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By Philip Bird LRPS CPAGB/ Shutterstock.com
Horsham is one of the country's hidden gems. Historically a market town, it still boasts numerous old fashioned buildings and values independent, family-run stores. It is a town that has no desire to become yet another gentrified clone and thrives on its ability to seamlessly merge the old and the new.
Perhaps Horsham's greatest strength is the fact that it is the perfect spot from which to explore Sussex, the South Downs and any number of areas of natural beauty. But, with so many areas and sites to choose from, it can be difficult to narrow down the selection.
Luckily, that's where we come in to offer a helping hand.
St Leonard's Forest looks like it has been lifted straight out of a Winnie the Pooh tale. This extensive forest is the perfect place for cycling, walking, picnics and horse riding. With countless varieties of trees, plants and flowers, and one of the country's most extensive selections of wild bird species, it is a naturalist's dream.
Widely regarded as home to one of the country's best botanical gardens, Leonardslee is a countryside gem. The site contains beautiful gardens, a wonderful on-site coffee, tea and cake shop, an estate to rival Downton Abbey, and year-round musical events. It really has a little bit of something for everything.
If peace and quiet is what you're after, then this is the place for you. This 92-acre site contains marshland, an extensive pond, woodlands and an unrivalled collection of native plants. Fed by two babbling streams and with over 100 species of bird in residence through the year, it is a relaxing and tranquil location.
Okay... it isn't quite Horsham but it's only 25 minutes away! It doesn't quite get the same level of attention as Windsor, Warwick or Dover, but Arundel Castle is arguably the most impressive fortress still left standing in the UK. Containing well-maintained gardens, with incredible views over the River Arun, and located right in the heart of one England's most beautiful market towns, it is a fabulous day out for young and old alike.
If you like your fun tinged with a modicum of danger, then High Places should be right at the top of your to-do list. A treetop assault course with a range of obstacles to overcome, this is a perfect location for children with adrenaline to burn. It also has incredibly attentive staff and a coffee shop to help parents settle their nerves.
Even the surliest of individuals would struggle to find a fault in this place. It's a bit of a drive from Horsham (around 20 miles), but well worth the effort. Overlooking the picturesque River Arun, The Black Rabbit is arguably one of the UK's most picture-perfect pubs. Boasting an array of local ales, a stellar range of freshly-cooked food, and a seating area straight out of a Richard Curtis film, it is a place that must be seen to be believed.
So there we have it. We may have bent the rules with a couple of Arundel submissions, but we're used to reinventing the rules! Find out a little more about how we completely reinvented the hairdressing experience by clicking here!