leader board mobile

Family Days Out

Family Days Out in and around Brighton & Hove
and further afield

 

👉 Animals, Family Farms, Sealife & Nature
👉 Walking, Cycling and Open Spaces
👉 Back-to-Nature Camping in Sussex
👉 Country Walks around Sussex <NEW>
👉 Bluebell Woodland Walks around Sussex
👉 Places of Historic Interest and Gardens
👉 Museums and Galleries
👉 Railways, Buses and Boats
👉 Play Centres
👉 Adventure Parks and Family Fun
👉 Exploring Science
👉 Outdoor Pursuits
👉 Theatres and Cinemas
👉 Family Restaurants and Cafes

 

Find more places to visit:

In and around the Eastbourne, Wealden & Lewes area
In and around the Mid Sussex area
In and around the West Sussex area


.

Animals, Family Farms, Sealife & Nature

Arundel Wetland Centre (WWT) Arundel BN18 9PB. Nature reserve with guided boat safari, pond dipping, play area, children’s weekend & holiday activities, visitor centre with cafĂ©, open daily, 01903 883355

Brighton Sea Life Centre Marine Parade, Brighton BN2 1TB. The world’s oldest operating aquarium with over 5,000 creatures. Includes interactive rock pool experience, underwater tunnel and Rainforest Adventure. Book tickets online, or on the door, general enquiries, 01273 647708

British Wildlife Centre Surrey RH7 6LF. Over 40 British animals including red squirrel, otters, foxes and deer, 01342 834658

Coombes Farm Lambing Tours nr Lancing BN15 0RS. Open for lambing early January [7-29 January 2023] and spring [mid-March to mid-April generally]. Ewes lambing, cows calving, tractor rides & stunning views, book online [coombes.co.uk]; Maize Maze during the summer [throughout August].

Donkey Walking Experiences East Clayton Farm, Washington RH20 4AG. All walks are accompanied by a farm host who will guide you and help you manage your donkeys, 01903 741011

Butterfly Gardens at Middleton Common Farm Ditchling BN6 8SF. Free flying butterflies from all over the world inside a tropical oasis. Open Wed-Sun (daily during school holidays), U5s free (max 2 U5s for every paying adult). Onsite farm shop, 01273 054996

Dunreyth Alpacas, Funtington PO18 9DN. Alpaca walking experience, alpacas are bred in a variety of colours for their fibre and the manufacture of unique hand knitted garments on sale in the shop, call between 9am-12pm, 07766 252310

Drusillas Park Alfriston Road just off the A27, BN26 5QS. Zoo, interactive displays, extensive adventure playgrounds, rainforest-themed carousel ride, Safari Express Train and Hello Kitty Secret Garden which includes three children’s rides; a specially designed Hello Kitty car ride, a teacup ride and a ‘Reach for the Sky’ hopper ride. Plus restaurants, cafes and a splash park in the summer. Open every day 10am – 6pm in summer and 10am – 5pm in winter (except 24-26 Dec), 01323 874100

Heaven Farm Furners Green, Uckfield TN22 3RG. 100-acre farm on the Greenwich Meridian, nature walks, wallabies, deer, seasonal bluebell nature trail, tea room, play Barn (adv. booking), ice cream parlour, adventure golf and camping, 01825 790226

Knockhatch Adventure Park on A22 at Hailsham BN27 3GD. Animals, falconry, year-round indoor soft play at ‘Froggies’, children’s farm, go karts, outdoor playgrounds and paddling pools, Wave Runner water slide, ski slope, Knockhatch Mining Co motion simulator and Pirates Cove paddling pool. Special features at Halloween, 01323 442051

Mile Oak Farm, Mile Oak Rd, Portslade, Brighton BN41 2RF. Small farm which sells animal & farm supplies & has a farm shop & cafe. You can also see (free) various animals such as donkeys, pygmy goat, ducks, chickens etc. Open daily.

National Cat Centre and Nature Trail, Chelwood Gate, Ashdown Forest RH17 7DE. The largest cat rehoming centre in the UK, 2km nature trail, donkey field, lake and adoption centre. Open daily 10am-3pm, 01825 741330

Pagham Harbour (RSPB) Local Nature Reserve, Chichester PO20 7NE. Protected wetland bird and wildlife habitat and visitor centre running child-friendly educational activities and events, 01243 641508

Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare Ringmer BN8 5AJ. Charity aiming to give animals a better life through rehoming, rehabilitation and sanctuary for animals who can’t be rehomed. Caring for more than 400 animals, incl. cats, horses, donkeys, goats, alpacas, dogs, rabbits, hens, tortoises, terrapins and exotic birds. Open daily 10am-4pm, free parking, cafĂ©, shop, dog-friendly trails and activities such as free daily guided tour at 11.30am and Family Learning Days (Wed & Thu) during the school holidays. Free entry but book tickets online or phone 01825 840252

South Brockwells Farm Shop, Little Horsted TN22 5QS. Home grown & locally sourced produce, cafe, open Wed-Sat & daily during home-grown asparagus season (23rd April-21st June); Seasonal events: Lambing March-April, Sheep Racing & Farm Open Days, 01825 750466

Stoneywish Nature Reserve, Ditchling BN6 8XH. Meadows, wetlands and woodland full of native flowers and home to a wealth of wildlife.  Farm animals, nature walk, play area and campsite. Open 10am-5pm, March-Oct, Fri-Mon term time, daily during school holidays, 01273 843498

The Oaks Poultry Farm, Ditchling BN6 8TN. Children’s Farm, giant sand pit, farm shop & cafe, adults go free & camping (no dogs), 01273 843235

The Mac’s Farm, Ditchling BN6 8GT. Working organic egg farm, family friendly campsite with fire pits, reptile rehoming centre, Egg Shack (egg sales Mon-Sat 9am-12pm & regular family events, 01273 845189

Washbrooks Family Farm, Hurstpierpoint BN6 9EF (Metrobus 273), family farm with animals, tractor rides, large indoor and outdoor play areas and tea rooms. Open 9.30am-5pm, closed between Christmas and New Year, 01273 832201

Wilderness Wood, Hadlow Down, nr Uckfield TN22 4HJ. 62 acres of woodland and nature trails, lots of family/children’s activities, wild camping, shepherd’s hut, cafĂ© and shop. Generally open Wed-Sun, 9am-5pm term time, and daily in school holidays, see website for full details, 01825 830509

Woods Mill Nature Reserve, Henfield BN5 9SD. Headquarters of Sussex Wildlife Trust, environmental education centre with pre-bookable holiday activities. 47-acre nature reserve with coppice woodland, meadows and a reed-fringed lake. Open all year round, except for two weeks at Christmas, admission free, donations welcome, no dogs, 01273 492630
.
Go back to top of page

.
.

Walking, Cycling and Open Spaces

1066 Country Walk follow in the footsteps of William the Conqueror from Pevensey to Rye via Herstmonceux and Battle.

Aldingbourne Trust Country Centre Blackmill Lane, Norton, Chichester PO18 0JP. Woodland walks, open farm, mini tractors, soft play, sand and water play areas and crazy golf, with award-winning café, open every day, see website for full details of opening times, 01243 542075

Ardingly Reservoir West Sussex RH17 6SQ. Walks and limited cycling/horse riding. Ardingly Activity Centre water sports centre with pre-bookable activities such as sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, rowing and raft building, 01444 892549

Arundel Castle and Gardens Arundel BN18 9AB. Open 1st April – 1st Nov, Tue – Sun 10am – 5pm, plus bank holidays and Mondays in August. With restaurant, coffee shop, gift shop and 40 acres of sweeping grounds and gardens, Arundel Castle has been open to visitors seasonally for nearly 200 years. It is one of the great treasure houses of England, and is home to priceless works of art. View paintings, furniture, tapestries, stained glass, china, clocks, sculpture, carving, heraldry and armour in stunning room settings. Medieval Festival, Jousting, History Days see website for dates, 01903 882173

Ashdown Forest Wych Cross, RH18 5JP. Once a Norman deer hunting forest, Ashdown Forest is now the largest free public access space in the southeast and the ‘home’ of Winnie the Pooh. Walks, forest centre, parking fee apply, 01342 823583

Beachy Head, breath-taking views, Beachy Head Story: shop  brand new free exhibition allowing visitors to discover the beautiful landscape and the South Downs, 01323 729926

Black Cat Treasure Hunts fun and affordable walking, cycling or driving treasure hunt routes around Sussex for families and groups, choose a ready-to-use hunt or a personalised adventure.

Blakers Park is a well-loved and well-used community space in the Fiveways area of Brighton. Although compact in size, it has a large number of features including café, tennis courts and playground. The park also contains a distinctive Victorian clocktower.

Boating from The Anchor Inn Anchor Lane, Barcombe, Lewes BN8 5EA. Hire a rowing boat or pedalo for up to 6 people for an hour at a time. ÂŁ3 each for under 14s. Operational from Easter, 01273 400414

Borde Hill Garden Haywards Heath RH16 1XP. With 17-acre garden, outdoor adventure playground, zip wire, woodland walks and children’s holiday and Halloween activities. Open daily from mid February to end of October, generally 10am – 5pm and 10am – 6pm in July and August. See website for further details on dates and times, 01444 450326

Brighton Cycle Hire located underneath Brighton railway station, bikes with child seats and benches can be rented, map and bike locks provided, 01273 571555

Burgess Hill BMX track RH15 8RW. The Burgess Hill BMX track opened in 2014 in Leylands Park. The track is the only one of its kind in Mid Sussex.

Cuckmere Valley BN26 5TT. National Trust land, open dawn until dusk, a haven for wildlife and great for kite flying, High and Over hill, chalk horse and stunning views of the Seven Sisters and Cuckmere Valley, 01323 423197

Devil’s Dyke Devil’s Dyke Road, Poynings, near Brighton. Longest, deepest and widest ‘dry valley’ in the UK. Legend has it that the Devil dug this chasm to drown the parishioners of the Weald. On the other hand, scientists believe it was formed naturally just over 10,000 years ago in the last ice age. The ramparts or walls of the Iron Age hill fort can be seen when you walk around the hill and the remains of a curious Victorian funfair can be found just a few minutes from the car park. Venture into the valley and discover a living carpet of flowers and a myriad of colourful insects. Open dawn until dusk.

Easthill Park Portslade BN41 2FA. Walks, cafe, walled garden full of mature shrubs and herbaceous borders, wildflower area, playground, football pitch, half basketball court, picnic areas, wild gym and allocated dog-friendly areas.

Friston Forest Exceat BN20 0AT, west of Eastbourne off the A259, walks, cycling, mountain biking, horse riding with TROT permit, picnic tables, BBQs and children’s play area.

Hove Lagoon, enclosed playground located on the seafront, with beach cafĂ©, skate park and picnic tables, paddling pool opening dates are seasonal, but generally open 10am – 6pm, 01273 290290

Hove Park Goldstone Crescent, Hove BN3 7B. 40+ acres of open grass, mature trees, flower beds and recreational facilities such as play area, football pitches, tennis/basketball court, table tennis table, climbing rock. At the eastern edge find the ‘Fingermaze’, a giant fingerprint which incorporates a Cretan labyrinth within its whirling design a piece. Miniature railway March-Oct and cafĂ©. Open daily.

Kings Road Paddling Pool Brighton, west of the West Pier, mushroom spout and water pads, castles and toys, plus sand. Opening dates are seasonal, but generally open 10am – 7pm.

Peacehaven Big Park (Centenary Park) BN10 8RH. Skate park, playgrounds, natural play spaces, climbing wall, seating, grassed pitch, café, footpaths and links to the South Downs.

Peter Pan Park, Madeira Drive, Brighton BN2 1EN. Seafront adventure playground for younger children with slides, water spouts, climbing apparatus, an open-air café and toilets. It has its own train stop on the Volks Electric Railway.

Pooh Sticks Bridge and Pooh Corner Shop in Ashdown Forest, Hartfield on B2026, TN7 4AE, 01892 771155

Preston Park Brighton BN10 8RH. Largest urban park in the city with playground, football pitches, basketball courts, tennis courts, softball pitch, rounders/stoolball pitches (on request) and cycle velodrome, large rockery, walled garden and two cafés, 01273 292929

Queens Park Brighton. Wildlife garden planted by a local herbalist, grade two listed clock tower built in 1915 from Redbrick and Portland stone, playground, tennis courts, orienteering, wildlife pond, garden and café. Open all year, free entry, 01273 292929

Railway Land Nature Reserve Lewes BN7 2FG. 20+ acres of meadowland and woodland reclaimed from the old rail yards, incl. the award-winning Linklater Pavilion. The nature reserve is open all day, all year round and is accessible by wheelchair, 01273 477101

Saunders Park Lewes Road, Brighton BN2 4AE. Play area, summer paddling pool opens each year in early May, Freedom Leisure 01273 685692

Seaford Head Local Nature Reserve BN25 4JQ. Cliffs, downland, grassland and a shingle beach are home to many nationally rare and significant species of plant, bird and insect. Enjoy peaceful walks and stunning views of the Seven Sisters and Cuckmere Valley.

Seven Sisters Country Park, Exceat BN25 4AD, between Seaford and East Dean off the A259. 280 hectares of chalk cliffs, meandering river valley and open chalk grassland for walks, bird watching, rock pooling, cycling to the beach and canoeing on the meanders. With tea room, Saltmarsh Café, Grab and Go and The Trailer. The Visitor Centre closing times vary, open daily 10am. From there walk or visit Birling Gap, 0345 6080193

South Downs National Park and South Downs Way, incl. Ditchling Beacon, the second highest point in the South Downs NP with spectacular views across the Weald. As the name suggests, Ditchling Beacon was one of a chain of fires lit to warn of impending invasions. It was once an Iron Age hill-fort, with its steep northern slope used as a natural defence. Now managed The National Trust and Sussex Wildlife Trust.  You can reach Ditchling Beacon via Breeze Buses which are open top in summer – weather permitting.

Stoneham Park Hove BN3 5FS. Play areas, sandpit, football pitch and basketball court. Open all year, free entry.

Stanmer Park Falmer BN1 9RG, off the A270 Lewes Road. Landscaped park with lots of walks and two football pitches. Stanmer House, Stanmer Church, Stanmer Organics and Earthship Brighton. One Garden, Stanmer Park’s walled garden transformed & open to the public for the first time, plant nurseries, cafĂ©, market, workshop & events.

St Ann’s Well Gardens Hove BN3 1RP. Playground, tennis courts, orienteering and cafĂ©. A wide range of native and exotic trees give the gardens their unique character and provide shelter and tranquillity for wildlife. Nature conservation is important in the park with designated fenced off areas, a scented garden for the visually impaired and a well-stocked pond with a biological filter system. Open all year, free entry.

The Level Central Brighton BN1 4ZN. Playground for children of all ages and abilities, incl. those in wheelchairs. The whole area is fenced and has a water drinking fountain, picnic benches. Hard-wearing planting & grassy areas for informal play and trees for shade. Sand play area, boardwalk running through the sand area and paths through the grassy areas. Petanque terrain, skate park, table tennis tables, sensory gardens and café building with public toilets, including a disabled toilet.

‘The Patch’ – William Clarke Park, located in Hanover/Elm Grove Area of Brighton (BN2 3AR). Entrance to the park is from Picton St/Franklin St or Hartington rd, grassy area, playground, basketball hoop, pond, seasonal events.

Three Cornered Copse Hove is a triangle of partly wooded downland that separates Woodland Drive and Woodland Avenue. It steadily climbs the Northern slope of the Goldstone Valley, forming a woodland corridor from Hove Park to the South Downs NP.

Undercliff Walk just over 5km from Brighton Marina to Saltdean, the walk can be used by both cyclists and pedestrians. Occasionally very wet when the waves come over the seawall!

Withdean Park, Brighton BN1 8NA. Large informal space with good views of the South Downs, large collection of lilacs, bog-garden with two lily-ponds, and fenced oof do walking area.

Wolstonbury Hill in the South Downs, Pyecombe BN45 7EE, has been an important landmark for thousands of years. Iron Age farmers grazed animals on its summit and the Romans left pottery remains on its slopes.

.
Go back to top of page

.

Places of Historic Interest and Gardens

1066 Battle of Hastings, Abbey and Battlefield High Street, Battle, East Sussex TN33 0AD. English Heritage insight into the Battle of Hastings and 1066. Explore the abbey ruins and the award-winning audio exhibition which brings to life the dramatic story of the Norman Conquest. See website for opening times, 01424 775705 or 01424 776787

Alfriston National Trust Clergy House and Gardens The Tye, Alfriston, Polegate, Sussex BN26 5TL. Rare 14th-century Wealden ‘hall-house’ and cottage garden with children’s activities during the school holidays. Closed during the winter, reopens in April. See website for opening times, 01323 871961

Amberley Museum and Heritage Centre Station Road, Ford, Arundel, West Sussex BN18 9LT. Home to a collection of listed buildings and monuments, many of which have been rescued from around Sussex. There are also vintage vehicles, rural crafts and woodland walks, plus many events planned throughout the year. See website for opening times, 01798 831370

Anne of Cleves House and Museum 52 Southover High Street, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 1JA. Visit the medieval, half-timbered house, a gift to Anne of Cleves from Henry VIII, discover how the Tudors and Elizabethans lived, worked and relaxed at home. The house also contains the Museum of Lewes history, and displays about Tom Paine and the Wealden iron industry. See website for opening dates and times, 01273 474610

Arundel Castle and Gardens Arundel, West Sussex BN18 9AB. The seat of The Dukes of Norfolk, set in 40 acres of sweeping grounds and gardens, Arundel Castle has been open to visitors seasonally for nearly 200 years. It is one of the great treasure houses of England, with its own unique place in history and is home to priceless works of art. See paintings, furniture, tapestries, stained glass, china, clocks, sculpture, carving, heraldry and armour. Closed during the winter, reopens on 1st April, 01903 882173

Bateman’s National Trust House Bateman’s Lane, Burwash, East Sussex TN19 7DS. Former home of Rudyard Kipling with gardens, walks, watermill and tea room. Lots of children’s activities during the school holidays. Open daily 11am – 4pm or 5pm depending on the time of year, 01435 882302

Bignor Roman Villa Bignor, RH20 1PH. One of the largest Roman villas to be open to the public, with fine mosaics, museum tea rooms and gift shop, 01798 869259

Bodiam Castle National Trust near Robertsbridge, East Sussex TN32 5UA. Story book castle; the exterior is virtually complete and the walls rise dramatically above the moat. There are battlements to explore and spiral staircases to climb. Lots of family friendly events, especially during school holidays. Castle open daily 11am – 4pm or 5pm (or dusk, depending on the time of year) excluding 24th and 25th December, 01580 830196

Borde Hill Garden Haywards Heath RH16 1XP. With outdoor adventure playground, zip wire, woodland walks and children’s holiday and Halloween activities. Open daily 10am – 6pm (or dusk) between mid February and end of October. See website for further details on dates, 01444 450326

Butser Ancient Farm, Petersfield PO8 0BJ. Open air archaeology museum covering 10,000 years of history, see how our ancestors lived, learn some ancient skills, and explore our ancient buildings, recreated from real UK archaeology, open weekends and school holidays, and weekdays termtime for school trips, special & seasonal events incl. living history displays, Celtic/Viking festivals, practical workshops, kids holiday camps, 023 9259 8838

Charleston Farmhouse Firle, Lewes BN8 6LL. Located in Bloomsbury in Sussex, Charleston was the home and country meeting place for the writers, painters and intellectuals known as the Bloomsbury Group. The interior was painted by the artists Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell, and together with their collection forms a unique example of their decorative style. Open March – November, Wednesday – Saturday 11.30am – 5pm. Check website before travelling, 01323 811626

Chichester Cathedral The Royal Chantry, Cathedral Cloisters, Chichester PO19 1PX. Chichester Cathedral has welcomed people through its doors for over nine centuries. This beautiful building, and its services and events, are open to all, 01243 782595

CM Booth Motor Museum at Falstaff Antiques, 63 High Street, Rolvenden, TN17 4LP. Unique collection of 3-wheeled Morgan cars, plus other historic cars. Eleven Morgans are normally on display, dating from 1909 to 1935. Other vehicles include 1929 Ford ‘A’, 1929 Morris Van,1904 Humber tri-car, 1936 Bampton Caravan, 1911 P&M m/c sidecar and 1911 Premier m/c. Plus, bicycles and tricycles, displays of toy and model cars, and all surrounded with auto-mobilia. Open Monday – Saturday 10am – 5.30pm all year round, 01580 241234

Firle Place Firle, Lewes BN8 6LP. An outstanding, privately owned country house in Sussex which dates from the time of Henry VIII but was substantially remodelled in the 18th Century. The house, gardens and notable collection of works of art and porcelain are of national importance and will ensure a day to remember, 01273 858307

Fishbourne Roman Palace Fishbourne Road West, Fishbourne, West Sussex PO19 3QR. Roman palace with the largest mosaics in situ in the UK, recreated formal gardens and family activities. Open daily February – October, 10am – 5pm, November – December, weekends only, 10am – 4pm, 01243 785859

Glynde Place Glynde BN8 6SX. Home to the VIIth Viscount and Viscountess Hampden, this magnificent Elizabethan country house sits high on the Sussex Downs, overlooking the Weald. Originally built in the mid-16th century, it has been lived in by just three families over more than five centuries. Extensive alterations and improvements were carried out in the 18th century, including building the new stable block, adjacent church and the distinctive wyverns gates by Richard Trevor, Bishop of Durham. Today, Glynde Place offers a glimpse of life in a traditional English country house, from its origins over 500 years ago to the present day. Check website for opening dates and private tours, 01273 858224

Herstmonceux Castle Gardens and Grounds Hailsham BN27 1RN. Magnificent moated castle, set in 500 acres of beautiful parkland and superb Elizabethan gardens. The Castle is not open to the public, however guided tours are conducted at an extra charge and subject to availability. The estate is also home to the Observatory Science Centre 01323 833816

Jill Windmill Clayton, South Downs BN6 9PG. Built in 1821 and restored to full working order, open most Sundays and bank holidays from May – September, 2pm – 5pm. Check website, as these days rely on volunteer stewards being available.

Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens Brighton Road, Lower Beeding, Horsham RH13 6PP. This magnificent Grade I listed garden was nearly lost forever and has been the subject of the largest garden restoration in England and possibly Europe.

Lewes Castle and Barbican House Museum 169 High Street, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1YE. Climb to the top of this 1,000 year old Norman Castle for stunning views across Sussex. In the Barbican House you’ll find the Museum of Archaeology and a mini cinema which tells the story of Lewes from prehistoric to medieval times. Open daily, November – February 10am – 3.45pm, March – October 10am – 5.30pm, open 11am Sundays, Mondays and bank holidays (closed Mondays in January) 01273 486290

Michelham Priory Upper Dicker, near Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 3QS. See the foundations of the 13th century priory and explore the main house, tranquil moated gardens, watermill and play area. With numerous family activities during the summer. Includes an interactive medieval gallery in the 14th century Gatehouse. Opening times vary, check dates online before travelling, 01323 844224

Newhaven Fort Fort Road, Newhaven BN9 9DS. The story of a Victorian Fortress and demonstrations of the Fort’s role during two World Wars. Explore the tunnels, gun emplacements, Blitz street shelter simulation and playground, and visit the Searchlight CafĂ©. Open Tuesday-Thursday, January – November, check website for dates and times. Dogs on a lead welcome, 01273 517622 [closing at the end of the summer 2023 for major renovation, planning to reopen spring 2025]

Nymans House and Gardens (National Trust) Handcross, Haywards Heath, RH17 6EB Metrobus 271 and 273. Natural play trail, lovely walks in the Millennium Wood and family programmes in school holidays. Gardens open daily all year round. Check website for opening times and dates for visiting the house, 01444 405250

Petworth House and Park GU28 0AE (for satnav use GU28 9LR). The vast late 17th-century mansion is set in a beautiful 283-hectare (700-acre) deer park, landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown and immortalised in Turner’s paintings. Inside, the house contains the National Trust’s finest collection of pictures, with numerous works by Turner, Van Dyck, Reynolds and Blake, ancient and Neo-classical sculpture, fine furniture and carvings by Grinling Gibbons. The servants’ quarters contain fascinating kitchens and other service rooms. Family multimedia guide and trails, plus children’s activities in the house. Grounds, restaurant and shop open all year round. Check website for exact house opening dates and times, 01798 342207

Preston Manor Preston Drove, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 6SD. ‘Upstairs, Downstairs’ Edwardian manor house. See website for opening dates and times, 01273 292770 or 03000 290900

Priory of St Pancras in Priory Park Cockshut Road, Southover, Lewes BN7 1HP (for satnav use BN7 2XA). During the 11th century, monks came here from Cluny in France to establish the first Cluniac priory in England. The Priory survived for 450 years until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1537. The site, with its evocative remains, retains an air of tranquillity and serenity. The sweep of the South Downs which frame the site provides a spectacular setting for an afternoon out. There is much to see at Priory Park. Interpretation panels allow you to walk in the footsteps of medieval monks and imagine how the buildings once looked. A recreated herb garden grows plants that monks would have used for medicinal, culinary and ceremonial purposes. Admission free, open all year round.

Royal Pavilion 4/5 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 1EE. Built for the Prince Regent, later King George IV, in stages between 1787 and 1823, the Royal Pavilion is remarkable for its exotic oriental appearance both inside and out. This magnificent royal pleasure palace was revered by fashionable Regency society. Open daily 10am – 5.15pm October – March and 9.30am – 5.45pm April – September (closed at Christmas) 03000 290900

Sheffield Park and Garden (National Trust) TN22 3QX. Informal landscape garden laid out in the 18th century by ‘Capability’ Brown and further developed in the early years of the 20th century by its owner, Arthur G. Soames. Walks, family activities and woodland play trail. Parkland open daily dawn till dusk, check website for further details of events, 01825 790231

Standen House and Garden (National Trust) West Hoathly Road, East Grinstead, RH19 4NE Metrobus 84. Arts and Crafts family home with Morris and Co interiors, great views, woodland walks and family woodland play area. Open all year round, check website for dates and times, 01342 323029

St. Mary’s House Bramber BN44 3WE. Medieval house and 5 acres of gardens which are still lived in. Check website for opening dates and times, 01903 816205

Sussex Prairie Garden Henfield BN5 9AT. Britain’s largest ‘Prairie’ or ‘Naturalistic’ garden, with eight acres of stunning garden to roam around. Open June to mid-October, 01273 495902

Wakehurst Gardens and Millennium Seed Bank Selsfield Road, Ardingly, West Sussex RH17 6TN Metrobus 272. ‘Kew in the Country’, botanic gardens run by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. With lots of walks, children especially love the rocky Himalayan Garden. Explore the Adventurous Journeys natural play spaces, Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, restaurant, cafĂ©, plant and gift shop. Open daily at 10am, see website for details of events, 01444 894066

Weald and Downland Open Air Museum Singleton, Chichester, West Sussex PO18 0EU. Fascinating collection of historic buildings dismantled from their original locations and reassembled in 40 acres of Sussex countryside, woodland walks, picnic areas and farm animals. Open January – 23rd December, 10.30am – 6pm during BST and 4pm during winter, 01243 811348

West Blatchington Windmill Holmes Avenue, Hove BN3 7LE. Take the family to this unusual c.1820 smock windmill built on a collection of barns on the outskirts of Brighton and Hove. Open May – September on Sundays and bank holidays, 2.30pm – 5pm, 03000 290900

West Dean Gardens West Dean, near Chichester, West Sussex PO18 0QZ. Highlights include a 300-foot-long Edwardian pergola, newly restored Sunken Garden, walled kitchen garden, Victorian glasshouses and a beautiful parkland walk with views over the South Downs. Open May – September on Sundays and bank holidays only, 2.30pm – 5pm, 01243 818210

Windmill Hill Windmill (for satnav use BN27 4RT). The windmill is open 2.30pm – 5pm on most Sundays and bank holidays from Easter until mid-October. Check website before travelling, 01323 833033

.
Go back to top of page

.

Museums and Galleries

1066 Battle of Hastings, Abbey and Battlefield High Street, Battle, East Sussex TN33 0AD. English Heritage insight into the Battle of Hastings and 1066. Explore the abbey ruins and the award-winning audio exhibition which brings to life the dramatic story of the Norman Conquest. See website for opening times, 01424 775705 or 01424 776787

Amberley Museum and Heritage Centre Station Road, Ford, Arundel, West Sussex BN18 9LT. Home to a collection of listed buildings and monuments, many of which have been rescued from around Sussex. There are also vintage vehicles, rural crafts and woodland walks, plus many events planned throughout the year. See website for opening times, 01798 831370

Booth Museum of Natural History 194 Dyke Road, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 5AA. Quirky celebration of natural history including magnificent display of stuffed birds, butterflies and fossils, and bones dating from dinosaur times. Open Monday – Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10am – 5pm (closed 12pm – 1.15pm), Sunday 2pm – 5pm, closed Thursdays, admission free, 03000 290901

Brighton Fishing Museum 201 Kings Road Arches, The Lanes, Brighton BN1 1NB. 27â€Č traditional Sussex fishing boat, plus prints, photos and fishing memorabilia from 1700â€Čs onwards telling the story of the fishing community in Brighton and seafront life. Open daily, run by volunteers, admission free.

Brighton Museum and Art Gallery Royal Pavilion, 4/5 Pavilion Gardens, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 1EE. History of Brighton, pottery, fashion and style, performance and more, mostly free. Open Tuesday – Sunday (open bank holidays except Christmas) 10am – 5pm, 01273 290900

Brighton Toy and Model Museum 52-55 Trafalgar Street, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 4EB. Under the arches of Brighton station. Over 10,000 toys and models, including two working model railways. Open Tuesday – Friday 10am – 5pm, Saturday 11am – 5pm, closed Sundays and Mondays, 01273 749494

Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft Lodge Hill Lane, Ditchling, East Sussex BN6 8SP. Exhibitions of the works of craftspeople and artists who were drawn to the village. Under 16s free admission. Children’s activities may need to be pre-booked. Open Thursday – Sunday and bank holidays 10.30am – 5pm, 01273 844744

Hove Museum of Creativity 19 New Church Road, Hove BN3 4AB. Toys, cinema, local history and fine art, lots of children’s activities & cafe. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 2-5pm, closed Wednesdays. Open on public holidays, admission free, 01273 290200

Lewes Castle and Barbican House Museum 169 High Street, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 1YE. The Museum of Sussex Archaeology and a mini cinema which tells the story of Lewes and the castle from prehistoric to medieval times, open daily March – October 10am – 5.30pm, November – February 10am – 3.45pm, open 11am Sundays, Mondays and bank holidays (closed Mondays in January), 01273 486290

Marlipins Museum High Street, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex BN43 5DA. The story of Shoreham’s maritime and local history in one of the oldest Norman buildings in Sussex. Thursday – Saturday 11am – 3pm, 01273 462994

Newhaven Fort Fort Road, Newhaven BN9 9DS. The story of a Victorian Fortress and demonstrations of the Fort’s role during two World Wars. Explore the tunnels, gun emplacements, Blitz street shelter simulation and playground, and visit the Searchlight CafĂ©. Open Tuesday-Thursday, January – November, check website for dates and times. Dogs on a lead welcome, 01273 517622 [closing at the end of the summer 2023 for major renovation, planning to reopen spring 2025]

The Novium Museum Tower Street, Chichester PO19 1QH. Built over the remains of a Roman bathhouse and with three floors of fantastic exhibitions. The Novium Museum tells the fascinating story of Chichester District and its rich heritage. It looks after 500,000 artefacts, both on display and in storage. Located close to the cathedral and opposite Chichester Library, admission free, 01243 775888

Petworth Cottage Museum 346 High Street, Petworth GU28 0AU. Estate worker’s cottage furnished as it might have been in the early 20th century, when it was occupied by a seamstress who worked at Petworth House. Run by The Petworth Cottage Trust, open Tuesday – Saturday and all bank holiday Mondays from April – October 2pm – 4.30pm. See website for further details on opening dates, 01798 343496 or 01798 342100

Tangmere Military Aviation Museum Tangmere, near Chichester PO20 2ES. Home to an impressive display of historic aircraft and a unique collection of aviation memorabilia stretching from the First World War through to the Cold War. Among the many attractions are numerous interactive displays and several aircraft simulators for visitors to experience. Open daily February – November, 10am – 5pm March – October and 10am – 4.30pm February and November, 01243 790090

Towner Devonshire Park, Eastbourne BN21 4JJ. Contemporary art museum with lots of family activities and events. Gallery is open Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 5pm (plus bank holiday Mondays), admission free, 01323 434670

True Crime Museum Palace Court, White Rock, Hastings TN34 1JP. Displays of forensic evidence depicting violent events related to serial killers, gangsters and more, 01424 420115

Upside Down House Brighton. An amazing museum of illusions including a variety of designed rooms in a luxurious beach house based on the Brighton Sea Front in between the i360 and Brighton Beach Club. 07761 802281

Weald and Downland Open Air Museum Singleton, Chichester, West Sussex PO18 0EU. Fascinating collection of historic buildings dismantled from their original locations and reassembled in 40 acres of Sussex countryside, woodland walks, picnic areas and farm animals. Open January – 23rd December, 10.30am – 6pm during BST and 4pm during winter, 01243 811348

Wings Museum Unit 1, Bucklands Farm, Balcombe, West Sussex RH17 6JT. WW2 remembrance museum with a fascinating insight into life in WW2. Variety of themed displays of original memorabilia and relics relating to the Home Guard, Battle of Britain, Blitz, Home Front, RAF, Bomber Command, 8th USAAF, D-Day and the Russian Front, 07769 688064

.
Go back to top of page

.

Railways, Buses and Boats

Beech Hurst Miniature Railway Beech Hurst Gardens, Haywards Heath RH16 4BB. Almost half a mile of track run by volunteers; includes two tunnels and automatic signals. Operating 2pm – 5pm weekends and bank holidays from April – end September, plus Wednesdays during summer school holidays. See website for timetable which is published in spring each year.

Bentley Miniature Railway Ringmer, Lewes BN8 5AF. One mile of track run by volunteers. Trains run every weekend from April – September, plus East Sussex school holidays. See website for detailed timetable before travelling, 0845 8672583

Bluebell Railway from East Grinstead to Sheffield Park Station TN22 3QL. Volunteer preserved steam railway. See website for the timetable of train services, 01825 720800

Breeze Buses no 77, weekends and bank holidays from the Palace Pier to Devil’s Dyke. Once there take a walk to Poynings (2 miles), Upper Beeding (5 miles) and catch the 2A bus back, or Patcham (3 miles) and catch the 5A bus back, 01273 292480

Breeze Buses no 79, weekends and bank holidays from Ditchling Beacon to Brighton Station. The Beacon is the second highest point on the South Downs with spectacular views across the Weald. Once there take a walk to Patcham (3.5 miles) and catch the 5A bus back, or Lewes (5.5 miles) and catch the 28/29 bus back, 01273 292480

Breeze Buses no 78, weekends and bank holidays from Old Steine to Stanmer Park. You’ll find open spaces to play or picnic, plus Stanmer House and Stanmer Museum are open most weekend afternoons, 01273 292480

Ross Boats -Water Tours Brighton, Pontoon 5, West Jetty, Brighton Marina BN2 5UP. Tours run by Ross Boat Trips around the harbour and along the coast, plus powerboat rides, 07836 262717

City Sightseeing Brighton, this tour will give you a flavour of the city, offering views of the striking Royal Pavilion, Regency architecture, Brighton Marina, Victorian aquarium, famous Brighton Pier and Brighton i360 Observation Tower. Tour departs from the Palace Pier. Operating April – October, book online or via bus driver/street seller.

Eastbourne Open top bus sightseeing tour: Eastbourne, Beachy Head etc., ticket valid 24h, April-early Dec, 01273 886200

Hove Lagoon Fun Play located on the seafront, pedalos, mini golf, trampolines, bouncy castle, children’s rides, boating pool & watersports.

Hove Park Miniature Railway The Droveway BN3 6LS. Operated by the Brighton and Hove Society of Miniature Locomotive Engineers. Runs approximately every other Saturday afternoon and bank holiday Monday from late March – late October, 2pm – 5pm, check track days on website.

Portsmouth Historical Docks, Portsmouth/Gosport. Visit The Mary Rose Museum, HMS Victory/Warrior/M.33, Explosion Museum, Royal Navy Submarine Museum.

Shoreham Harbour Lifeboats Kingston Beach, Shoreham-by-Sea BN43 6RN. Visit the lifeboat station and its state of the art Tamar all weather lifeboat. The boathouse on Kingston Beach consists of a large boat hall, crew training room, proper drying facilities for wet crew kit, changing facilities and a viewing platform for the public. Open 10am – 2pm Monday – Friday and 10am – 4pm Saturday and Sunday, free to visit, donations very welcome, 01273 596376

South Downs Light Railway Pulborough Garden Centre, Stopham Road, Pulborough, RH20 1DS. The trains take you on an exciting trip through the gardens from Stopham Road Station.

Uckfield and East Grinstead British Rail Lines Leave the car behind and explore Sussex by train – stopping at stations all over Sussex and along the Sussex coast.

Volks Electric Railway Madeira Drive, Brighton. The UK’s oldest electric railway, hop on, hop off along the seashore, trains run from Easter – end of October, dog friendly, 01273 292718

Wey and Arun Canal Centre located behind the Onslow Arms in Loxwood RH14 0RD. From March runs every Saturday, Sunday and bank holiday Monday until October, except Easter Sunday and Monday. All canoes, kayaks, paddleboards and small craft are welcome on the canal, 01403 753999

.
Go back to top of page

.

Play Centres

Baby Glow Play Centre Hastings TN34 1JN. A fully immersive sensory experience and fun filled play centre specifically for the early years (0-5yrs), open Mon-Sat (check website), 01424 612 948

Barney’s Play Uckfield TN22 1QL. For 0-12yrs, height restriction 142 cm (4ft 8ins), 9.30am-5pm weekdays, 10am-6pm weekends, reduced rate toddler mornings Mon & Thu until 1pm term-time, 01825 764575

Doves Play Barn, Latchetts Farm, Uckfield, TN22 3RG. Made from sustainable wood with ride-ons & ball pond. For 0-8yrs with cafe and ice cream parlour, 01825 790424

Funplex Bevendean, Brighton BN2 4JE. Indoor softplay adventure centre and laser tag parties, open daily 10am-6pm, 01273 957898

Fun Abounds Bell Lane, Uckfield TN22 1QL. Trampoline centre with café, 01825 768479

‘Froggies’ Indoor Soft Play at Knockhatch on A22 Hailsham Bypass, Hailsham BN27 3PR. Features dedicated under 3â€Čs toddler area. Open 10am – 5.30pm, 01323 442051

High Places The Triangle, Burgess Hill RH15 8WA. Colourful arena featuring 16 fun themed climbing walls towering over 20 feet high, each showcasing striking designs. Book in advance or attend an open session, 01444 876000

Hope Hive, Pilgrim’s House, 51 St Dunstans Road, Worthing BN13 1AA. Children’s role play centre offering fun and stimulating role play for young children to grow their imagination and creativity. Children can visit a variety of role play areas and small world activities and be a builder, a pirate, a vet, a teacher or a dragon! Mon-Sat, 07861 338324

JumpIn Inflatable Fun 5-7 Jubilee Road, Burgess Hill RH15 9TL. All ages welcome, soft play and parties, 01444 241595

KiddiCity Role Play Centre Langney Shopping Centre, Eastbourne BN23 7RT. Play sessions with 11 play zones to explore such a ‘real life’ city street, ride-ons with mini drive-thru activities, on site creche available, 0-8yrs.

Level Up at Withdean Sports Complex, Brighton BN1 5JD. For children of all ages, including a racing slide, spiral slide, ball room and more than 40 other individual play features. There will also be sensory elements and a separate area for toddlers, plus weekly activities including SEND and supervised U5s sessions and opportunities for birthday parties. Expected to open in April 2024.

Lewes Leisure Centre Lewes BN7 2XG. Ocean Adventure soft play over three levels, for U8s, with dedicated baby and toddler area. Open daily 9am-6pm unless booked for private parties, 01273 486000

Monkey Bizness Cliffe Industrial Estate, Lewes BN8 6JL. Maze of play frames, toddler area for 2 – 5yrs and main frame suitable for 5 – 12yrs, open Monday – Friday 9am – 6pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am – 5pm, 01273 311566

Mouse Trap, Downs Leisure Centre, Seaford BN25 4QW. Inflatable fun for children & families, Fri 4-7pm, Sat & Sun 8am-4pm, Mon 9am-2pm (2-11yrs), 01323 490011

Out of Bounds Golfers Lane, Angmering BN16 4NB. Family entertainment centre, Clip ‘n’ Climb, bowling, soft play, laser tag and adventure golf. Open 7 days a week, 01903 788588

Peacehaven Leisure Centre Magic Castle BN10 8BB. Two level soft play area for children under 10 or max 145 cm (4ft 9ins), open Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, weekends 9am-3pm unless booked for parties, 01273 588858

Sharky’s Soft Play Henfield Leisure Centre, Northcroft, Henfield BN5 9QB. The soft play is open for children up to 12 years old. Sibling discount available, 01273 494984

Tiny Tim’s Hangleton Community Centre, Brighton BN3 8BW. Soft play on three levels, for children up to 9 years old. Weekdays daily drop-in generally 9.30am – 5pm, 01273 292962

Treasure Island Royal Park, Eastbourne BN22 7AE. Buccaneer’s soft play area on two levels, babies – 12 year olds. Open daily 9.30am – 6pm, 01323 411077

Wild Wonderland Lancing BN15 8FB, multi-storey play frame, slides, ball pit, toddlers and crawlers areas, sensory room, SEN sessions (checks Facebook page for dates), 01903 497606

Urban Jump Heathfield TN21 8AW. Trampoline park, ninja warrior track, soft play, toddler area and cafĂ©. Open 9am – 8pm, 7 days a week, 01435 863277

.
Go back to top of page

.

Adventure Parks and Family Fun

Active Reality, Steyning Leisure Centre, Steyning BN44 3AA. Family-friendly gaming experience for 9yrs+, 0333 339 1881

Bizarre But True Hastings TN34 1HT. Get a close up the world weirdest oddities, curiosities & facts, open daily (late night Thu-Sat). [Temporarily Closed]

Black Cat Treasure Hunts fun and affordable walking, cycling or driving treasure hunt routes around Sussex for families and groups, choose a ready-to-use hunt or a personalised adventure.

Brighton Karting at QLeisure London Road, Albourne, West Sussex BN6 9BQ. 800 metres of pure adrenaline plus some of the finest facilities in the country make QLeisure outdoor karting well worth a visit. A fast, furious, frenetic and exhilarating track that will provide you with plenty of challenges and an invigorating race for you and your friends, 01273 834403

Brighton Marina BN2 5WA. Shops, restaurants, bars, cafĂ©s, bowling, cinema, fitness, casino, children’s rides, mini-golf, boat trips, fishing, sailing, diving, free outdoor ping pong and chess tables, 01273 693636

Brighton Palace Pier rides, amusement arcades, indoor Palace Play area with a height restriction of 0.9m – 1.8m plus toddler area for under 0.9m, food outlets and souvenirs, 01273 609361

Brighton Zip Madeira Drive BN2 1TB. The longest zip wire on the South Coast, boasting a 300m long run down Brighton beach and a 24 metre drop zone, tandem ride as 2 people can ride simultaneously, min 1.3m / 6yrs+

Brighton i360 seafront near the West Pier. 162m tower with passenger viewing pod climbing to 138m, making it the tallest moving observation tower in the world. 360-degree views of the Sussex coastline for up to 26 miles, 03337 720 360

Drusillas Park Alfriston Road just off the A27, BN26 5QS. Zoo. Interactive displays, extensive adventure playgrounds, Safari Express Train, Hello Kitty Secret Garden which includes three children’s rides; a specially designed Hello Kitty car ride, a tea cup ride and a ‘Reach for the Sky’ hopper ride. There’s also a Hello Kitty house and beauty parlour. Open daily 10am – 5pm or 6pm depending on the season, 01323 874100

Globalls Unit 8, Ground Floor, Mermaid Walk, The Waterfront, Brighton Marina BN2 5WA. Brighton’s very own 12-hole indoor ultraviolet crazy golf courses. Based on a Jurassic or Tropicana theme, players can enjoy putting amongst wonderful life size neon glowing sculptures and vivid wall art. Fully air-conditioned, perfect for any day of the year. See website for opening times and dates, 01273 911510

Harbour Park Amusement Park Windmill Road, Littlehampton BN17 5LH. Rides for all ages, adventure golf, arcade, picnic greens and soft play area. Open from March to October half term, 01903 721200

Hollywood Bowl Brighton Brighton Marina BN2 5UT. With 26 state-of-the-art bowling lanes, four VIP lanes for the ultimate bowling experience, fantastic food and drinks in the Hollywood Diner, a super stylish bar and an awesome amusements area, 0844 477 0484

Jungle Rumble Adventure Golf & Cafe Brighton, Madeira Drive, Brighton BN2 1EN. 2 exciting 18-hole golf courses – Caveman & Treetop courses, beach view, 70 seater roof terrace cafĂ©.

Jurassic Beach adventure golf, Kingsway, Hove BN3 2WW. 18 fun and challenging Jurassic-themed holes to explore, plus a coffee shop.

Knockhatch Adventure Park on A22 at Hailsham BN27 3GD. Animals, falconry, year-round indoor soft play at ‘Froggies’, children’s farm, go karts, outdoor playgrounds and paddling pools, Wave Runner water slide, ski slope, Knockhatch Mining Co motion simulator and Pirates Cove paddling pool. Special features at Halloween. See website for opening dates for each attraction, 01323 442051

Out of Bounds Golfers Lane, Angmering BN16 4NB. Family entertainment centre, Clip ‘n’ Climb, bowling, soft play, footgolf, laser tag and adventure golf. Open 7 days a week, 01903 788588

Paradise Park, Newhaven BN9 0DH. Planet Earth museum, Dinosaur Safari, Paradise Gardens including mini Sussex models and gardens, Plant House and Local Maritime Museum, Play Zone including miniature train and crazy golf. Open daily 9am – 6pm, 01273 512123

Pier Pressure Escape Rooms, Brighton BN1 3FG. Brighton’s biggest escape room venue with five top rated games to choose from, recommended for 12 years and above, 01273 220388

Royal Pavilion Ice Rink, Royal Pavilion Brighton. Seasonal ice rink with the backdrop on the iconic landmark, with ice powered exclusively by green energy, open to the public from October 28th, 2023 to January 7th, 2024.

Sixes Brighton, Brighton i360, Lower Kings Road BN1 2LN (located in the i360’s former West Beach Bar & Restaurant). Immersive cricket experience, indoor and weatherproof outdoor enclosed nets, food & drinks, 03337 720360

Skate 360 at the Brighton i360, open-air roller rink overlooking the iconic West Pier, with or without skate shoe hire, 45min slot, 03337 720 360

Sky High Trampoline Park Peacehaven BN10 8JQ. Wall to wall interconnected trampolines, walk the wall, aeroball, slam dunk and supersized airbag, toddler bounce 9am-10am, open sessions for 5yrs+ 10am-6pm, weekends & school holidays only, 01273 580029

Upside Down House Brighton. An amazing museum of illusions including a variety of designed rooms in a luxurious beach house based on the Brighton Sea Front in between the i360 and Brighton Beach Club. 07761 802281

VRROOM Virtual Race Room & Motorsport Bar, Brighton Marina. F1 simulator race training facility, first of its kind in the UK, 12 motion race car simulators networked together, race against your friends and family in professional-grade motion simulators, suitable for 12yrs+, vrroomracing.com

Yellowave Beach Sports Brighton beach, beach volleyball, beach soccer, tag rugby, clubhouse for hire and private parties, for 6 years+, 01273 672222

.
Go back to top of page

.

Exploring Science

Observatory Science Centre Wartling Road, Herstmonceux BN27 1RN. Hands-on science and discovery with 100+ interactive exhibits both indoors and out, telescope tours and regular children’s and family workshops. The centre is open every day, check website for dates and times, 01323 832731

Rampion Offshore Wind Visitor Centre Kings Road Arches, Brighton BN1 2FN. Hands-on exhibitions, interactive displays, games and videos, as well as a 360˚ virtual reality experience that will take you out to the wind farm itself. Free entry. Closed on Mon except Bank Holidays.

South Downs Planetarium and Science Centre Kingsham Road, Chichester PO19 8RP (southern end of Chichester High School campus, sat nav PO19 8AE). Volunteer-run educational outlet, welcomes group visits from clubs and societies, plus makes eight or nine presentations to the public every month, times and days vary, 01243 774400

.
Go back to top of page

.

Outdoor Pursuits

Blackland Farm Grinstead Lane, East Grinstead RH19 4HP. Climbing, zipwire, abseiling, canoeing, archery, low and high ropes and orienteering, 01342 810493

Branching Out Adventures Halland, BN8 5AF. Introducing you to the thrill of treetop activity and adventure, in a safe professional environment. At Branching Out there is something for everyone; low ropes, high ropes, giant swing, climbing wall and speed zipwire. Closed December and January, 01825 280250

Brighton Footgolf Hangleton Lane, Hove BN3 8EB (former Benfield Valley golf course). Game for the whole family (3yrs+) involving kicking a football into a hole in as few kicks as possible, 9- or 18-holes available, 01273 761001

Buzz Active Royal Parade, Eastbourne BN22 7LD. Residential stays at Bushy Wood near Hailsham and windsurfing, kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding and sailing in the sea at Eastbourne and/or in the river at Cuckmere Haven. Opening hours vary according to the season, 01323 417023

Cuckoo Trail, 14-mile surfaced path through the Sussex countryside is mostly traffic free and is a safe route for walkers and cyclists of all ages, it follows the former ‘Cuckoo Line’ railway track and stretches from Heathfield to Shinewater Park (Eastbourne), passing through Horam, Hailsham and Polegate. Pit stop at the Cuckoo Shack Cafe, Priory Court Farm, Sayerland lane, Polgate BN26 6QX.

Extreme Ventures Stanley Deason Leisure Centre, Wilson Avenue, Brighton BN2 5PB. Indoor climbing walls and abseiling. Harrison Rocks Outdoor Climbing, Groombridge, rock scrambling and rock climbing, 07835 528548 or 01732 446252

So Sussex outdoor and woodland activities and festivals across Sussex

.
Go back to top of page

.

Theatres and Cinemas

Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts presents a seasonal public programme including music, film, theatre, dance, live art, digital practices, discussion and debate 01273 678822

Brighton Centre King’s Road BN1 2GR, box office 0844 847 1515, general enquiries 01273 290131

Brighton Dome Church Street BN1 1UE. Theatre and concerts, 01273 709709

Brighton Little Theatre Clarence Gardens BN1 2EG. Not-for-profit theatre company staging at least 10 plays a year, box office 0844 888 0432

Chichester Festival Theatre Oaklands Park, Chichester PO19 6AP. One of the UK’s flagship theatres, renowned for the high standard of its productions. It welcomes children and families and is proud to be a member of Family Arts Standards. Baby changing facilities are provided along with special refreshments and high chairs in the cafĂ© and lots of space in the foyers for buggies and lively toddlers. Workshops and holiday activities designed to explore the productions on and beyond the stage are also on offer, 01243 781312

Duke of York’s Picturehouse Preston Road, Brighton BN1 4NA. Kids’ Club Saturdays at 11am, Toddler Time Mondays at 11am, Big Scream screenings for parents/carers with babies under one Wednesdays at 10.30am, box office 0871 902 5747

Komedia Brighton 44-47 Gardner Street, North Laine BN1 1UN. Comedy, cabaret and music, box office 01273 647100

Lewes Little Theatre Lancaster Street, Lewes BN7 2PX. Opens a week before each production, 01273 474826

New Venture Theatre, Bedford Place, Brighton BN1 2PT. Box office 01273 746118, general enquiries 01273 808353

Orion Cinema Cyprus Road, Burgess Hill RH15 8DX. Cinema with art deco facade and 2 screens showing the latest mainstream releases, 01444 243300

Ropetackle Arts Centre Little High Street, Shoreham-by-Sea BN43 5EG. Community-run arts venue, exhibitions, film, live music, dance and spoken word, box office 01273 464440

Theatre Royal New Road, Brighton BN1 1SD. With Skips Club after school club, monthly events for 6 – 10 year olds, family workshops, front and backstage tours with a guide and an app using loaned iPads. This family friendly interactive tour lets you see what happens backstage when a show is on, explore hidden parts of the building not open to the public, meet characters from the past and staff from the present and experience what it’s like to perform on stage in front of a packed audience! Suitable for families with children 7 years+, Saturdays 10.15am from March – June, box office 0844 8717627

Wick Theatre Company Barn Theatre, Southwick Street, Southwick BN42 4TE. Box office 01273 597094

.
Go back to top of page

.

.

Family Restaurants and Cafes

Bluebell Railway, The Bessemer Arms, Sheffield Park Station, Station Approach, East Sussex TN22 3QL. Family pub/restaurant with children’s activity lunch boxes, 01825 720800

Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, Lodge Hill Lane, Ditchling BN6 8SP. CafĂ© and children’s trails, 01273 844744

Eloquent Bakes, 174 Portland Rd, Hove BN3 5QN. Coffee shop, savory & sweet baked goods, soft play & toy area for the little ones, 07940 442993

Jack & Jill Inn, Brighton Rd, Clayton BN6 9PD. Big garden, play area & children’s menu, 01273 843595

Latchetts Farm at Heaven Farm, Furners Green, Uckfield TN22 3RG. Creamery serving handmade ice creams, cakes, chocolates, pancakes, waffles & traditional sweets, 01825 791692

Molly’s Coffee Shop, Rottingdean Undercliff Walk, Brighton BN2 7AZ. Breakfast, coffee, lunch, home-made cakes and soups, 01273 309322

Notcutts Garden Centre, Common Lane, Ditchling BN6 8TN. Large family café with seasonal events, 01273 846844

Nymans House and Gardens NT, Handcross, Haywards Heath, RH17 6EB Metrobus 271 and 273. Family friendly cafĂ© with children’s activity lunch boxes, 01444 405250

Open Art Café, 6 Nevill Rd, Rottingdean BN2 7HG. Little cozy family-friendly cafe surrounded by art from locals, open 10am-4pm, closed Sun, 01273 965364

PizzaExpress, 107 Church Road, Hove BN3 2AF. Family-friendly restaurant, conveniently located, highchair, changing table available and children’s menu, activities and parties. Opportunity to watch the pizzaiolos in action, long booths available for celebrations, and a sunny outdoor terrace, 01273 770093

Puzzle Peace Cafe at Puzzle Bored, 27 New Road, Brighton BN1 1UG. Coffee shop, jigsaw puzzle space & shop – puzzles featuring artwork from local artists! Open Monday to Saturday 10am to 6pm & Sunday 11am to 4pm.

Sheffield Park and Garden NT, Sheffield Park, Uckfield TN22 3QX. Family friendly cafĂ© with children’s lunch boxes, 01825 790231

Standen Barn CafĂ© at Standen House & Garden NT,  West Hoathly Road, East Grinstead RH19 4NE (Metrobus 84). Family friendly cafĂ© with children’s activity lunch boxes, 01342 323029

The Big Beach Cafe, down by Hove Lagoon BN3 4LX. Fatboy Slim’s cafe is conveniently located between the lagoon, the playground/paddling pool and the skate park; kids menu, in/outdoor seating, 01273 911080

The Bull Inn, Mock Bridge, Henfield BN5 9AD. Family & dog friendly pub, serves pizza as well, lovely beer garden, children’s menu, highchair, 01273 492232

The Chimney House, 28 Upper Hamilton Rd, Brighton BN1 5DF. Family & dog friendly pub, children’s menu, highchairs available, 01273 556708 [recommended by one of your readers]

The Coach and Horses, School Lane, Danehill RH17 7JF. Family pub/restaurant, beer garden with sandpit, swing and slide, 01825 740369

The Ginger Fox, Muddleswood Rd, Hassocks BN6 9EA. Family pub, lovely beer garden with stunning views of the South Downs, children’s play area incl. a fun treasure-hunt style trail, 01273 857888 [recommended by one of your readers]

The Half Moon, Ditchling Road, Plumpton BN7 3AF. Family pub, children’s menu, mini golf course (March-October), 01273 890253

The Juggs Inn, Kingston nr Lewes BN7 3NT. Family-friendly, children’s menu for U12s, park & playground next door, 01273 472 523

The Garden CafĂ©, St Ann’s Well Gardens, Hove BN3 1RP. Homemade locally sourced food, open 8am – 5pm daily, 01273 735187

The Ladies Mile, Mackie Avenue, Patcham, Brighton BN1 8RA. Family pub, events, function room for hire, 01273 554647

The Plough, Upper Dicker BN27 3QJ. Beer garden, children’s menu for U12s, play area, 01323 844859

The Red Lion, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath RH17 7DE. Family pub/restaurant with children’s play area, 01825 740836

The Royal Oak, Poynings BN45 7AQ, at the foot of the South Downs and Devil’s Dyke. Family pub with children’s paly area & children menu, 01273 857389

The Shepherd & Dog, Fulking nr Henfield BN5 9LU. In the heart of the South Downs, beer garden & children’s play area, 01273 857382

The Sportsman, Cuckfield Road, Goddards Green (nr. Hurstpierpoint) BN6 9LQ. Family pub/restaurant with children’s play area, 01444 233460

The Roebuck Inn, Laughton nr Ringmer BN8 6BG. Children’s menu, beer garden with a play area, 01323 811244

The Wheatsheaf, Wheatsheaf Road, Henfield BN5 9BD. Family pub/restaurant with large wooden pirate ship, swings and kids’ menu, 01273 492077

Wakehurst, Ardingly, Haywards Heath RH17 6TN Metrobus 272. Family friendly cafĂ© with children’s lunch boxes 01444 894066

Wagamama, argus lofts, Kensington St, Brighton BN1 4AJ, spacious & children menu, highchair & baby changing table available, 01273 688892 [recommended by one of our readers]

.
Go back to top of page

.

 

**END**

These listings are prepared well in advance, so please check days and opening times before travelling, many attractions close at least one day a week.

If you have any additions, updates or deletions, please email [email protected]

Oven wizard
Toga
Burgess Hill Girls
Little Dippers
Lancing prep