Enjoy Sussex

Things to Do in Sussex & Surrounding Areas

Looking for what to do in Sussex and the surrounding towns and villages? From entertainment in Wealden & places to visit in Lewes there is countryside and coast to help you Enjoy Sussex the home of the new South Downs National Park, the Seven Sisters coastline, the Ashdown Forest and the 100-mile South Downs Way. Whats on in Sussex? Whatever your interest, Enjoy Sussex is brimming with things to see and do from providing ideal locations for walking and cycling, and is full of award-winning visitor attractions, and boasts a fantastic year-round calendar of exciting events, fairs and festivals to suit you, your family and friends.

Discover the captivating essence of this exceptional destination exploring the magnificent historic houses, strolling along Cuckmere Haven Beach or visiting glorious gardens and picturesque villages. Enjoy exquisite shopping opportunities with independent shops, antique markets, contemporary art galleries and local museums to visit. Food lovers will adore food festival events in Sussex; the local produce at our Farmers’ Markets, traditional country pubs, local breweries, world class vineyards and top class restaurants.

Whether you are looking for a relaxing short break or an action-packed holiday there are many things to see and do…come, Enjoy Sussex.

South Downs National Park

Stretching from Beachy Head near Eastbourne in the East to Harting Down in the West this much loved new National Park covers an area of 1,600 km2 and is seen by many as one of ‘Britain’s Breathing Spaces’. Where else can you find protected chalk Downland, ancient woodlands, spacious heathland and lush river valleys as well as some spectacular coastlines including the glorious white cliffs of the Seven Sisters?

Walking, cycling, horse riding and fishing draws visitors to the South Downs from far and wide. With approximately 1,200 kilometres of public bridleway including the 160 kilometre South Downs Way, specifically designed mountain biking trails and chalk downland that provides good riding even after rain, there is plenty here for those who want to retreat from the bustle of their daily lives in some of the most beautiful countryside in England. For the more adventurous, there is paragliding, hang-gliding, golf, zorbing, kite flying, gliding, mountain-boarding and a range of water sports.

When you walk on the South Downs you walk in the footsteps of ancestors who lived here over 6,000 years ago. Take time to explore these archaeological sites, from Iron Age Hill Forts and ancient Priories to historic castles and working museums. More recently, great country houses and parkland were established notably Firle and Glynde, whilst artists, writers and craftspeople were drawn to the area including the famous Bloomsbury set of Charleston House fame. These attractions can all be visited today, allowing you to step back into a past that is rich in interest.

The Downs have always nurtured their ancient traditions and these can be seen today in the likes of the Lewes Bonfire parades and the Downsmen’s songs collected by the Copper family. Absorb yourself in the Sussex character by visiting some of the many events that take place throughout the South Downs, from huge arts, music and literary festivals and world class opera at Glyndebourne, to village shows, tasty weekly farmers markets and month-long food and drink festivals.

The National Park is a living, working landscape, home to vibrant market towns and traditional villages, a wide range of accommodation options, world famous cultural attractions and a multitude of cultural events, many unique to the area.

Less than one hour from London and easily accessible, walking, cycling or taking the bus are the most eco-friendly ways to enjoy the Park. Look out for a number of transport projects and information leaflets encouraging low cost bus journeys and ride-and-walk ideas.

Visit the South Downs National Park website for further information.

The Great Outdoors…

… in Wealden

Come and be captivated by our Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, explore Wealden’s dramatic landscapes, idyllic forests and scenic coastline including the iconic white cliffs of the Seven Sisters.

Wealden offers fantastic walking cycling and horse-riding all year round. Walk or cycle along the 13-mile Cuckoo Trail from Heathfield to Easbourne or enjoy gentle strolls across the South Downs, energetic cross country cycling through High Weald, or horse-riding along the many designated bridleways, many leading to our pictureque country pubs.

Stroll through the stunning Bluebell Walk at Arlington and climb the steep slopes of Windover Hill to visit the Long Man of Wilmington, our chalk guardian of the South Downs. Drusillas Park on the outskirts of Alfriston is widely regarded as the best small zoo in the country; they have created an animal and child friendly, family environment where the focus is always on involvement!

Take a trip to see the gardens and grounds of magnificent 15th Century Herstmonceux Castle in Hailsham, built originally as a country home it embodies the history of medieval England. For one of the finest gardens in England, a visit to Pashley Manor Gardens is highly recommended.

… in Lewes

In Lewes town follow in the footsteps of the Medieval monks along the interpretation trail at the Priory of St Pancras and visit the walled gardens of Southover Grange in the town. Standing proud at the centre of the town is Lewes Castle a 1000 year old Norman Castle with fantastic views of the South Downs.

Explore our nature reserves including the wetlands of the Railway Land in Lewes town; see the stunning views of the coast from Castle Hill in Newhaven located next to Newhaven Fort; and take a walk in the woodlands and heath of Bollens Bush located between Newhaven and Peacehaven.

Take a stroll along the seafront from Tide Mills, near Newhaven, to Seaford Head, making time to visit Seaford Museum located in an ancient Martello Tower.

Admire the spectacular countryside views from the Beacons at Ditchling and Firle.

Why not have a flutter at a day at the races a few miles away at Plumpton Racecourse.