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In addition to the local services, our Living in Billingshurst guide will give you a sense of what life is like in the area – its history, its culture and the kind of entertainment and leisure activities it offers.
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What Is Life Like In Billingshurst?
Located in the heart of Sussex Weald, just seven miles south west of Horsham, Billingshurst is a charming village with a vibrant, close-knit community. It has a more intimate atmosphere than Horsham or Crawley, as well as excellent schools and amenities. Exquisitely preserved old buildings mix with modern developments, creating a space that feels both historic and contemporary.
Life is slower in Billingshurst, perfect for residents desiring a calm and quiet environment. The community is still active, with many local organisations that have been running for decades. Surrounded by lush English countryside, with fast transport links to London and Portsmouth, Billingshurst makes an ideal location for a family home or a rural retreat.
History Of Billingshurst
Billingshurst is part of the Weald (Old English for ‘woodland’), an area encompassing parts of Sussex, Hampshire, Kent and Surrey that was originally covered in forest. Billingshurst was likely settled in the Saxon era when people moved from the coastal plain, attracted by fertile soil and access to the Roman Road. Still standing today in the village are over 20 timber-framed farm buildings, dating from the Middle Ages to the 1700s, though most have been modernised.
The village’s small population was mainly comprised of farmers and innkeepers, as well as traders like brewers, millers and blacksmiths. The 1800s brought the railway, and the early 1900s brought more services, such as post offices, banks and a Women’s Hall. Many of the current developments happened in the 1950s – new schools, a surgery and more housing, as well as the bypass to the motorway.
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Days Out In Billingshurst
Days out in Billingshurst tend to be centred on nature, community and family. The annual Billingshurst Show & Carnival in June and the annual fireworks show in October bring the entire community together. Regular events at local schools and community centres play a similar role.
Easy access to the outdoors is a big plus for Billingshurst. The village is surrounded by verdant countryside, with plenty of walks and picnic spots for the whole family to enjoy. The Wey and Arun Canal, active from 1816 to 1871, is under restoration and currently offers narrow boat cruises and tow path walks. Other nearby nature destinations include Southwater Country Park (canoeing and sailing classes), Huxley’s Birds of Prey Centre (a sanctuary of 70 birds including hawks, eagles, and vultures), Fishers Adventure Farm Park (indoor soft-play zones and a range of activities for children), Warnham Nature Reserve (92 acres of wildlife, including ponds and woods), and Parham House and Gardens (a lovely Elizabethan Manor with 11 acres of gardens, including a deer park).
Things To Do In Billingshurst
Billingshurst has more shops than one would expect for a village of its size, mostly in its pleasant town centre. In addition to big names like Sainsbury’s and several well-run charity shops, there are many established historic local businesses such as a chemists that has been around since the 1600s. Food and drink options are plentiful as well, with local fish and chip shop, Indian and Chinese takeaways. The Kings Arms and The Six Bells pubs are beautiful 16th century buildings, offering good food and ale, and entertainment.
Sports clubs aren’t in short supply either, with an angling society that fishes on River Arun and several lakes and a bowling club dating back to 1932. There are other clubs for skating, tennis, cricket and football. Golf lovers can play at the course in nearby Foxbridge. There are local Scouts and Beavers groups for children and the Billingshurst Leisure Centre with fitness classes and a swimming pool.
Anglican, Catholic, Unitarian and non-denominational churches all have a presence in the village. The arts are active as well, with community choral and dramatic societies.
Schools In Billingshurst
Billingshurst has many schools and educational facilities.
- Loxwood Preschool
- Plaistow Preschool
- Billingshurst Infant School
- Bobtails Montessori Nursery
Primary schools include:
- Billingshurst Junior School
- Loxwood Primary School
- Plaistow And Kirdford Primary School
- Wisborough Green Primary School
Secondary schools include:
- The Weald School
Transport In Billingshurst
Billingshurst is well connected through a range of transport links.
Billingshurst train station is on the main line from London Victoria to Bognor Regis and Chichester. The journey is roughly 1 hour and 15 minutes to London Victoria.
Bus And Coaches
Compass Travel and Sussex Coaches run regular services to nearby towns.
Gatwick Airport is the nearest international airport, only 14.5 miles away and easily accessible by train. Shoreham Airport (also known as Brighton City Airport) is only 14.3 miles away and can be used for private or chartered flights.
Billingshurst is at the junction of the A29 and the A272, connecting it to Petworth, Petersfield, Haywards Heath, Pulborough and Bognor Regis. It takes roughly 15 minutes to drive to Horsham and 35 minutes to drive to Haywards Heath.