Steyning is a picturesque historic market town and a gateway into the South Downs located ideally close to the South Downs Way National Trail. The River Adur flows through the town and scenic riverside walks surround it – ideal for a walking weekend getaway or for a coast and country touring holiday. Steyning is an ancient centre with a history dating back to Anglo Saxon times and hundreds of listed buildings in the centre. Browse unique crafts, gifts and locally produced goods in the town’s independent shops lining the cobbled High Street.
Heritage Trail & Museum
Steyning is a picture-postcard scene of timber framed buildings and old churches. Ancient Saxon villages including Bramber and Beeding sit nearby, featuring more heritage gems like the ruined Norman Bramber Castle and the Grade I Listed timber-framed St Mary’s House and Gardens dating from the 15th century. Local produce and the finest food and drink from the Sussex and South Downs larder are on offer in the ancient market town’s weekly farmers’ market and in the town’s wealth of local food shops, tearooms, country pubs, restaurants and delicatessens.
Pick up the Town Trail Leaflet from the tourist information centre within the Post Office – a building dating from c.1340 which features on the the trail and has a Green Man carved into the scrolled dias beam! The 1 mile town walk takes in many of Steyning’s beautiful heritage buildings including the iconic clock above the High Street dating from 1848 and the Church of St Andrew & St Cuthman dating from the 12th century. Look out for the false teeth at 103 High Street embedded within the flint wall! Essential visiting to discover more is Steyning Museum with free admission and permanent exhibits featuring fossils found in the once warm seas of the South Downs, Neolithic tools, Saxon stone heads, local Bronze Age finds and discoveries unearthed from nearby Cissbury and Chanctonbury Rings. Memorabilia from the Victorian era also features in displays.
Ancient Saxon villages surround Steyning all containing more ancient treasures. Visit nearby Bramber, Beeding, Ashurst and Wiston with heritage highlights in these villages including the ruins of the Norman Bramber Castle on the banks of the Adur and the unique St Botolphs church in Upper Beeding, a Saxon gem dating from 950AD with many original Saxon features.
Walking & Things to Do
One of the most popular bases for walking holidays, Steyning is just a few minutes’ walk from the South Downs Way. Pick up four local walking leaflets from the Post Office Tourist Information Centre and don’t miss a visit to nearby Woods Mill, headquarters of Sussex Wildlife Trust located just east of Steyning and south of Henfield, only a quick drive or bus trip away. The nature reserve is open all year round and free to enter.
Steyning is accessible by car, train, bus and indeed on foot – many walkers stop awhile branching off from the South Downs Way, the Monarch’s Way or the Downs Link Path. The market town sits just north of the A27 and within easy reach of the A24, plus you’ll find free car parking available not just in Steyning but also in local village car parks. The nearest railway station is only 5 miles away at Shoreham-by-Sea.
Where to Stay
Accommodation brimming with character and charm is widely available in Steyning at the foothills of the Downs, and in the pretty Saxon villages of Bramber, Upper Beeding and Wiston. Choose from beautiful heritage stone cottages, self-catering manor farmhouses and cosy B&Bs with rural views of the National Park. You’ll find ample choice of luxury bed and breakfast accommodation and character inns with rooms, some of which like The Chequer Inn are centuries old. Browse Steyning accommodation below and book online or direct.