LLG Travels: A Perfect Weekend in West Sussex, England with VintageSeekers.com

by Sasha Wilkins on June 19, 2012 · 28 comments

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If you read LLG regularly, you’ll know that fast cars are a family passion. My father instilled a great deal of confidence in me where driving is concerned (he is more likely to say ’put some welly in it’ than he is to urge me to slow down).

I love getting to know different cars, relishing the challenge of getting behind the wheel of something new – as when I got to drive the SLS AMG at Mercedes-Benz World last November, or when my father handed me the keys to his XK120. Or when I accidentally hired the feckin awful Fiat 500 in San Francisco a few weeks back which looks fabulous but drives like a donkey.

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So, one afternoon when I was in an appointment to look at some clothes for LLG, the PR for VintageSeekers.com discovered that I loved cars and threw out a suggestion: would I like to borrow a 1965 Austin Healey for the weekend, to highlight their new classic car brokerage service?

Would I?

HELL, YEAH.

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I roped in lil’sis (who doesn’t drive but loves being a passenger) and P Bad, wangled a night at the glorious Bailiffscourt Hotel in West Sussex (that’s an hour and a half south south west of London, on the South Coast) and prayed for sunshine – the Austin Healey is a fabulous car to drive in any weather but with the roof down it is heaven on wheels.

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So the Saturday before last, on the one sunny day we’ve had in months, we picked the car up at Gatwick Airport to avoid manouevering it through London traffic – it’s not much fun stop starting a car like that in traffic, and drove down the B roads to the West Sussex Coast and Bailiffscourt. We checked in and explored,

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before heading off to Arundel. We set the in-car security system

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and headed off to look in at Arundel Cathedral.

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& walk the rat on Climping Beach,

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We then headed back to Bailiffscourt for a swim in the spa complex, then supper and Scrabble.

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The next day we breakfasted long and late, checked out, and headed back to Arundel to explore the Castle garden & interior,

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before heading off  on a leisurely drive

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to Petworth House for a proper National Trust Cream Tea, instead of lunch. (Petworth is brilliantly set up for Accessibility: they have a minibus shuttle from the car park to the main house & the tea rooms, and wheel chairs to borrow if you should need.)

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Then we went for a walk with P Bad in Petworth’s extensive grounds, before heading back to Gatwick to reluctantly give back the car.

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Bye bye Austin Healey. We thought you were smashing.

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And thank you VintageSeekers.com and your fabulous classic car brokerage service.

 

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