Family days out, UK

Days out in East Sussex with kids

As a little girl I loved visiting castles, historic houses and forests. I still do! That’s why I was particularly excited by our Bank Holiday destination of East Sussex. Here’s what we got up to during our long weekend and some days out in East Sussex you might like to try with children:

Tin Box Tot enjoyed Five Hundred Acre Wood

Days out in East Sussex

Where we stayed in East Sussex

We parked Tin Box with Boundless (formerly the CSMA Club), which was rallying at The Laughing Fish pub in Isfield, and set about planning our tour of the area.

Lewes was not far down the road so we decided to visit the next day. The High Street is a mix of antique shops, boutiques and cafes – not a Primark in sight!

Shops on Lewes High Street
The unique shops of Lewes High Street

Lewes Castle

Lewes Castle was first on our bucket list. It’s a Norman fortification looked after by the Sussex Archaeological Society. There’s plenty of steps to climb so Tin Box Tot’s pushchair was left with reception while we worked our way through the gardens and up into the Keep.

TBT ready to storm the castle
Flowers in the gardens at Lewes Castle
The beautifully kept castle gardens

Luckily we had arrived between the showers and got to enjoy some stunning views from the top.

A view of Lewes town and East Sussex hills from the Castle
View from the castle

Anne of Cleves House

By the time we had completed our descent it was approaching nap time, but TBT was enjoying herself so we decided to add Anne of Cleves House to our visit. We wandered across town, taking a shortcut through the pretty Southover Grange gardens.

Southover Grange gardens and house
Southover Grange

Anne of Cleves was given the house in Lewes as part of her divorce settlement from Henry VIII – she did quite well everything considered. The archaeological society are again the custodians here and have recreated several Tudor rooms to give visitors a taste of medieval life. The building is also home to the Museum of Lewes History and Wealden Iron Gallery.

Bedroom and parlour at Anne Cleves House

Just as we finished our nose around Anne’s Lewes retreat the heavens opened and we had to trot through the rain to the nearest pub – The King’s Head. Once there we dried off and tucked in to a late lunch. All that was left to do was to head back to Tin Box for a well earned afternoon snooze.

Ashdown Forest

The next morning we tucked into one of Mr TB’s calorific cooked breakfasts and set off for more exploring. Our destination was Pooh Bridge of Winnie the Pooh fame.

What should have been a 12 minute journey turned into 45 minutes as we switched between the Sat Nav, OS Maps and road signs to find the right car park in Ashdown Forest – AKA Five Hundred Acre Wood. Mr TB might not like to admit it, but we also asked for directions!

The bridge is about a 10 minute down hill walk from the car park. It was a lovely day and we were not alone in our quest to play Pooh sticks. I’d recommend collecting a few twigs along your way as when you get to Pooh Bridge they become a rarity!

Tin Box Tot pick suitable Pooh sticks with her dad
Picking Pooh Sticks

 

Playing Pooh Sticks on Pooh Bridge
The actual Pooh Bridge – exciting!

Once we had all sent a few sticks down stream – and Tin Box Dog had taken a dip – we made our way back to the car.

By now tummies were rumbling so it was time for another pit stop. We had already decided to visit Heaven Farm on the edge of Ashdown Forest because we knew it had a nice little tea room. We savoured the homemade cake while TBT enjoyed making some new friends.

Tin Box Tot and a chicken
TBT makes a friend

The farm also has craft shops, a campsite and Caravan Club CL. The latter, which overlooks a wallaby enclosure, has been added to our holiday wish list.

Do you have any favourite days out in East Sussex? I’d love to hear about them.

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