A Sussex Born & Fed Guide to…Ditchling
We like it here.
Ditchling is one of our all time favourite family-friendly places to hang out. It’s a gorgeous little village nestled in the South Downs, just outside of Brighton and a short drive from where we live in Hurstpierpoint.
For somewhere so small, it’s packed with great places to eat & hang out, especially with kids.
Here’s the low-down.
Places to eat
The Bull, Ditchling
Award-winning gastro pub, The Bull, serves everything from breakfast, lunch and dinner to local wines, beers and spirits. The food is a total treat. I’m especially fond of the breakfasts: avo and poached egg on sourdough toast with chilli is delicious.
It’s a super child-friendly pub, with children’s breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. If the sun’s out the children’s play area is amazing. There’s a fenced off area with just-on-the-right-side of daring play equipment and a handsome apple tree to climb.
My Girls adore this play area, which is usually full of other new friends to make and play with. Brilliant if you’re catching up with friends or having some grown-up chat over a glass of something cold and a carefully curated cheese board.
The Bull, High Street, Ditchling, East Sussex BN6 8TA
The Nutmeg Tree
The Nutmeg Tree is cute-as-pie vintage tea room, with an epic menu and the warmest hospitality. The menu is chocca with choice from massive traditional full English breakfasts, to cream teas; roasts and knickerbocker glories.
The cafe is full of vintage charm: nik naks, books, traditional staff uniforms and war time music create a charming nostalgic atmosphere. And it’s deceptively big. Our favourite spot is out back in the cosy room with the fire.
The Nutmeg Tree, 6-8 West St, Ditchling, Hassocks BN6 8TS
The Green Welly
You’ll find wholesome lunches, good coffee and super stylish country-casual interiors in The Green Welly. But it’s not just for grown-ups. There’s a pile of children’s books, toys and colouring in the corner and some lovely children’s options on the breakfast and lunch menus.
I like to think of the Green Welly as a crowd pleaser. It works just as well with a friend for cake and coffee as it does with all the family for lunch or kids for after school hot chocoates.
The walled garden is a pretty little sun trap on warm days. I love sitting out in summer.
The Green Welly, 1 High Street, Ditchling, East Sussex, BN6 8SY
Places to visit in Ditchling
Stoneywish Nature Reserve
Stoneywish is perfect for kids of all ages. Think idyllic wide open spaces to roam, rustic play equipment, disused vehicles, sandpits and tree swings. We’ve had so many happy days playing here for hours on end until everyone is grubby and ready for dinner. My two love spending their time in make-believe worlds, running around freely. We usually take a picnic for lunch and head to the pub for dinner.
Don’t forget to buy duck and fish food at the kiosk. The fish and geese are always a highlight of our visit.
Stoneywish Nature Reserve, Spatham Lane, Ditchling, Hassocks BN6 8XH
Ditchling Museum of Arts + Craft
An unexpectedly family-friendly museum, even for very little ones. Uber stylish, interesting and totally child-friendly. Pick up a trail for your kids at the start and head off into the museum. There’s a sensory box of materials used in buildings for children to explore too. Considering it’s free for kids (adults £6.50), they’re really well catered for.
The museum is famed for it’s ultra tasteful shop and delightful cafe. It’s a great spot for picking up cool cards and gifts.
Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, Lodge Hill Lane, Ditchling, East Sussex, BN6 8SP
The Duck Pond
You can’t have a guide of where to go in Ditchling without mentioning the duck pond. It’s a beauty.