After spending a year living on the Sussex campus, I became very well acquainted with Stanmer Park. Whenever the thought of being glued to my computer screen writing poetry essays was just too much to bear, I’d head out for an hour or so to this beautiful green space on the edge of the Downs. Living on campus often felt pretty claustrophobic, but a brisk walk over to Stanmer was always the best way to blow away the cobwebs.
Stanmer Park is directly next to the University of Sussex and can be easily accessed from the routes served by the 25, 28 and 29A buses – hop off the bus just before you reach the campus. Within the park, you’ll find the stunning 18th century stately home Stanmer House (which is available to hire for weddings, conferences and other functions) and a gorgeous little church where several previous Earls of Chichester were laid to rest. There’s also a lovely little cafe in the tiny Stanmer Village where you can have a nice hot mug of tea and a slice of cake.
One edge of the park (behind Stanmer House) is bordered with woodland which is a favourite spot of dog-walkers. I love traipsing through the trees, kicking the leaves about on an autumn day – it makes me feel like a kid again. On the other side, you can head up through fields and straight into the Downs. Being surrounded by such an expanse of greenness and fresh air is fantastic when you’ve become a little too accustomed to the buzz of central Brighton.