It may still be rather chilly, but here is lots to enjoy in East Sussex, inside and out, over the upcoming February half term!
The Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare near Ringmer are running family learning days on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of half term week. Children can complete a Paw-fect Match trail, plus there will be animal talks, film show and crafts. Entry is free but it is essential to book a ticket.
Blow away the cobwebs
In East Sussex we are blessed with some spectacular beaches, fabulous countryside walks and world-famous beauty spots. Wrap up warm and enjoy a picnic!
Why not follow in the footstep of Winnie the Pooh and friends and stomp across the wilds of the Ashdown Forest? If you look closely, you can still find the places that inspired A.A Milne’s magical characters.
Or you can follow the meandering River Cuckmere along the valley floor all the way to the sea. The Easy Access Trail (approximately 4km return) at Seven Sisters Country Park is suitable for pushchairs and it’s great for walking or cycling.
For beach fun whatever the weather, why not visit the stunning white sands at Camber, or collect stones and shells and investigate the rock pools on the shingle beaches at Eastbourne, Hastings and Bexhill.
Love your library!
You’ll find more than just books on offer at your local library during half term. As well as the regular Rhymetime and Storytime sessions, Tech Resort will be running digital workshops including virtual reality Minecraft at Peacehaven and Heathfield libraries, 3D design and print sessions at Hampden Park and Lego Robots in Crowborough. Events are free but booking may be required.
Throughout half term at Sheffield Park and Gardens you can walk in the footsteps of Nellie Soames, the pioneering former owner of the country estate near Uckfield, as she sets out on her great Victorian Arctic Adventure. Follow the trail around the gardens and spot the characters and glistening ice landscapes Nellie encountered on her remarkable visit. The trail is free but normal garden admission applies.
Steam and skates
Who said you can’t mix fire and ice? Head to the Bluebell Railway this half term where you can skate in the locomotive shed before enjoying a ride on one of the heritage steam trains. As well as ice skating, the Railway is running its popular ‘Kids for a Quid’ travel offer between 11 and 19 February, with any child (3-15yrs) travelling for £1 when accompanied by a full fare-paying adult.
Medieval storytellers and characters from the past will transport visitors back in time at Battle Abbey with historical hijinks and hands-on shenanigans along with tales of knights, castles and monasteries.
A range of fun activities is on offer at Lewes Castle, including creative sessions, an activity trail, games and dressing-up. On Saturday, February 18 visitors can take part in Soldiers at the Castle, with an opportunity to meet and talk to reenactors about the weapons and armour of the Tudor period.
The half term activities at both Battle Abbey and Lewes Castle are suitable for all ages and are included in the general admission price.
Museum Mystery Trail
Go undercover and test your detective skills at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery as part of the national Montgomery Bonbon: Museum Mystery Trail, organised by Kids in Museums and Walker Books. Grab an activity sheet and solve puzzles plus there’s a free moustache bookmark to get kids in the mystery-solving mindset! Entrance to the museum is free with free parking available in the grounds too.
Happy half term! Please do share your tips for the best family days out. We’d love to know what we’ve missed.