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Family day out in Petworth and Midhurst - things to do

PUBLISHED: 10:30 03 March 2015 | UPDATED: 10:30 03 March 2015

House and grounds at Petworth, West Sussex, England

House and grounds at Petworth, West Sussex, England

Nick Hawkes

Each month Emily Bamber and her family test-drive the best family days out in Sussex. This month it is the turn of the West Sussex towns of Petworth and Midhurst

RAIN: PETWORTH HOUSE

It contains the National Trust’s finest art collection, including paintings by Turner and Van Dyke; but if you’re walking around this 17th-century mansion with children, tell them to also keep an eye out for Open Me treasure chests full of puzzles, drawing books and costumes. They’ll also enjoy exploring the vast servants quarters, once home to 40 live-in staff, and the kitchen with its 1,000 copper pans.

nationaltrust.org.uk; 01798 342207

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OR SHINE: COWDRAY RUINS

If you’re in Midhurst you can’t miss the ruins of Cowdray House, an imposing Tudor property destroyed by fire in the 18th century. The house itself is closed for tours until May, but you can still take an invigorating walk or cycle ride around the park on firm paths and enjoy the magnificent views. Alternatively, 700-acre Petworth Park is superb at this time of year; the resident fallow deer are easy to spot among the bare winter landscape and ancient trees.

cowdray.co.uk; 01730 815152

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FAMILY LUNCH

Cowdray Farm Shop and Café

This is an excellent spot for coffee and cake or lunches and has a small play area. Pop into the shop for seasonal local produce.

cowdray.co.uk; 01730 815152

Hungry Guest Café

Loved by locals and visitors alike, this smart café on Lombard Street is also great for breakfasts, coffees or lunch – kids love the fresh pizzas.

thehungryguest.com; 01798 344564

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