With the weather warming up, the birds singing, and the daffodils blooming, there’s a host of activities and events in East Sussex promising family fun during April.
Many of these are Easter themed and how wonderful to have some school holidays without pandemic restrictions and cancelled events? It’s not all bunnies and eggs, though, and as well as some egg hunts we’ve got birds, vintage and military vehicles, horse racing, fun with chemistry and even panto! Yes, you read that correctly, pantomime!
We can’t capture them all here, of course, but we have picked just a few of the “eggs-citing” activities and events you might want to try.
Love Birds – Ashdown Forest Visitor Centre, 4 & 6 April
Celebrate the rare nature and birds of the Ashdown Forest in Wealden and make a bird out of clay to display in the visitor centre. Use natural materials from the forest and your imagination to make your model and celebrate our feathered friends. https://www.ashdownforest.org/news/events.php
Easter Egg Hunts and Nature Trails, from 2 April. Bateman’s, Bodiam and Sheffield Park Garden
The National Trust is holding Easter egg hunts and a range of nature-themed activities at many of its properties, including these three in East Sussex. Those who complete the challenge will be rewarded with a Rainforest Alliance Easter egg. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lists/easter-egg-hunts-in-and-around-east-sussex
Lambing Event at Middle Farm near Lewes – throughout April
You could celebrate the start of Spring at Middle Farm where visitors will not only get the chance to bottlefeed new-born lambs but also meet and greet a variety of other farm animals. NB: Pre-booking is essential for this event. https://middlefarm.com/lambing-event/
Easter Adventure Quest at Battle Abbey – 2-24 April
Every day of the school holidays youngsters will be challenged to complete an Easter quest by solving clues. There will also be traditional Easter games for everyone to enjoy. https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/whats-on/1066-battle-easter-adventure-quest-2-24-apr-2022/
Lewes Creatives Spring Fair – 2 April
Visit the Lewes Creatives Spring Fair to browse an eclectic selection of unique hand-crafted work by local artists and makers. There will be jewellery, prints, ceramics, textiles, aromatherapy products, artworks and children’s gifts. https://www.lewescreatives.co.uk/upcoming-shows
Sussex Race Day for families at Plumpton – 3 April
As well as a usual card of seven horse races, Plumpton Racecourse will also be “showcasing many of the things that make the county so great” with a host of activities, demonstrations and family entertainment. These will include Sussex Falconry, live music courtesy of Uptown Buskers, children’s entertainment, and the Sussex Farmers Market. https://www.plumptonracecourse.co.uk/events/sussex-raceday-and-lunch-with-the-moores/
Rapunzel: Easter Pantomime in Eastbourne – Royal Hippodrome Theatre, 12-18 April
If you thought the fun of panto was restricted to the festive season, think again. This family show, based on the favourite children’s story, promises lots to boo and hiss about and will, it claims, be “hair-larious”. https://royalhippodrome.com/
Fun With Chemistry – Science Centre Herstmonceux, 13 & 14 April
For a bit of hands-on science fun, visit the Science Centre near Hailsham to experiment with solids, liquids and gases – and see what happens! Visitors will get the chance to conduct their own experiments as well as watch some amazing demonstrations. https://www.the-observatory.org/events/april-2022
Bexhill 100 Motoring Club Bonnet Parade – 17 April
You might be forgiven for thinking this is a celebration of Easter themed hats. However, the Easter Bonnet Parade is also when the Bexhill 100 Motoring Club’s members decorate not just their own bonnet but their cars too for good measure. The club members start to gather about 9am by The Old Bathing Station Hut along Bexhill’s De la Warr Parade and approximately 40 cars participate. A trophy is presented to the ‘best dressed’ car with prizes for the best Easter bonnet (adult and children’s categories). https://www.visit1066country.com/whats-on/bexhill-100-easter-bonnet-parade-p717661
Hastings Veteran, Vintage and Military Vehicles – 24 April
Sticking with the old vehicles theme, this free event promises more than 50 vehicles on display at the Stade in Hastings. The vehicles will be arriving between 11.00am and 12.30pm, having completed a road run from Sevenoaks with their final lap along the seafront from St Leonards. The event is in commemoration of the very first time a body of troops (600 Guardsmen) were transported on exercise in motor vehicles. This took place on the 17th March 1909, when the troops were moved from London to Hastings in motor cars provided and driven by members of the AA. https://www.visit1066country.com/whats-on/veteran-vintage-and-military-vehicles-display-p1982071
Free fun – on two wheels
If none of the organised events takes your fancy don’t forget we’ve got miles and miles of wonderful footpaths and countryside to explore on foot or on bike. If you’re brushing off the winter dust from your two wheels try the Cuckoo Trail from Heathfield to Polegate. This 14-mile surfaced path through the countryside is mostly traffic free and is a safe route for walkers and cyclists of all ages, forming part of the National Cycle Network – route 21. It’s an old railway line, so relatively flat, and you might even hear cuckoo. https://new.eastsussex.gov.uk/leisure-tourism/countryside-sites/cuckoo-trail
Free fun – on foot
We are spoilt for choice for places to walk, but have you checked out the recently refurbished 1066 Country Walk which winds its way from Pevensey to Rye? New signage, information boards, seating and some amazing new wooden sculptures created by local artist Keith Pettit now feature on the route. https://www.visit1066country.com/things-to-do/1066-country-walk-p881061
Whatever events you’re attending, wherever you plan exploring, we at Your East Sussex hope everyone has a wonderful April in this very “eggs-ceptional” county of ours!