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Foodie day out

Foodie day out

One thing you can be sure of in the South Downs National Park is great food and drink and perhaps no village delivers both in as great or equal measure as Ditchling.

From the train station in Hassocks, jump aboard 167 Village Rider bus towards Lewes, stopping off in the chocolate-box village of Ditchling. 

The village could claim to be the cradle of English sparkling wine, boasting not one but two award-winning vineyards. 

Ridgeview, one of the earliest pioneers of modern grape-growing in England was established in 1996 and is a must-visit for anyone seeking out top-quality English fizz. They have weekly tours throughout the year, with more during the summer months once the vines have awoken from their winter sleep. 

With your appetite suitably wetted, head to the Ditchling Bull pub in the centre of the village. Winner of the Best Freehouse at the 2019 Great British Pub Awards, the Ditchling Bull serves up traditional British pub food with locally-sourced ingredients. It also serves as the tap house for Bedlam Brewery, a sustainable, progressive brewery making exceptional beer. 

If you’re feeling up for some more award-winning produce, head to Court Garden vineyard. Located just a short walk from the Ditchling Bull, Court Garden was established in 2005 and soon started winning plenty of awards. You can book yourself onto one of their weekly tours which run regularly throughout the year. Also look out for their summer opera series. 

Route

Outward journey

Train to Hassocks on the London Victoria – Brighton line.
Bus Route 167 – Compass Travel
3 times daily

Return journey

Bus Route 167 – Compass Travel
3 times family
Train from Hassocks on the London Victoria – Brighton line

Along the way

Food and Drink 

Ridgeview Vineyard
Ridgeview Wine Estate, Fragbarrow Lane, Ditchling Common, Sussex BN6 8TP

Court Garden Vineyard
Court Garden Vineyard & Winery, Court Gardens Farm, Orchard Lane, Ditchling, Sussex BN6 8TH

The Bull
2 High Street, Ditchling, Sussex BN6 8TA

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" The Downs...too much for one pair of eyes, enough to float a whole population in happiness. "