Five Family Days Out in Sussex This Summer
It’s nearly August! How the dickens did this happen? There’s still plenty of summer to fill with memory-making days out before the kids head back to school. I’ve handpicked five brilliant family days out in Sussex for you and your family to enjoy.
Looking for even more fun ideas? Download your digital copy of Staycation magazine from the Sussex Born & Fed shop for £3.50. It’s packed with over 125 pages of ideas to help you and your family have a wonderful staycation right here at home in Sussex. All proceeds from the magazine are being donated to local children’s charity Time 4 Children.
1. Stoneywish Nature Reserve
Stoneywish Nature Reserve is my family’s number one choice for a fun-filled, simple day out.
Stoneywish is on the edge of Ditchling boasting beautiful views and loads of space to have a picnic and run around. We love the rustic vibe. It’s all part of Stoneywish’s unique charm.
Best of all you can let your kids run wild and romp around the rustic play equipment, think tyres hanging from trees, sand pits, disused tractors. Check out farm animals in a traditional Shaker farm set up and read all about Rowland Emett OBE, an English cartoonist and constructor of whimsical kinetic sculpture who lived in Ditchling for many years.
Don’t forget to buy a bag of duck and fish food at the entrance. The lake is part of a stunning short walk, which you won’t want to miss.
If you’re into camping, the campsite at Stoneywish is £7 per person per night. A great spot for a mini-staycation in the great outdoors.
Open every day during the school holidays – 10.00am – 5.00pm (last admissions 4.30pm). Adults: £6.00 / Children (3-18 years): £5.00 / Seniors (60+ years): £5.00 / Under 3s: FREE. Wheelchair concessions. Access Full Disabled. Access Guide Dogs only on the Reserve.
BOAT is an open air theatre in Dyke Road Park, Hove. There’s a beautiful story behind BOAT, which everyone should read. The theatre opened in 2015 and shows a diverse range of performances from May to September, including some brilliant family-friendly shows. This summer you can take your kids to see Alice in Wonderland, Wizard of Oz or Wind in the Willows; enjoy a cool daytime disco; or even introduce your kids to opera with a super fun version of the Magic Flute performed with puppets and translated into English.
Order your gourmet snack kit from the Sussex Gourmand who have just started selling their two most popular canapé kits and a Sussex cheese selection for you to enjoy while watching performances at BOAT. A totally no hassle service, where you collect your order from the bar when you arrive.
The focus is on light bites, that are super delicious and true to the Sussex countryside, so people can enjoy something special before (or during) the performance. You can even add a bottle of Bolney fizz, which will be delivered chilled with recyclable glasses. The food kits include wooden cutlery and bamboo plates which are all reusable. So civilised.
For more information about prices and what’s on this summer see BOAT’s website https://www.brightonopenairtheatre.co.uk/whats-on/
Washbrooks Family Farm
Washbrooks never seems to get old with my two. There’s oodles of outdoors play equipment, an animal barn housing lots of different creatures, a covered ride-on area, bouncy pillow, toddler area, zip line, lots of space, cafe and shop. All the hallmarks of a great day out for kids (and parents – who might just get a sit down and takeout coffee). The other plus is that there’s loads of parking on site.
The owners of Washbrooks have made significant improvements to the cafe and shop area during the enforced Covid-19 closure. If you feel like eating in, all tables are distanced and they’ve swapped counter service to table service. We had a great family lunch there recently, I think they’ve made it much better than it was before.
If you don’t want to eat-in there’s a kiosk which sells snacks, ice creams and drinks located in the play area opposite the big bouncy pillow.
The inside softplay is understandably closed, tractor rides are cancelled for the time-being and there’s a limit on the capacity into the farm. Otherwise, it’s business as usual.
Open everyday from 9.30am until 5pm. Tearoom shuts at 4pm. Admissions: Child (0 – 35 months) – FREE; Child (3 to 15 years) – £6.50; Adult – £7.50; Over 60’s – £6.50; and Group of 4 – £26. The majority of the farm is accessible for wheelchair users with stone paths (with the exception of the far field walk), wide entrances to all buildings and fully equipped disabled toilet.
Beach Green, Lancing
Beach Green, Lancing, BN15 8HT
We love a trip to Beach Green in Lancing – especially on a warm summer’s evening. Is it the skate park? The playground? The beach? The green for hanging out? The long smooth prom for cycling along? Well, yes. All of the above. But really, it’s The Perch. We absolutely adore The Perch. They’ve opened a kiosk for takeaways this summer, which is brilliant. You can still book tables inside if you fancy a sit down meal too.
The kiosk is open from 9am to 9pm (weather dependent) offering a variety of summer light bites. Breakfast baps are served until 12pm, light bites served through to evening. Team Sussex Born & Fed highly recommend a walk along the beach, skate around the park and portion of The Perch’s to-die-for churros before heading home.
The UK’s oldest freshwater outdoor public swimming pool is right on our doorstep in Lewes. Pells Pool is spring-fed and heated by the power of the sun – bravery and a desire to swim are absolutely essential!
The newly scrubbed pool recently reopened in line with government regulations. It’s the perfect place to take your kids for a socially-distanced family swim. Family sessions are generally between 11am – 3pm when the pool is transformed from lanes into roped off areas: the shallow end for non-swimmers; the middle section for inflatables; and the deep end for jumping in. Tickets must be pre-booked through the online system. There are no walk-in admissions and sessions are selling quickly.
You’ll need to arrive 10 minutes before your session with your costume on under your clothes as there are no changing rooms available at the moment.
The adult:child ratios in the water itself are: 1:1 for under-4s in the pool, and 1:2 for under-8s. Over-8s who can swim are allowed in the water on their own, but will continue to be the responsibility of their accompanying adults.Pells Pool Association
If you fancy taking your family for a long overdue swim in a pool, this historic outdoor lido should be on your list this summer.
Open for various swimming sessions between 7am and 7.3pm. Tickets for adults are £5 and children £2.50.
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