After relocating from Croydon to Lindfield a year ago, we’re still finding our way around and discovering the area. Barry was actually born in Cuckfield so it’s funny how we’ve found ourselves back here. It feels so good to be out of London and back in the countryside where we can bring our children up surrounded by lots of space and nature.
There are some lovely shops and restaurants in Lindfield. The Stand Up Inn serves a mean Thai and The Bent Arms Pub is where you’ll find all the locals, but they’re a friendly bunch and very welcoming to visitors. Field and Forrest serves good coffee and the freshly baked bread at Humphrey’s Bakery in the village is worth the move from London alone.
The National Trust-owned gardens and properties are a big draw for us. They always have family-friendly events running throughout the year and cater for young children really well. Borde Hill Gardens near Haywards Heath are a bit of a hidden West Sussex gem that not many people seem to know about – the Italian Garden is our favourite spot. It’s a lovely quiet place to watch the world go by and has a pretty lily pool right in the middle.
Sussex Wildlife Trust is also a fantastic local charity that helps protect wildlife in Sussex. We also love Woods Mill near Steyning, just off the A283 near Shoreham-by-Sea. They run Nature Tots, a Forest School programme for pre-school children that teaches them more about nature, woodland crafts and skills. It’s brilliant fun and the kids get to explore their natural surroundings, learn about different species in the wild, discover minibeasts, plants and flowers and listen to nature-based stories. Our advice for people visiting the area? Stay away, we want to keep this place a secret!