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Quirky, Creepy, Strange & Magical Spots

The ever-changing landscape of the South Downs National Park conceals a myriad of secret spots, places that inspire wonder, intrigue and occasionally the odd prickle down the back of your neck.

Legend tells that the Tolkein-esque Kingly Vale National Nature Reserve near Chichester was the site of a local triumph over a marauding band of Vikings in AD 874, with the yew grove planted on the graves of the Norsemen. Prior to large-scale cultivation yew woods were common on the Downs, so this is a glance back into the mists of history.

Make sure to bring your camera for the photogenic trees, abundant wildlife and the views from Bow Hill. Reacquaint yourself with all the tree-climbing skills you thought you had forgotten for a really magical day out!

Another of the National Park’s great little secrets is nearby and it’s only a short drive to the Church of St Hubert. Dedicated to the patron saint of hunting, this tiny medieval chapel is the single remnant of Old Idsworth, a village abandoned after the arrival of plague in the 14th century. The medieval wall paintings are exquisite and the chapel itself, isolated on a hill, is a world away from modern life.

Complete your day with a really quirky experience at the Old Chapel Forge B&B where you can sleep in a converted 17th century chapel with 30ft vaulted ceilings, followed the next morning by a locally sourced breakfast to die for…