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The Horsham District is a large area that covers 205 square miles (530 square kilometres) of open countryside and attractive small towns and villages in the county of West Sussex.
Horsham is the main town, administrative and commercial centre of the district.
Over 126,000 people live in the Horsham District, with just over 45,000 of those living in Horsham town and its immediate area.
It is bordered in the north by Surrey, by the distinctive shape of the South Downs along the southern border, by St Leonard’s Forest and the High Weald to the east, and the Arun Valley in the west. The South Downs, significant parts of which are in the Horsham District, and the High Weald, are designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The coast and the sea are just a few miles to the south of the District.
Horsham’s town centre has won many awards for its design and sympathetic use of materials. In 2001, the town became the only place in the world to win two awards at the Nations in Bloom competition and more recently it was voted overall winner in the large town/small city category and ‘Bloomin’Wild’ award in Britain in Bloom 2007.
The villages of Billingshurst, Henfield, Pulborough, Steyning and Storrington are important population centres and each has its own character and charm. There are many other attractive villages and hamlets within the 32 parishes in the area. Further information about places to visit in the Horsham District is available online.
For who want to find out more about local history a visit to Horsham Museum in Horsham’s Causeway is an absolute must.
Exciting developments are taking place across the district, ranging from a new swimming pool for Billingshurst, Health Centre for Steyning and the continued success of the recently redeveloped Lintot Square in Southwater.
Over 3,500 businesses are found in the District, ranging from small companies to multi-national giants. You can find more information about this on the business pages of this website.
The District has a number of business and industrial parks, and some major companies and organisations have their headquarters or a significant presence in the area. The pleasant location and the ease of communication recommend the District to many firms.
Channel 4 Television recognised the Horsham District to be the ninth best place to live in the country in 2008. The results came from an independent survey of all local authorities covering many aspects of quality of life, including crime, education, employment, environment and lifestyle.
There are good communications, by road, rail and air. The A24 and links to the M23 and M25 provide direct routes to London and beyond and to the south coast. Rail services run to East Croydon, London Bridge and London Victoria, and to Bognor Regis, Portsmouth and the West Country from seven stations in the District: Horsham, Littlehaven, Warnham, Faygate, Christ's Hospital, Amberley, Billingshurst and Pulborough. London Gatwick Airport is less than 20 minutes from Horsham town, to the north east.
Much of the District is agricultural, and farming and its related activities are important industries.
There are two designated areas of outstanding natural beauty, the South Downs National Park and the High Weald. In the area can be found the world famous Leonardslee Gardens, famed for its rhododendrons and azaleas. Chanctonbury Ring, in the "blunt, bow-headed whale-backed Downs", as Rudyard Kipling, who loved Sussex, described them, is a landmark at 783 feet high (261m).
Two rivers flow through the District. The Adur in the south east skirts Henfield and then passes between Bramber and Upper Beeding. The Arun, which rises in St Leonard's Forest - a place of myths and legends - forms much of the western boundary of the Horsham District, meandering through Amberley Wildbrooks, a haven for birds and wildlife and on to the sea.
There is excellent shopping, especially in the redeveloped and award winning Horsham town centre, with its ample car parking. There are also many interesting shops in the District's attractive towns and villages.
Traditional and modern housing is available to residents in a variety of styles. The area is popular, both with those employed locally and with commuters.
Leisure opportunities abound, with a number of leisure centres being either directly provided or grant aided by the District Council. There are country parks and nature reserves and a network of footpaths and bridleways. The Downs Link footpath and bridleway runs from Rudgwick to Bramber, where it joins the South Downs Way.
Part of the restored section of the Wey and Arun Canal runs along the north west boundary of the District, near Billingshurst. Gliding takes place at Parham. There is a choice of golf courses, including Rookwood at Horsham, for use on a "pay and play" basis, provided by the District Council, and the famous Mannings Heath Golf Club.