Sussex , from the Old English Sūþsēaxe ('South Saxons'), is an historic county in South East England corresponding roughly in area to the ancient Kingdom of Sussex. It is bounded on the north by Surrey, east by Kent, south by the English Channel, and west by Hampshire, and is divided for local government into West Sussex and East Sussex and the city of Brighton and Hove. The city of Brighton & Hove was created a unitary authority in 1997, and was granted City status in 2000. Until then Chichester had been Sussex's only city.
Sussex has three main geographic sub-regions, each orientated approximately east to west. In the south-west of the county lies the fertile and densely-populated coastal plain. North of this lie the rolling chalk hills of the South Downs, beyond which lies the well-wooded Sussex Weald.