20+ Ideas for October Half Term!

Half term is nearly upon us - but things are a little different!! With fewer indoor activities and events available you might be wondering - 'What on earth am I going to do with the kids'??

Don't panic! We've over 20 inspirational ideas for you, all located in Sussex. All are free and no need to book! Our family guides make visiting new places hassle-free!

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Published 17th October 2020

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Rye Harbour (Rye Village) - absolute scooting paradise! Voted Britain’s favourite nature reserve (2016), Rye Harbour is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a truly wonderful place to visit as a family. The 3.4 km wheel-friendly circular route passes accessible bird hides, World War II Pillboxes (designed to house machine guns) and the beach. Watch the fishing boats come into the harbour, skim stones or comb the beach for natural ‘treasures’.

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Hastings Country Park (Hastings) - this 853-acre nature reserve comprises ancient woodland, heathland, grassland and farmland; but it's the 5 km of dramatic sandstone cliffs and coastline which make this park spectacular! There are two ‘Access for All’ paths (0.8 km and 0.6 km each way) which are suitable for wheelchairs/pushchairs, whilst those travelling on foot can choose a route from the large network of paths and trails.

 
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Alexandra Park (Hastings) - spanning 2.8 km end to end, this enormous yet beautiful Victorian park includes some unusual features. At the northern end, several water reservoirs make a great backdrop for a family walk, scoot or cycle on the network of super smooth paths. The lower park contains all the features you would traditionally expect of a large park.

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Highwoods (Bexhill) - There are four, short, well way marked routes to choose from in this lovely woodland - 0.4 mile wheelchair friendly (green), 0.9 mile (red), 1.1 mile (blue) and 1.3 mile (white). Paradise for tree-climbing kids and there are some great rope swings too!

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Arlington Reservoir (near Hailsham) - A gentle 1.75 km circular waterside walk. Pushchair/wheelchair friendly. Dogs welcome, but must be kept on leads.

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Seven Sisters Country Park (Exceat, Near Seaford) - follow the concrete track alongside the meandering river Cuckmere. Great for families as the path is suitable for scooting, walking, cycling and pushing!

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Friston Forest (Adjacent to Seven Sisters Country Park) - Explore this beautiful beech woodland on one of two walking trails (1.2 or 2.5 km) or on the family cycle trail (approx. 1 hour). There’s also a challenging Mountain Bike Trail, perfect for teenage enthusiasts! 

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Long Man of Wilmington (between Eastbourne + Lewes) - Set in the beautiful chalk hills of the South Downs National Park, children will enjoy getting up close to the imposing chalk figure - the tallest in the UK! Choose from 1.5 or 3.8 km routes.

Ashdown Forest (near Crowborough) - lies at the heart of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is famous for being the fictional home of Winnie-the-Pooh! Here are three top suggestions for family walks:

Ashdown Forest Loop - 3 km way-marked walk

Pooh Bridge - Choose from 1.6 km wheel-friendly woodland path or 5.6 km cross-country route

High Weald Circular - 3.2 km circular, open heathland walk

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RSPB Broadwater Warren (near Crowborough) - Set in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the reserve is roughly half heathland and half woodland. Families have the choice of two stunning trails here - the 1.5 mile Nature Trail (white way marks), or the longer Heathland and Woodland Trail (3 miles; green way marks). The trails do become muddy in places at this time of year - boots are recommended.

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Birchen Wood (Groombridge) - the 1.5 km surfaced ‘easy access’ trail through the beech woodland is wheel-friendly and therefore a good option for a walk during the wetter Autumn/Winter months. Those travelling on foot can take a way-marked detour from the trail to marvel at spectacular Harrison’s Rocks - a huge sandstone outcrop formed around 135 million years ago! A big car park and good toilet facilities make these woods a very family-friendly destination.

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Firle Beacon (near Lewes) - forming part of the South Downs Way, this is a great walk for families! Whilst the route is undulating, no steep hills are involved, as the car park (free) is right at the top of the Downs! The chalk grassland is also well-drained and remains relatively mud-free year round. The suggested linear route to the Beacon is 1.75 km each way, but you can walk as little or as far as you wish.

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Devil’s Dyke (near Brighton) - Wow what a view! The Dyke is the longest, widest and deepest dry valley in the UK! Choose one of three walks to suit you and your family - simply follow the coloured arrows! All walks begin from the car park beside the pub.

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Ardingly Reservoir (near Haywards Heath) - perfect for pushchairs, this flat walk offers spectacular views across the water. The linear route is well signposted (just follow the Kingfishers!) - walk to the causeway and back (3 km) or just as far as you wish! 

 
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Buchan Country Park (Crawley) - 70 acres of beautiful countryside surrounding a huge lake! A popular destination for families, the network of hard-surfaced paths ensures easy walking, cycling and pushing in all weather conditions. There’s even a dedicated ‘dog dip’ area of the lake where dogs can enjoy a swim

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Worth Park (Crawley) - Originally the garden of a grand mansion, this ‘hidden’ 40 acre park still retains many Victorian features - including stunning formal gardens, Italian terrace and fountain. Follow the lakeside trail to feed the ducks and spot big fish and continue into adjacent Grattons Park to discover the playground, extensive playing fields and wild nature area.

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Cissbury Ring (Worthing) - Climb up to the site of the largest Iron Age hill fort in Sussex!  The steep, 20 minute walk uphill is rewarded with stunning 360 degree views as you walk around the ramparts (just under 2 km). What a great place to run off some energy and to admire the free-roaming ponies! 

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Swanbourne Lake (Arundel) - This beautiful lakeside circular walk (1.75 km) is great for a family walk. Children will love feeding the ducks (seed can be purchased from the ice cream kiosk) and spotting fish in the crystal clear water. Those wanting a longer walk can extend their outing on public footpaths through Arundel Park’s 1,200 acres of open downland.  

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Petworth Deer Park (Petworth) - Stunning 700-acre historic park where you are guaranteed to see hundreds of fallow deer (honestly)! There are various routes to choose from, but whether you’re planning a short stroll or longer day out, be sure to include a visit to the Upper Pond for find views of Petworth House!

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Kingley Vale (near Chichester) - Home to a forest of twisted and ancient yew trees, including several that are over 500 years old and one with a trunk that is more than five metres wide! The 5.5 km circular Nature Trail takes in the best of the forest and leads you up to chalk grassland with outstanding far-reaching views. Or stick to the forest loop for a shorter walk. 

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