Burgess Hill is the nearest town to Hassocks, three miles to the north. It has a range of shops, cafes and restaurants, a tourist information centre and two large supermarkets (Waitrose and Tesco). It also has a large leisure centre, whose facilities include a competition swimming pool, a leisure pool with flumes and, in summer, an outdoor heated pool.
The arts and crafts village of Ditchling is just a mile to the east. The historic parish church overlooking the village green dates back to saxon times, and Ditchling Museum is a trove of information showcasing the village's links with arts and crafts. The Turner Dumbrells workshops house a number of different artists' studios, open to visitors. The village also has two pubs, and a selection of cafes and shops.
On the outer edge of the village, Stoneywish Nature Reserve is a haven of meadows, wetlands and woodland. Ditchling Beacon is a nature reserve on the South Downs Way, with spectacular panoramic views northwards to the North Downs across the Weald and southwards out to the sea.
Easily accesible from Hassocks are a number of formal gardens and houses open to the public.
The East Sussex coastline is dotted with spectacular scenery, from rolling hills and woodlands to beaches with towering cliffs. A particularly dramatic stretch of coastline falls within the Seven Sisters Country Park.
There are also many villages and historic towns tucked away inland, as well as a huge range of attractions and places to visit.
Brighton lies just the other side of the South Downs, seven miles south of Hassocks. A vibrant seaside city with a long promenade, it has a vast selection of shops, galleries, restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes, cinemas and nightclubs.
The Brighton Pier has amusements and a funfair; the Brighton i360 on the seafront provides panoramic views over the city and beyond; the Sea Life Centre is open daily and the iconic Royal Pavilion is also open to the public.
For shopping, the Lanes are a maze of alleyways forming Brighton's historic quarter; the North Laine area is a carnival of small bohemian boutiques, and Churchill Square is a large indoor mall with all the main stores. Brighton Marina is also a large centre for entertainment and eating out, with plenty of free parking.
Brighton beach is mainly pebbly, but travelling westwards along the coast are many easily accessible, long and sandy beaches. Eastwards there is a seafront promenade all the way from Brighton Marina to Saltdean, via the picturesque and historic Rottingdean.
The historic town of Lewes is just nine miles to the east, on the River Ouse. It has lots to explore with a Castle, museum and Priory; the spring-fed Pells outdoor swimming pool; Harveys brewery; a nature reserve tucked away in the centre of the town; a leisure centre and a wealth of shops, antique markets, cafes and restaurants. Lewes is famous for its annual bonfire night celebrations, which are the largest and most dramatic in the country.