West Sussex is one of the South’s most diverse counties, sprawling across the coast and South Downs National Park, encompassing hills, harbours, farmland and market towns. Whether you’re looking for adventure or educational visits, there’s certainly no shortage of things to do with the whole family. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Nature and wildlife
Take on a nature trail or guided walk at Pulborough Brooks, a beautiful nature reserve with leisure activities to suit all ages. Learn more about the wildlife surrounding you from the knowledgeable guides, hire out some binoculars to explore the wetland trail and picnic in the Wildlife Explorer Meadow.
Experience a real wildlife safari and encounter herds of wild deer, cattle, ponies and pigs with Knepp Safaris. Hop in one of the open-sided safari vehicles and roam the 3,500 acres just south of Horsham, stopping to explore hotspots of wildlife and enjoy tea and cake in a beautiful setting. Please note this isn’t suitable for children under 12 but there are plenty of other options for smaller children.
Get up close and walk alongside friendly and curious alpacas on a woodland track. An unforgettable experience for all the family, Dunreyth Alpacas in Funtington will teach you more about interacting with and respecting animals. Watch the fleecing process to see how unique garments are made.
Adventure and outdoors
The South Downs Way is a trail that spans the entire length of the South Downs National Park so, no matter where you are in West Sussex, it’s a fantastic opportunity to discover ancient trackways and Roman villas, visit country pubs and farmer’s markets, and relish the natural beauty of the British countryside. The South Downs Way can be explored in sections and suggested routes can be found by visiting the National Trail website.
There is something for people of all activity levels at Chichester Watersports, including an inflatable water park, banana boats and introductory sessions to stand up paddle boarding (SUP). With a large indoor dining area and outside decking, you can enjoy lunch whilst looking out across the freshwater lake.
If you’re a family that likes a challenge, visit the Go Ape adventure park in Crawley and navigate the obstacles of the Tree Top Junior trail. Suitable for all ages, with a play area and walking routes also on site, you’ll be sure to make a day of fun-filled adventure.
Heritage and culture
Immerse the family in an educational visit to the Weald and Downland Living Museum and experience rural living from more than 1000 years ago. The 40-acre site houses more than 50 buildings with regular craft demonstrations and live events, such as medieval tournaments and working animal shows.
The restored medieval Arundel Castle and its grounds offer a glimpse of life from the 11th century right up until its restoration in 1900. Check out the events calendar before your visit for living history events, with interactive craft activities and historical characters.
Find more inspiration to help you plan your West Sussex experience including events coming up, quirky experiences and weekend itineraries.