West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering East Sussex (with Brighton and Hove), Hampshire and Surrey. With its origins in the kingdom of Sussex, the later county of Sussex was traditionally divided into six units known as rapes. By the 16th century, the three western rapes were grouped together informally, having their own separate Quarter Sessions; they were administered by a separate county council from 1888. In 1974, West Sussex was made a single ceremonial county with the coming into force of the Local Government Act 1972. At the same time a large part of the eastern rape of Lewes (the Mid Sussex district which includes the towns of Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill and East Grinstead) was transferred into West Sussex.
West Sussex has a wide range of scenery, including Wealden, Downland and coastal. It has a number of stately homes including Goodwood, Petworth House and Uppark and also castles such as Arundel Castle and Bramber Castle. Over half the county is protected countryside, offering walking, cycling and other recreational opportunities for visitors and residents alike.
Chichester is the county town and only city in West Sussex, with the largest towns being Crawley, Worthing and Horsham.The highest point of the county is Black Down, at 280 metres (919 ft).