You get the best of both worlds at Ockenden. If you prefer reassuring, traditional comfort, look no further than this charming Elizabethan manor house. If you want slick, sophisticated modernity, that’s yours too. As well as the elegant drawing room, there’s an oak-panelled bar, the Burrell Room for private dining, with its original Tudor ceiling, and an airy restaurant where Stephen Crane serves some of the finest food in the Sussex. There are 28 bedrooms, many full of character with original panelling and four-posters, others fresh and pretty. And then there’s the spa, utterly modern on the outside, airy and natural inside, with indoor/ outdoor pool, hot tub and jacuzzi, walk-through rain shower, steam room, sauna, gym, sun deck, guest lounge and café. As for the six knockout, first-floor bedrooms, they pack a thoroughly modern punch, with shutters in the bathrooms that open onto the bedrooms, that in turn open onto a roof garden with marvellous views across West Sussex to the South Downs.
Visit Borde Hill Gardens, beautiful Sussex botanic gardens.
The hotel’s signature lemon tart pudding by the award-winning chef Steve Crane is an absolute must.
For a designer bargain, Edit in Cuckfield has a collection of second-hand designer clothes.