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A quintessentially English town

Haywards Heath is a 30-minute drive from Brighton and the glorious beaches of the south coast, and less than 15 miles from Gatwick Airport. Having an intimate, village-like feel to it, this relaxed Mid Sussex town offers friendly pubs and cool bistros. It's not exactly sleepy though - one of its biggest draws is the South of England Showground, which hosts big events throughout the year.

Horse around at Hickstead and Plumpton

The home of British show jumping is the place to see talented equines in action, while the showground's retail village has hundreds of shops to look round. If you prefer sporty horses of a different kind, head to the races at Plumpton. This undulating national hunt course is where many future stars of racing are nurtured.

Romantic walks in glorious gardens

Set around mansion ruins in the Sussex Weald, Nymans garden is a feast of exotic plants from around the world, from Chile to Tasmania. Nearby Borde Hill is another horticultural haven. Described as 'one of the country's truly great gardens' by Country Life magazine, it offers lakeside walks and fragrant gardens. There's also an adventure playground with zip wire and climbing frames. Looking for a cheap hotel Near Haywards Heath? Travelodge Hickstead is less than 5 miles away, perfect for the showground, while our Crawley hotel is handily placed for Gatwick and exploring Sussex.