If you’re planning a day trip to Sussex during a break in the county, you won’t be short of things to do, as there are lots of amazing days out on offer for the whole family to enjoy.
So if you are considering taking some time away in one of our popular Sussex holiday cottages, look no further for ideas, because here we will take you through the best attractions to visit and the top activities to try during your holiday.
From adventure parks and local family farms to wildlife attractions and heritage properties, there’s plenty to see and do.
Anne of Cleves House
The Anne of Cleves House in Lewes is a great example of how the Tudors and Elizabethans lived, worked and relaxed at home with its authentically-furnished kitchen and garden.
While wandering the grounds of this stunning medieval house, you will also learn how it played a part in the story of one of England’s most famous kings, Henry VIII.
The garden is fascinating as it uses traditional plants and Tudor gardening methods to recreate a cottage garden of the day. The house and enclosed garden regularly play host to a number of events. One such event is Herbs and Scents, which takes place on 30th May. This half term event allows visitors to drop in to the house and explore the plants in the herb garden, as well as giving children the opportunity to make a herb bag and some soap to take home.
Arundel Castle is one of the largest inhabited and complete castles in England and is situated in magnificent grounds overlooking the River Arun in West Sussex.
The castle offers a full day out with guided tours of the finely preserved castle rooms including the Baron’s Hall, 14th Century Catholic Fitzalan Chapel, Regency Library and Victorian bedrooms, alongside opportunities to ascend the Norman Motte and Keep.
This year is the 950th anniversary of Arundel Castle and, to celebrate, the site has a bumper calendar of events, from dazzling flower displays in its gardens to thrilling historical interpretative performances including a week-long jousting and medieval tournament.
This April the castle features the Annual Tulip Festival with a record 36,000 of the brightly coloured blooms on show, while the three-day spectacular Castle Siege returns and will feature skirmishes between English and French soldiers as they try to take control of the castle from 27th-29th May.
The Warriors of Arundel Castle, which takes place on 17th September, is another event certainly worth going to as it will explore the castle’s tumultuous history with costume, crafts, weapons and thrilling combat displays.
Castle Manager Bryan McDonald says, “We look forward to welcoming visitors of all ages to experience our events, gardens, restaurant and, of course, 1,000 years of history!”
Brighton Sea Life Centre
Brighton Sea Life Centre is the world’s oldest operating aquarium and is now home to over 3,500 creatures including sharks, turtles, seahorses, rays and an anaconda.
There are lots of demonstrations taking place throughout each day and various attractions to visit, including an interactive rock pool, a 360-degree Ocean Tunnel and the first aquarium in the UK to offer visitors the chance to experience the marine world from a glass-bottomed boat.
This spring the new attraction, Claws, will be unveiled. It welcomes a host of fascinating new shell-dwelling creatures, with the undisputed stars of the show being the two statuesque Japanese Spider Crabs, which can grow to the size of a car. The brightly-coloured Peacock Mantis Shrimp will also be calling the new attraction home.
The interactive display will shine a light on the crustacean group, one of the ocean’s oldest and most unusual lifeforms with around 70,000 species in existence.
Located on Littlehampton’s award-winning sandy beach, Harbour Park has something to offer inside and out.
The family arcade and the underwater themed soft play area are both great indoor attractions, while visitors can venture outside on a warm day to ride on the park’s array of outdoor attractions.
What’s more, it is completely free to enter the park, with a number of options to pay as you play, so you can enjoy the high seas on the Ocean Coaster or take a spin on the Whirlpool Waltzer.
The Harbour Kitchen serves up lots of snacks and children’s lunch boxes and the Galley Restaurant has freshly battered fish and chips to tuck into.
Take a journey back over 200 years and uncover what life was really like in the Redoubt Fortress.
The fortress is one of the most complete of its kind in the UK and has stood guard on the South Coast since 1809.
This year visitors can discover the Faces of the Fort and follow in the footsteps of a real-life Redoubt resident, from the General who designed it to a Surgeon in the Artillery at the Redoubt in the 1880s or the children who grew up in the fortress in the 1870s.
Heritage Eastbourne will transport you on a journey of discovery to life in the fortress over its impressive 200-year history.
Free daily guided tours are available, plus entry to the gun platform, gift shop and café. There are also lots of events planned over the course of 2017.
Try stand Up Paddleboarding
If you want to try something different during your break to Sussex, why not spend a day stand up paddleboarding?
If you are staying in one of our luxury coastal holiday cottages in the UK, there’s plenty of opportunity to try this emerging sport, especially in Sussex.
Lagoon Watersports are a hugely popular watersports provider and they offer a number of stand up paddleboarding classes.
SUPing, as it is commonly known, has taken the 21st century by storm and it is a great way to explore the shores at a pace that suits you.
Lagoon offer a variety of classes; from their taster sessions through to a SUP Surfing and SUP Touring course.
It really is a great way to explore Sussex’s incredible coastline!
Spring Barn Farm
At Spring Barn Farm you can discover hours of indoor and outdoor fun and meet all your favourite farmyard friends up close at daily animal activity sessions.
Just five minutes from Lewes or 15 minutes from Brighton, this great family day out has a huge outdoor adventure play area with Treetop Towers, giant jumping pillows, pedal go karts and a sand and water play area.
The Cocky’s Indoor Play area is very popular, with wave, tube and mega drop slides waiting to be explored. The young ride-on tractor driver’s course and under-5s Little Chickys’ soft play area will also keep younger members of the family entertained. There are also Land Rover trailer tours and animal races to enjoy.
If you want to sit back and relax while the kids go and play, you can enjoy delicious home-cooked meals, cakes and cream teas.
The Observatory Science Centre
The Observatory Science Centre offers an exciting range of hands-on science and discovery experiences amongst the domes and telescopes of this world-famous former observatory.
This thriving science centre has over 100 interactive exhibits, as well as telescope tours, science shows, a café, gift shop and an outdoor discovery park and water play area.
There are also a number of events taking place at the centre throughout 2017 and below are just some of the best.
• A Reason to Murder - Taking place on 20th May, the event will allow visitors to explore the Science Centre looking for clues to help them work out who committed a murder. There will also be the opportunity to look through the historic telescopes and perhaps spot Mars and Jupiter.
• Soundscape – On 1st July visitors can come and experience evocative cinematic music from the Brighton Film Quartet – live music is skilfully set to stunning visuals, vocals and an ambient soundtrack.
True Crime Museum
Set in 3,000 square foot of seafront caves, the True Crime Museum is the largest collection of crime memorabilia in the UK.
Open daily from 10am – 5pm, the museum is suitable for all ages, is wheelchair accessible and even dog-friendly!
It presents a chilling but fascinating insight into the world of serial killers, forensics, gangsters, prisoners, poisoners and more!
Visitors can see a genuine lethal injection deathbed, the actual acid containers used by John George Haigh to dissolve his victims, and can also guess the crimes of the celebrities from their police mug shots.
There is also a cinema cave where murderers describe their hideous crimes.
Learn to sail
If you have always wanted to try your hand at sailing, then Lagoon Watersports should be on your itinerary, as they offer a number of fantastic sailing trips from Brighton Marina.
There are a number of RYA Learn to Sail courses available for complete beginners through to more experienced sailors.
Beginners can select the “Learn to Sail” package, which is the quickest, easiest and best value way to learn how to sail. The level one and two courses include two, 2-day courses to enable you to progress quickly from beginner to a competent sailor.
All equipment and full tuition is provided with Lagoon Watersports.
Image Credit: Anne of Cleves House, Goldfish Photographic, Brighton Sea Life Centre, Harbour Park, Heritage Eastbourne, Spring Barn Farm, Charlie Davis, True Crime Museum, Lagoon Watersports.