May is always a great month, especially in East Sussex. Spring has truly sprung, summer is round the corner, and the better weather brings with it many more community events and opportunities to get out and about. We’ve selected just some of the events happening this month:
Hastings’ traditional Jack in the Green festival is back this May Day bank holiday weekend with four days of festivities. Over the long weekend there will be morris dancing around the town, a traditional ceilidh and the sunrise ceremony to welcome in the dawn of summer on Sunday 1 May. On bank holiday Monday the town turns green. A grand procession leads the giant foliage-covered Jack through the Old Town and up to the West Hill, where he is eventually ‘slain’ and the spirit of summer is released!
If vintage and classic vehicles is more your thing, the biggest free motoring spectacular on the south coast takes place in Eastbourne this weekend. More than 600 vintage and classic cars, motorbikes, buses, steam traction engines, commercial and military vehicles, ranging across a century of motoring will be on show on the Western Lawns on the seafront. The event also features a French market!
On a theatrical theme, there will be a fun, free street theatre festival for people of all ages in Battle and Bexhill. These take place in Battle on 7 May and Bexhill on 28 May.
Spring is a busy time for those with green fingers. But you could take a break from maintaining your own patch to visit this show. Set within the beautiful surroundings of the Herstmonceux Castle Estate, it will showcase nurseries, primarily from Kent and Sussex, including several Chelsea Flower Show winners. The centrepiece of the show is a 400 seater marquee where TV celebrities including Carol Klein will be on hand to answers questions and offer advice. https://gardenersshow.co.uk/
Puddings and Pathways is a show in celebration of the regenerated 1066 Country Walk. Circo Rum Baba will be performing their show ‘1066, What Women?’ a light-hearted look at the forgotten females of 1066 told in three scenes at three venues along the 1066 Country Walk. Go on foot (4.3km one way) carshare, or train to Winchelsea station (1.6km walk from the station). Watch all three or just pop in to see one!
11am- Scene 1 at St Thomas the Martyr Churchyard in Winchelsea
12pm- Scene 2 at Wickham Manor Farm & Vineyard
1.45pm- Scene 3 at The Queens Head in Icklesham
Please visit the website to register.
For those of you more interested in history, Lewes is definitely the place to be. The country’s only full contact battle re-enactment will take place through the streets of the town. These will take place at various points on the High Street from The Gallops to Lewes Castle. Then at Lewes Priory you’ll be able to witness the final surrender of Henry III to Simon de Montfort. This free event incorporates the Battle of Lewes re-enactment, medieval traders, historical displays and demonstrations, and a full medieval camp. This will include displays, entertainment, food and drink and activities at the Convent Field and the Priory. The event commemorates the anniversary of the Battle of Lewes, one of the most decisive battles of the 13th Century.
This is the second in a series of markets at Bridge Cottage and takes place between 9.30am and 2.30pm. Stalls will cover a range of arts and crafts, food, photography and antique goods – including vintage clothing.
Steam and model railway enthusiasts are in for a treat at this event. As well as model layouts and displays to enjoy, visitors will also be able to check out the ever-developing, full-size heritage railway station and see the Rother Valley Railway’s progress in extending to Bodiam and the Kent & East Sussex Railway. www.rvr.org.uk
May is National Walking Month so the perfect time for Crowborough’s annual traditional boundary walk. Local residents are invited to meet at Goldsmith’s Recreation Ground at 9am to complete a walk around the boundary of the town. Historically known as ‘beating the bounds’. The walk is approximately 10 miles over a mixture of pavement and fields.
There are public events throughout May at the Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. Some of these have admission costs and should be booked in advanced. However, the free events include “Walk With a Warden” (8 May, 10am to 1pm) during which visitors will be able to find out from an expert guide what May brings to Rye Harbour, with flowering grassland and shingle plants, insects galore and breeding birds on the reserve to observe. And if you’re interested in learning how to identify the wetland birds there’s another free event “Guide in a Hide” (15 May, 10am to 4pm)
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