If you’re looking for things to do after all the festive fun, don’t worry – there’s lots happening across East Sussex during January. We’ve picked a few of our favourite things to see and do to encourage you out into the January chill!

Gardener Walks & Talks at Sheffield Park and Garden

1, 10, 16 January

Explore the beautiful gardens at Sheffield Park in the company of one of the estate’s gardeners. A perfect opportunity to get out and stretch your legs after Christmas. Enjoy a chilly walk in the crisp cold air, exploring the sights and sounds of the garden during the depths of winter.

Gardener Walks don’t need pre-booking but are on a first come, first served basis.


Weekly Wednesday Wellbeing Walk at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

3, 10, 17 January (and Wednesdays throughout the year)

Enjoy the outdoors with a morning of gentle walking across Rye Harbour Nature Reserve.  This walk is ideal if you’d like to socialise by walking in a group, and want to learn more about Rye Harbour Nature Reserve and improve your wellbeing by spending time outdoors and engaging with nature.

Booking is not required, but suitable footwear and outdoor clothing is essential. This free activity is made possible with the National Lottery Heritage Fund.


Heritage Explorers, Christ Church, St Leonards

6 January (and on the first Saturday of each month)

Is your child interested in history and archaeology? Join the Heritage Explorers for free drop-in family art and craft heritage activities including crafts, colouring and fascinating stories. For more information contact the Heritage Manager – lucybaileyheritage@outlook.com

Heritage Explorers is made possible with the National Lottery Heritage Fund.


Great Dixter House and Gardens – Private Tour of the Lutyens Wing

16 January

Enjoy this exclusive opportunity to see the Lutyens wing of Great Dixter.

The private tour will be led by a Senior Guide and will show you the Lutyens and Lloyd collaboration. During the hour long tour, guides will explain how the Lloyd’s used each room. You will walk from the entrance to the kitchens and servants hall, up to the first floor family bedrooms and into the Yeomans Hall which arrived by horse and cart from Benenden in 1910. The tour is followed by tea and coffee in the Lutyens kitchen – perfect for warming up!


Twelfth Night Tudor Wassail, Michelham Priory House & Gardens

20 January

Experience a magical evening at Michelham Priory of dancing, drumming, fire and feasting to bless the trees and wish them good health for the year ahead.

Bring along a musical instrument, decorate yourself in foliage and feathers and join the torchlit procession to wake the apple trees from their slumber, scare away evil spirits and celebrate winter like the Tudors did.

Join the family-friendly Wassail between 3pm and 5pm, or the adults only evening event from 6pm to 9pm.


Big Garden Birdwatch

26 – 28 January

Big Garden Birdwatch is the world’s largest garden wildlife survey. Every year, hundreds of thousands of nature lovers take part, helping to build a picture of how garden birds are faring. Spend an hour watching the birds in your patch, between 26 and 28 January, and record the birds that land.

Don’t forget to tell the RSPB what you saw (even if that’s nothing at all!). Results can be submitted online or by post.

You can find out more about the count and how to get involved in our article about the 2023 event,  Big Garden Birdwatch 2023: how to take part this weekend – Your East Sussex by East Sussex County Council.


Stargazing at the Beachy Head Story

27 January

Explore the skies with Eastbourne Astronomical Society this winter.

Using the society’s telescopes to explore the craters on the moon, it is also hoped constellations of the night sky will be observable too. A short introductory talk on what might be visible in the night sky will take place during the evening.


This is just a small selection of events happening locally. If you have an event you’d like to share, please let us know in the comments.

Don’t forget there is always something happening in our libraries across East Sussex; discover the January events taking place at your local library.

And if you’re searching for free family activities, look no further look no further than our article Free activities for kids this winter break for inspiration!

Image – Sussex Past