If you want to get out into the countryside with easy access to Brighton then Ditchling could well be the answer, so where to lay your head down?
Why not try Tovey Lodge? With an AA Highly Commended rating which puts it in-the UK’s top 10% of bed and breakfast offers, you’ll experience great hospitality in a lovely location and the stamp of quality, which comes from the Wolsey Lodges group.
Nestled beneath the South Downs, Tovey Lodge and its three acres of secluded well-tended gardens is the perfect location for exploring all that this area of Sussex has to offer. The Ditchling Beacon, high above the village, is a spectacular point offering views across the Weald. There are also several National Trust properties to visit in neighboring Lewes, Brighton and Glyndebourne.
Roy and Diane Burman were the perfect hosts and delighted to share their beautiful home with us. Both active members of the local Ditchling community, Roy chairs the Parish Council and Diane is very involved with the local film society.
With a population of just 1600, the village boasts no fewer than 44 societies - including the world's oldest village horticultural society and a museum, based in the old Victorian School behind the church. Here you’ll find art, paintings, pottery, weavings and other items relating to the village's historical and artistic heritage. There are also interesting shops, and two great pubs, offering great food and local brews, in the village.
Ditchling even has a few celebrity residents including Dame Vera Lynn, rock musician Herbie Flowers and BBC filmmaker, Luke Holland.
Roy and Diane have many years’ experience in the hospitality business and hope to make everyone’s stay unique. “Our guests arrive as strangers” Says Roy “and many leave as friends.
“Tovey Lodge is a luxurious B&B and the perfect retreat for lone travellers, families and even groups who may wish to hire the whole wing. We have many wedding parties who book for the weekend and each stay can be as individual as the people themselves. The grounds are a beautiful backdrop for any wedding photography, a big bonus.”
There are three spacious bedrooms on the first floor all with seated areas giving views over the surrounding countryside, whilst downstairs there are two smaller bedrooms. The guest rooms all have en suite facilities and guests have their own sitting room with a wood burning stove where you can relax watching television or DVDs or enjoy the books magazines provided. There is also a small cottage on the grounds if you would prefer separate accommodation.
I stayed in the Beech room, which was light and airy with a huge French window overlooking the gardens and local woodland. The room was immaculate and tastefully decorated with ample storage, a flat screen TV and tea and coffee making facilities. I had my own large walk-in drench-shower, and spacious bathroom with his and hers basins.
And after a long day’s walking on the Downs there is nothing better than a dip in the heated indoor swimming pool, or relaxing in the sauna and hot tub.
Roy’s love of cooking is evident at breakfast, a feast not to be missed. Served in the dining room there’s fruit, cereals, and juices and a traditional full English made from local produce including their own specially made sausages from the neighboring butcher. Roy’s culinary skills even go as far as making his guests a wonderful selection of home made breads with berries, fruit and nuts.
Although I drove to Ditchling you can reach it by train via the nearest station, Hassocks, with trains connecting Brighton to London. Plumpton Railway Station is also nearby - around two miles to the east.
Wolsey Lodges have been offering luxury accommodation and hospitality in some of the finest homes in the UK, and France for 30 years. The accommodation can vary from a grand country houses to Elizabethan manor houses and Georgian mansions to Victorian country rectories or lovingly restored cottages.
For more information www.wolseylodges.com