The road runs out once it reaches Firle village nestling beneath the South Downs… hard to believe now, but this quiet backwater was once a staging post. Built of brick and flint, the inn reveals a fascinating history – the Georgian part was once a courthouse and the kitchen goes back 500 years. Rescued from closure in 2006, the Ram Inn is once again thriving. Its three rooms have been decorated in rustic-chic style – bare boards and parquet, coal fires in old brick fireplaces, chunky candles on darkwood tables. Walkers stomp in from the Downs for pints of Harveys Sussex and hot steak sandwiches; foodies flock after dark for great fresh food, perhaps ham and pea broth, rump of Hankham Farm organic lamb with red wine jus, and sticky toffee pudding. Retire upstairs to quirky, individual rooms with bold colours, exposed beams, super comfortable beds, fluffy bathrobes in tiled bathrooms, and dreamy village or South Downs views. And there’s a splendid flint-walled garden for peaceful summer supping. Handy for Charleston Farmhouse, country home to the Bloomsbury set.