Planning a Sussex activity weekend? If you like the outdoors there is plenty to do in Sussex, from hiking or biking the South Downs Way, to getting involved in watersports on the coast to visiting the many golf courses. In this review of Park House Hotel in Midhurst we look at the accommodation, restaurant, spa, the activities possible in the hotels grounds, and those in the surrounding area.
Midhurst makes the perfect destination for activities and the lovely Park House Hotel adds plenty of luxury and romance making it an ideal destination for active couples. We shuttled the kids off to the grandparents, put our hiking boots in the car, packed some nice clothes and swimmers and drove to Midhurst.
Coming from near Brighton it took just over and hour. But Midhurst is easily reached from South London, Southampton, Gatwick or Heathrow all of which take about an hour. If you are using public transport, the nearest train station is 20 minutes away in Haslemere, which is on the Waterloo to Portsmouth line.
Coming from the south, the final part of our drive to Park House Hotel crossed the stunning South Downs and followed some tight country lanes. The location felt very rural and slightly isolated, but surrounded by stunning countryside – perfect for a Sussex activity weekend!
Not to be outdone by the great outdoors the Park House Hotel in Midhurst certainly looks the part when you drive into the car park. After a very friendly welcome we were given a brief tour of the hotel. Their communal areas all looked very relaxing with high quality furniture and tasteful decoration.
We were then shown to our room, which turned out to be the family suite. The views out over the golf course, tennis courts and croquet lawn towards the South Downs National Park were stunning.
Inside was lovely too. Combining traditional with contemporary style, they have created a space that feels welcoming, relaxing and comfortable, whilst staying true to its roots as a country house.
Being a family suite there were two single beds in an alcove, perfect to give the kids their own space and some privacy for the parents. The main bed was a very comfortable super king – we had a great night sleep. There is also a sitting area with sofas and armchairs with a huge flat screen TV.
The bathroom was large with a bath and a walk in shower, plus there are two sinks which is always a nice touch. Overall the room had all the facilities you’d expect in a hotel and was the kind of space we felt happy to spend time during this Sussex activity weekend.
Heading away for a romantic activity weekend with my wife I knew she would appreciate some spa time. So I booked us a couples massage and we received our treatments side by side. The massage was very good, it was so relaxing that I fell asleep, but afterwards my back, neck and shoulders felt far less stiff than they had for weeks.
There is a large choice of different massage treatments, including reflexology, candle massage, shell massage and aromatherapy. The award winning spa also offers facials, wraps, exfoliation, manicures and pedicures, waxing and a they offer a lot of pampering packages.
But the spa is much more than it’s treatments. The space is lovely with a 15-metre mother-of-pearl indoor swimming pool, a gym, jacuzzi, male and female saunas, steam rooms and relaxation spaces. In the summer months there is also a heated outdoor pool and lovely outdoor seating area.
Including the treatment, we spent a relaxing few hours in the spa area. For this review of Park House Hotel in Midhurst I would say it is one of the nicest spas I have been to in the UK. And for the size of the hotel it is very impressive.
For dinner during this Sussex activity weekend we ate in the conservatory dining room at the hotel. It is a lovely airy room which still felt intimate. And the service throughout our meal was friendly, informative and frequent – without being overbearing.
The menu is imaginative and uses many locally sourced ingredients to create seasonal dishes with a British and international influence. All of the food was both stunning in looks and taste. Between us we had rabbit, grouse, scallops and steak, all were delicious and fitted nicely with the country venue.
For breakfast rather than heading down to the dining area we decided to have food delivered to our suite. What followed was one of the loveliest and biggest breakfasts I’ve had in many years. You choose the bits you want from the menu and it all arrived piping hot. The full English was very nice with top quality produce, as was the rest of the breakfast.
Of course this review of Park House Hotel in Midhurst would not be complete without talking about the activities you can do. They can be split into those run by the hotel and those available nearby.
In addition to the award winning spa facilities and swimming pools, the Park House Hotel offers a range of other activities. For a start there are two lawn tennis courts that are reported to be as good a quality surface as Wimbledon. You play surrounded by fields and in view of the hotel so it’s the perfect spot.
There is also a immaculately maintained bowling green and a croquet lawn. We didn’t get time to bowl, however croquet was good fun once we figured out the rules that reception had provided. Both are free for guests to use.
But the star of the show has to be the Oaks golf course which is set into the 10 acres hotel grounds. Although there are only six holes, there are 18 par three tees giving golfers plenty of variety. The setting is idyllic and the course challenging with plenty of bunkers to punish wayward shots. Golf clubs are available to borrow and use is free for hotel guests.
Although the activities available at Park House Hotel are fun they were not quite the kind we usually write about at AWE365. So for a Sussex activity weekend we wanted to get out doing something adventurous. Fortunately, the South Downs way is less than two miles from the hotel, offering a section of the best hiking trail in the South East of England.
But you don’t have to follow the main path as there are plenty of other hiking trails in the area. You can explore the South Downs National Park, wandering through some of its ancient woodland, along farmers fields and over the many hills.
Very close to the hotel it is worth walking to Bepton Down. It is a site a special scientific interest due to the abundance of wild flowers. In particular hundreds of pyramid orchid are found here along with common spotted and early purple orchids.
There are also plenty of trails that are open to mountain bikers. You can even hire a bike, or an electric bike, in Midhurst and go on a guided ride to the South downs Way. The area is awash with hills and country lanes, meaning road cycling is a great option for those who prefer to ride on tarmac.
On a Sussex activity weekend at the Park House Hotel you could also go clay pigeon shooting, horse riding or join the local polo academy. Slightly further afield the watersports hotspot of Hayling Island and Chichester Harbour are only 40 minutes drive away. Hee you can kiteboard, windsurf, sail, surf and paddle board.
I would wholeheartedly recommend a visit to the Park House Hotel in Midhurst. Whether you are looking for a romantic spa break, delicious food or a Sussex activity weekend the location and hotel deliver.
There are not many hotels in Sussex that offer so much. From lawn tennis, golf, bowls and croquet to spa, high quality food, sumptuous rooms and friendly staff the Park House Hotel provides a lot in its stunning grounds. And nearby you can bike, hike or do country activities in the beautiful South Downs National Park or visit the coast for watersports.
Prices start from £150 per room per night. You can find out more about the Park House Hotel in Midhurst by visiting: www.parkhousehotel.com