Family Days Out in West Sussex

Tilgate Park Lake

For a while I have been collecting days out leaflets and filing them – well sort of, if a putting them on the kitchen table counts! As I have previously mentioned I am a bit of a hoarder so I will be writing posts to cover West Sussex, East Sussex, Surrey, Kent, Hampshire and parts of London and Essex. I was initially going to be putting this all on one post however when I sat down to start to write it I realised just how long it was going to be so have split them up into different counties.

Some of these places we have been to, some I have written about as individual posts and some we have yet to try. Where possible I have also included a link to the website so you can find out more information and a general overview of our experience. This post will continue to grow as we get to more of these places so please check back for regular updates & photos. Also if you have any favourites that are not on the list then please let me know and I will add them.

West Sussex – Outside

  • **NEW** – Dinosaur Island Southwater Country Park – Nr Horsham – free – brand new play park with a Dinosaur theme – read the full post here: Dinosaur Island.

Dinosaur Island Play Park - Southwater

  • Downs Linkwww.westsussex.gov.uk/downslink – free – all year long – A long distance, off road route for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. Linking the North Downs in Surrey with the South Downs in West Sussex, it follows an old railway line. Going through Bramley, Cranleigh, Baynards, Rudgwick, Sinfold, Christs Hospital, Southwater, West Grinstead, Partride Green, Henfield, Bramber and Steyning. More information can be found using the link above including a free downloadable six stage route guide and map. We often choose local parts of this route for a Sunday walk with or without Monkey’s balance bike. It can be very muddy in places in the Winter months!
  • West Dean Gardenswww.westdean.org.uk/gardens – Nr Chichester – Children are free, adults vary depending on the time of the year from £5.50 off peak to £9 during peak times (March to October). RHS members are free exempt May-Sept. They are closed 22nd Dec – 31st Jan. We have not visited since Monkey was born however before he joined our little family we use to go the Chilli Festival in August which I think is the largest in the UK. Please see their website for details of this and other events.
  • Harbour Park – Littlehampton – www.harbourpark.com – Entry is free but you will need to pay to go on the rides, prices are cheaper if you buy online before hand. Wristbands start at £18 and voucher books at £13.50 although there are further discounts for groups. This is not an attraction we have visited yet, please check the website for opening dates and details of when the rides are running.
  • Pulborough Brookswww.rspb.org.uk/pulboroughbrooks –  open all year round except Christmas Day and Boxing Day – free for RSPB members (annual membership starts from £5 a family online) Adults £5, Children £2, Families from £12. This is on our list for the Summer months.
  • Aldingbourne Country Centre – Nr Arundel- www.aldingbournetrust.co.uk – Entrance is £3.50 each, under 3s free – open all year round. We have not been but they have an open farm, woodland walk, play areas, treasure trails, enchanted garden & ride on tractors. Animal feeding and Guinea Pig handling is an additional £1 per session.
  • Wey & Arun Canal – Nr Loxwood – www.weyandarun.co.uk – They offer turn up and go public cruises along the canal from April to October on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays. Prices vary depending on the length of the cruise you go on but start from £2.50 for a Child and £5 for an Adult for a 45 minute cruise. They recommend checking times and availability on the website. They also run various special seasonal cruises. We went on the Easter one last year which included a visit from the Easter Bunny as well as chocolate, cake and fizzy pop all round. Monkey loved it.
  • West Wittering Beach – Nr Chichester – www.westwitteringbeach.co.uk – the only charge is a the carpark which will vary depending on the time of year and time of day you visit but ranges from £1 – £8. Its open all year round. We visited on a wet day in March but still had a great time – kids love the beach whatever the weather! You can view photos of our visit here. Its ideal for a traditional bucket and spade day and is a sandy blue flag beach.
  • Fishers Farm Park – Wisborough Green – www.fishersfarmpark.co.uk – open all year round except Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Prices vary depending on the time of the year, but discounts are offered for family tickets and you can buy tickets online. During peak times individuals are £14.25 and 2 year olds are £12.25. They do offer annual tickets which if you live local are a very good buy! We have been several times and will continue to do so through the Summer period. There is so much to do. More than I can write here – to be honest it probably deserves a post of its own.  They offer pony rides, adventure golf, toboggan run (amazing – Monkey’s favourite), water splash area in the summer months, barrel bug rude, tractor rides, go kart tracks, sheep/pig racing, play areas – including a toddler zip wire, bouncing pillows, panning for gemstones, trampolines, climbing wall, soft play areas (including 6 giant slides), baby sensory room, animal encounters barn, small animal handling, theatre shows, farm shows and tractor yard!
  • South Downs Light Railway – Pulborough – www.south-downslrailway.com – located in the garden centre there is a restaurant nearby for lunch or a snack. Open March to September on Saturdays, Sundays, Bank Holiday Mondays and also Wednesdays in school holidays. The train runs at 15 minute intervals from 11am to 3.30pm. They also hold special events for Christmas and at other times of the year. Please check out their website for more details.  Single rides are £1 for children (2-14yrs) and £1.50 for adults. You can buy supersaver tickets which do not need to all be used on the same day this gives you 4 rides, £3 for a child and £5 for an adult. This is a firm favourite in our house and ideal for younger children. They even do birthday parties…
  • Nymans Gardens – Handcross – www.nationaltrust.org.uk/nymans – free to National Trust Members or RHS members under their partner garden scheme. Otherwise an adult is £12.20 and £6.60 for a child. There are also discounts for families. Like many of the other national trust properties there are lots of seasonal activities going on for kids all the time detailed on their website. Last time we went we made calendars for the new year. In addition to those

Explore the bamboo jungle and topiary shapes, play in the roundhouse, build a den in our den building area or test your skills on the wooden balance beams. Can you find the secret path?

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/nymans/things-to-see-and-do/for-families/

  • Sussex Prairies Garden – Nr Henfield – www.sussexprairies.co.uk – open 6 days a week and closed on a Tuesday from 1pm-5pm. Adults are £6 and children £3 with family tickets available. They have various events on over the Summer months and a lovely cafe with home baked cakes. The garden is simply stunning and planted in a naturalistic style. They also have a couple of resident piggies always wanting a visit.
  • Wash brooks Farm – Nr Hurstpierpoint – www.washbrooks.co.uk – open all year round apart from Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Under 3s are free, Children are £6.50 and Adults are £7.50. They cater for children up to the age of 8, have great indoor and outdoor play areas, tractor rides and all the farm animals under one roof.  Lovely farm and great reasonably priced food in their cafe. One of our favourites and offer a good value season ticket compared to other similar options.
  • Arundel Castlewww. arundelcastle.org – prices depend on the areas you are visiting and if they have any special events which are running, its not cheap especially for a family of 4. We were lucky enough to go to the Jousting Tournament they hold in July last year. It runs over a week, there is regular jousting and hand to hand combat set all within a medieval encampment.
  • Slindon Pumpkin Festival – Slindon – www.slindon.com/industry-artistry/slindon-pumpkins – free – September to November. There is a display of over 50 different types of pumpkin and 30 different squashes. Its an ideal family tradition to start for Autumn or Halloween, its also possible to purchase various different pumpkins and squashes for decoration or cooking. I managed to buy one the first year Monkey was born that his could actually fit in!
  • Tilgate Park – Crawley –  Tilgate Park – you will need to pay for parking which is £5 for the day. If you decide to visit the nature centre then there is an additional £2 for Adults, £1 for children and under 2s are free. The nature centre is home to various animals including meerkats, pigs, sheep, goats, lamas, cows, rabbits, otters, guinea pigs, tortoise, snakes, spiders and various species of birds.  In addition to the nature centre there is a lake you can walk around, a fantastic play area, walled garden and cafe. I have written a post specifically about our visit to Tilgate Park in May 2015 which you can read here.

The other day out pages are below:

  • Hampshire
  • East Sussex (coming shortly)
  • Kent (coming shortly)
  • Surrey (coming shortly)

I will be adding other days out to this post in due course, if there are any which you think should be added please comment below or email me at Mudpiefridays@hotmail.com. Enjoy.

Mudpie xxx

Mums' Days

8 Comments

  1. Angela Milnes
    May 15, 2015 / 9:17 pm

    This is a fab list of places to visit. We sometimes go to different areas and it’s really hard to figure out where to go. I’m sure this will come in handy some time. Angela xx

    Angela recently posted “10 reasons to visit the Blackpool Tower Eye” http://wp.me/p5XRN6-1q6

    • May 15, 2015 / 9:38 pm

      Ah thanks 🙂 its taken all night – I will add some photos at some point…. will be doing similar posts on East Sussex and other areas we have visited . Will check out your post on the Blackpool Tower – always wanted to visit!! 🙂 xx

  2. Kate
    May 16, 2015 / 5:43 am

    What a great post! I’m looking forward to the Hampshire version 🙂

  3. Jenny
    May 18, 2015 / 6:53 am

    Great list! I’m in the process of doing the same thing for Central Scotland! 🙂 xx

    • May 18, 2015 / 6:57 am

      Great 🙂 takes a whole doesn’t it! Will be doing other counties down this way too – happy to link yours to mine? Incase people planning holidays etc? 🙂 xx

  4. hannah mum's days
    May 21, 2015 / 5:37 pm

    Wow! So much to do, what a great idea to list them all in a post, then anytime you’re at a loose end you can just pick one at random 🙂 Great post! Thanks for linking up to #TheList xx

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