Wednesday 5 February 2020

Low Cost or Free February Half Term Fun in East Sussex

We're only a couple of weeks away from the February half-term and the weather can be unpredictable at this time of the year, so if you're anything like me, you'll be looking for things to do with the kids that will keep them occupied, but won't break the bank.

Check out my round-up of fun activities going on in East Sussex for February 2020 half term -

Scotney Castle, National Trust, Lamberhurst
The National Trust are amazing at catering for primary school aged children and each half-term there seems to be some great activities going on. Scotney Castle has a murder mystery trail this half-term, along with a great outdoor play area and of course the ongoing initiative of ticking off the 50 things to do before you're 11 3/4.

Scotney Castle is a great site as it has the large manor house, which you can explore inside, the old castle ruins, again you can explore inside, massive grounds, a play area and cafe.

Check out my review of Scotney Castle. We are very lucky in East Sussex as there are loads of good NT sites. I've written about Batemans, Bodium Castle, Standon, Sheffield Park, Sissinghurst Gardens and they're all fun to visit, especially if you have membership!

Top Tip: Visit the second hand bookshop where you can always pick up a great book for a donation, and whilst you're there have a look through the binoculars and see if you can spot some birds out the massive windows.

Llama Park, Forest Row

If you like to get up close with animals then the Llama park at Wych Cross, Forest Row is perfect. As well as llamas, there are alpacas, goats, reindeer, sheep, pigs, geese, sucks and chickens too. We loved feeding them all when we visited last time. You can also get a decent meal and a great cup of tea here too.

Check out my review from when we visited over here.

Top Tip: You can bag yourself a great deal on Wowcher at the moment, and until the end of February 2020, it is just £6 for 1 adult and 1 child, so potentially just £12 for all the family.

Bexhill-on-Sea Museum & Egerton Park

The Museum at Bexhill cost just £3 for an adult and £1.50 for a child. You'll find a little bit of everything within the museum, including a new Bexhill in WWII exhibitions, commissioned by Eddie Izzard. Once you've enjoyed your time inside, just around the back of the museum is Egerton park, which is a glorious place to have fun and play. There is a massive play park for both older and younger children, exercise equipment, a boating pond, tennis courts, fields for ball play and it has loads of paths for scooting and skating too. Then finish off your time with some great fish and chips, there are a number of good chip shops in Bexhill.

You can check out posts I have written about visiting Bexhill-on-Sea here, here and here.

Top Tip: On-road parking is all free in Bexhill too, which is a big bonus.

Walk the Cliffs at Seven Sisters, near Eastbourne

The Seven Sisters country park, Cuckmere valley and Birling Gap are an amazing part of our East Sussex coastline. You can explore the beaches, walks the cliffs, follow the meandering river and just generally have some wonderful and free fun in the great outdoors. Remember to stay away from the edge of the cliffs though as they are beautifully white as they are chalk and therefore soft!

You can check out posts I have written about visiting Birling Gap, Seven Sisters and Cuckmere Valley. 

Top Tip: If you're a National Trust member, you can park for free at Birling Gap and walk to the other places. Wear good shoes!

Newhaven Fort

Newhaven Fort closes for the winter and re-opens mid February, so just in time for half-term. It is a great place for all kids but will probably really engage young lads that you find it difficult to engage as it is a very masculine place, where they can get hands on, dress up, experience an air raid, seeing the big guns on the cliff tops, checking out radios and morse code and heading down the deep steps into he dark caponier. The 2020 prices do not seem to be loaded as yet, but the cost for a family of 5 in 2019 was £21.55, so great value.

You can check out my review post from when we visited in 2017.

Top Tip: Drive along the sea front towards Brighton and you'll come across Centenary Park at Peacehaven with a great cafe, two large natural play parks and so much room, you'll feel spoilt or continue on a bit and behind the Saltdean Lido is another super, large play park with exercise equipment too. Combine one of these with the fort for a longer day out without any additional cost.

Battle Abbey

Entrance is free for English Heritage members and to be honest, I think there are better places to go if you need to pay. The Abbey ruins and battlefield are interesting as every child has learnt about the 1066 Battle of Hastings at school. This half term there are outdoor adventures for kids, with bug hunting, story telling, take home crafts and a fun trail to follow, all included in the entrance price.

As well as these special activities there is always the visitor centre with interactive activities and short films and the gatehouse exhibition, which are enjoyable. Smaller children will enjoy the natural play area too and we've always found the cafe to be good.

Check out my review of Battle Abbey over here and also a post about the reenactment of the Battle of 1066, which is always held in October each year.

Top Tip: Make sure you go up to the top of the gatehouse tower for super views and visit Bluebells Tea room opposite the abbey for the best raspberry scones!

Walk at Ashburnham Place

You can enjoy walking Broadwater Lake and play on the grass and fields at Ashburnham Place for free, when you have some refreshments at the Orangery Tea Room. There are plenty of sticks to play with, hills to run and trees to climb on this 220 acre private estate.

You can see some fun photos of me enjoying the grounds with my girls when they were younger.

Top Tip: Check out the children's menu in the tea room for smaller portions and value prices, and go for a cheese scone yourself, they are so good!

I hope you enjoy visiting my recommendations and have a great day out with the family.

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