The Blue Bell at Cocking, tucked just below the South Downs Way on the A286, is a gateway to the South Downs National Park. Rescued in 2019 from permanent closure by a community purchase, and extensively refurbished to create a bright and modern appearance inside and out, we offer a warm and friendly welcome in our downstairs restaurant and cosy bar area, and 3 newly refurbished and stylish en-suite B&B rooms.
In good weather, we also provide outside service at our garden and patio tables. We serve local ales, an excellent choice of wines, a selection of home-cooked and locally sourced food, and excellent coffee, all available during our opening hours. We have adopted a full regime of COVID compliant procedures to protect our guests and staff, details of which are displayed on arrival and are available on our website.
We are dog friendly in the public areas and have onsite parking for our guests.
This part of Sussex is popular with walkers enjoying the South Downs National Park, cyclists exploring West Sussex, and many other visitors enjoying the wealth of local attractions, including Chichester, Petworth and other places of interest, all within easy reach. We are very close to Goodwood, home of such renowned annual events as the Festival of Speed, Glorious Goodwood horse racing, and the Revival.
The Blue Bell is dog friendly in all public areas. We have off-road parking, secure cycle racks with an onsite repair station, and there is a half-hourly bus service between Chichester and Midhurst which stops right outside our door. The same bus stops at the South Downs Way east and west access points at the top of Cocking Hill.
At The Blue Bell you will be welcomed by Steve, our friendly pub manager and his team, which includes a new addition, our pub dog Dave.
The Blue Bell site has been home to a public house, in various forms, for several hundred years, and has traded under a number of different names, including The Station Hotel, when there was a railway between Chichester and Midhurst serving the aristocracy and their horses travelling to Goodwood races.
The building was recently saved by the community from an ignominious end as a conversion into private dwellings after a previous business became unsustainable in its then form. Following a huge local fundraising effort, and lots of time and hard work by many supporters in the village and local area, it has risen from the ashes as The Blue Bell (the old pub sign was found in a local garden and refurbished) in its current, smart, newly redesigned and modernised form. A new team has been recruited and the not for profit enterprise is going from strength to strength, even in the current difficult climate. There is strong local support in the village for the business, and with many villagers owning a stake in the Blue Bell, our community as a whole is keen to welcome guests and make them feel at home.
We have a special resident in the village, Phillip Jackson, the famous sculptor, and a striking and unusual piece of his work can be seen in the village, only a couple of hundred yards from the Blue Bell itself. Created for the millennium in 2000, the Millennium Column represents Cocking events through the ages. Ask for directions from one of the team.
The location of the Blue Bell is one of its major assets, close to the South Downs Way and National Park, the Blue Bell has been chosen and supported by the National Park Authority as a trial for a new concept of “Gateway to the South Downs National Park” and an information centre is to be located in the pub itself. We are also popular with cyclists and have a cycle support station onsite. West Sussex is home to many wonderful sites to attract visitors, the city of Chichester with its cathedral and world-famous theatre, Petworth House with its outstanding art collections, Arundel Castle and cathedral, among many. We are only a few short miles to the south coast and a choice of lovely beaches and beautiful Chichester Harbour are all easily reachable for a day trip.
Also, nearby, the Goodwood Estate is a destination in itself, visits to the House can be arranged and the major annual events held there, Festival of Speed, Revival and horse racing’s premier summer event Glorious Goodwood, are only a stone’s throw away from our front door.
Plenty of reasons to choose the Blue Bell at Cocking for a short break in West Sussex.