West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex (with Brighton and Hove), Hampshire and Surrey.
The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming into force of the Local Government Act 1972. Also at this time the Mid Sussex region (including Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill and East Grinstead was transferred from East Sussex.
West Sussex is a diverse county; it is well known for its stately homes and castles such as Arundel Castle and Bramber Castle. Over half of the county is protected countryside, offering popular walking and cycling ground for visitors and residents alike.
The town of Crawley is the largest in the county with an estimated population of 101,300. The coastal settlement of Worthing closely follows with a population of 100,200. The seaside resort of Bognor Regis and market town Horsham are both large towns. Chichester, the county town, has a cathedral and city status, and is situated not far from the border with Hampshire.
Other towns of a similar size are Burgess Hill, EastGrinstead and Haywards Heath in the Mid Sussex district, Littlehampton in the Arun district and Lancing, Southwick and Shoreham in the Adur district.
Rustington and Southwater are the next largest settlements in the county. There are several more towns in West Sussex, although they are of similar size to other villages.
Communications and transport
The M23 Motorway runs from London to the south of Crawley. The A23 and A24 roads run from London to Brighton and Worthing respectively with the A29 a little further west ending in Bognor Regis.
Other major roads are the A272 which runs east to west through the middle of the county and the A27 which does the same but closer to the coast.
The A259 is a local alternate route to the A27 in the eastern coastal strip.
Gatwick Airport, which handled over 32 million passengers in 2005, is located within the borders of Crawley, and is the second largest airport in the United Kingdom. There is also a considerably smaller local airport at Shoreham and a grass airfield handling light aircraft and helicopters at Goodwood.
There are three main railway routes: the Brighton Main Line, the Arun Valley Line and the West Coastway Line.
West Sussex is officially the sunniest county in the United Kingdom according to Met Office records over 29 years with an average 1902 hours per year. This compares with 1710 hours per year for Devon which is in second place.
Surrey is a county in the South East of England, and one of the home counties. The county borders Greater London, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire.
The historic county town is Guildford.
Surrey County Council sits at Kingston upon Thames, although this has been part of Greater London since 1965. The London boroughs of Lambeth, Wandsworth and Southwark were considered part of Surrey until 1889; and Croydon, Kingston, Merton, Sutton, Barnes and Richmond - all now reclassified as part of Greater London - were part of Surrey until 1965.
Surrey is connected to London via the South Western Mainline and the Brighton Mainline. The South Western Mainline travels from Weymouth, Southampton, Basingstoke to Farnborough (Main), up through Woking before travelling to Surbiton and onto London Waterloo. Although these routes are used for long distance trains, regular commuter services run along these lines, and Woking, Guildford are main commuter towns for London. As the North – East is heavily built up, and apart of the London Urban Area. There are many commuter routes, including the Chertsey Branch Line, the Hampton Court Line, the New Guildford Line, the Alton Line.
Alternatively, services in the South East terminate in London Bridge, and London Victoria via the Brighton Mainline. It runs from Horley to the Merstham Tunnel, via the major station Redhill. These lines are all electrified, and in Surrey the only main route not electrified is the North Downs Line which runs from Reading to Redhill via Farnborough and Guildford. Services into London Waterloo are run by South West Trains, services to London Victoria and London Bridge are Southern and South Eastern, and services on the North Downs Line are operated by Great First Western. From Guildford, a daily service with CrossCountry runs to Manchester Piccadilly via Reading.
Guildford (7.8 million passengers)
Woking (7.1 million passengers)
Epsom (3.5 million passengers)
Redhill (3.4 million passengers)
Three major motorways pass through the county. These are:
The M25 (London Orbital). This runs around the North-East of the county. It connects to the M1, M11, M20, M26 and M40. The motorway bypasses London Heathrow Airport, and is easily connected to Gatwick Airport, Stanstead Airport, Luton Airport and the Channel Tunnel.
The M3 which runs along the north of the county. It connects London to Southampton and the South West of England via Camberley and Sunbury.
The M23- Runs along the East border, from Croydon, South London, to South of Crawley. It connects London and Surrey via the M25, to Gatwick Airport.
Other major roads include:
The A3 trunk road is the Old Portmouth Road, which runs from Portsmouth to London. The road travels through Haslemere, Godalming, Guildford, Esher and Kingston-upon-Thames. The Hindhead Tunnel has bypasses the infamous Hindhead junction and the Devil's Punchbowl.
The A24 runs again from London to Littlehampton and Worthing. In Surrey, it passes through Ewell, Epsom, Ashtead, Leatherhead and Dorking. It passes past Box Hill, near Dorking. Unlike the A3, which is almost completely dual carriageway, the A24 is generally single carriageway, and has been bypassed around Leatherhead.
The A31 is a trunk road from Guildford to Bere Regis via Farnham and is connected to the M3 by Winchester or via the A331. It is dual carriageway along the Hog's Back from the A3 to Farnham. It is one of the ancient routes from London to Winchester.
The A331 connects the A31 to the M3. It runs along the Surrey – Hampshire border, bypassing Aldershot, Frimley and Farnborough.