Petworth is a beautiful, historic little market town situated in the heart of the South Downs National Park. The town is dominated by Petworth House: now run by the National Trust it has been the seat of the Egremont family since the 17th century. The house is set in a beautiful deer park, landscaped by Capability Brown, and houses the National Trust’s finest collection of paintings, with numerous works by Turner, Van Dyck, Reynolds and William Blake. The spectacular limewood carvings in the dining room by Grinling Gibbons are worth a visit alone.
Over recent years, Petworth has become known as the antiques centre for the South of England; voted ‘Best Antiques Town’ it boasts over 30 art and antiques dealers within a half-mile radius! With a vast array of Georgian furniture, oak and country, and decorative antiques on offer, there are shops to suit every pocket. Parking is easy in the large town centre car park.
To get a sense of what life in Petworth was like 100 years ago, visit Petworth Cottage Museum at 346 High Street. This small cottage has been refurbished to look just as it did in 1910 where Mrs Cummings lived when she worked as a seamstress at Petworth House.
Apart from the antique shops, Petworth is a treasure trove of independent retailers, cafes, shops and accommodation. Find a proper bookshop, traditional gentlemen’s clothing, an award-winning florist, women’s dress shops, and a world class delicatessen in the form of The Hungry Guest. Plus Austens, a proper traditional hardware store where you can get almost anything!
Within easy striking distance of London, Petworth is situated just over an hour down the A3. Surrounded by some of the most beautiful countryside in Southern England it makes an ideal day or weekend destination. For more details go to www.discoverpetworth.org