on a delightful little farm just outside the small town of Battle, I spent the week exploring East Sussex with Papa Shepherd and Poppy.
We first visited the enchanting Herstmonceux Castle where the grounds and gardens are truly stunning. Walking around the woodland trail, there are many beauties to be found… the enticing scents of the Herb Garden, giant chestnut trees towering above and the Magic Garden, home to fairies and giant mushrooms.
Our next day was spent in Rye, a charming historic town. Walking along the cobbled streets we found many adorable boutiques selling anything from classic books to local artwork. A roast dinner in one of Rye’s many country pubs was essential!
Bank Holiday Monday brought the sunshine at Bodiam Castle. The ruins of this 14th century national monument are truly medieval. Welcomed into the castle grounds to the songs of the middle ages, you are encapsulated by the historic towers, original archer’s windows and the steepest spiral staircase leading you to an impressive view.
Our afternoon was spent at Sedlescombe Organic Vineyard where we wandered through the bluebell woodlands and vineyards before experiencing the delightful aromas and tastes of English wines. A surprising favourite of mine was the 2013 Gem of the Weald, a vibrant and sweet rose with fragrant hints of strawberry and raspberry.
A very windy day at Hastings Old Town gave us our fix of the fresh salty sea air before a long walk around the Battlefield of 1066, home to some adorable English countryside wildlife.
A day trip to Brighton began at the Brighton Pavilion, an exotic palace full of extravagant chandeliers and furnishings. We soaked up the sun at Fishy Fishy Seafood Brasserie, co-owned by Dermot O’Leary, where I tried the dressed channel crab accompanied by a glass of Prosecco and elderflower.
I was able to cross off seeing the Seven Sisters from my Bucket List on our last day, a collection of stunning natural cliffs along the English Channel.
We then stopped off for a picnic with the view of The Long Man of Wilmington in the background. I adore the fresh scent of the gorgeous yellow rapeseed fields that sit beneath this giant hill figure.
Finally we explored a little of Pevensey, stopping by Pevensey Castle before having a stroll around the pebbly bay. However the English Sea was even too cold for Poppy to dip her toes into!
I would highly recommend a visit to East Sussex, the perfect countryside getaway for families, couples or just to escape the city.