Once you live in Ditchling, you will never want to leave

Here you will find everything you would expect and want in a village: a post office, pharmacy, doctor’s surgery, tea rooms, deli, village hall, church, green, cricket club, hairdressers, village shop, florist, cafés…

But there is so much more to Ditchling. There’s the two historic pubs (including officially the best freehouse in the UK which is a stones-throw from the cottage), four English Sparkling Wine vineyards (don’t miss the tours and tastings), and even a nationally-renowned museum offering brilliant, creative workshops and talks.

The outstanding amenities are only the very start. What really marks out this village is the community. A welcome party is held every year for new residents, giving them the chance to meet each other and people from the many local groups – including the film club, book club, local cycling group, am dram society, morris dancers and horticultural society. And all over a glass of local wine, of course!

Did we mention that the village is pretty as a picture? Last year, Ditchling was in the Telegraph’s list of England’s most beautiful villages, and Country Life’s top 10 market towns in England.

Also in 2018, it was highlighted as a “commuter home hotspot” in Homes & Property. Hassocks train station (formerly called Hassocks and Ditchling station) is just a 25 minute trundle down one road, or a 5 minute drive. From there, it’s under an hour to London Victoria, Farringdon, City Thameslink and St Pancras. You can pop over to Brighton in 11 minutes on the train or it’s a short drive.

This is village life at its absolute best

Ditchling has a fascinating arts and crafts history and is full of artists even today. During May, many open up their homes as part of the Brighton Festival Artists Open Houses programme. The cottage itself is believed to be on the site where there used to be a famous printing press – you can see it on permanent display in the museum.

There are an endless number of leisurely walks from Ditchling: climb up the Beacon in half an hour for views across Sussex and Brighton, or stroll to one of the excellent local pubs. There’s also a super recreation ground and village green within moments walk.

The village is famous amongst cyclist for the feared Ditchling Beacon – the last painful hurdle on the annual London to Brighton bike ride. The route goes right past the cottage’s front window on a beautiful June morning. Get up early, make a cup of coffee and cheer on cyclists, celebrities and charity fundraisers.

Also worth mentioning is the village fair – one of the oldest Summer fairs in the country and what a fair it is. With food trucks, pop up bars, a dog show and even a wizard, this is a two-years-in-the-making, 24-hour party.

As far as schools go, St Margaret’s CE Primary and Nursery is rated good by Ofsted (outstanding for behaviour). Downlands Community School is in Hassocks, Brighton College is another popular choice, and independent schools include Hurstpierpoint College and Burgess Hill School for Girls.

  • Closest village/town: Hassocks, Brighton, Lewes
  • Post Office: 1
  • Stores: The Larder deli, newsagents, florist/gift shop and pharmacy are on your doorstep
  • Supermarket: Budgens in Hassocks sells local produce and brands and get your fresh fruit and veg each week from the Sussex Peasant
  • Pubs: The Bull and The White Horse
  • Walks: Walk up the Beacon, across the Downs or to the Jack & Jill, Jolly Sportsman or Half Moon pubs
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