The Best Family Walks in Sussex for Boxing Day & Beyond

Fast forward to Boxing Day... you've spent the past 24+ hours indoors (with the central heating on full!), consumed a weeks' worth of calories in the same period and waited on relatives hand and foot. With bickering amongst the kids now approaching unprecedented levels, you need to get everyone outdoors and fast!

You know that a brisk walk in the countryside will make everyone feel better both physically and mentally, but you're not sure where to go or how to bring everyone along...? Because the kids are desperate to try out their new scooters, at least one person needs the walk to be wheelchair accessible and the dog needs to burn off the turkey too so pet friendly is a must - and of course nobody knows where to go so its all down to you...!

Don't panic - to save your sanity, we've plucked twelve hand-picked walks to share with family and friends over the festive period. Spread across the counties of East and West Sussex, each tried and tested route has a guide, tips and map to make your excursion hassle-free. Treat yourselves and try something new! Our activities (and our help) are 100% free!

We have far more than just walks too! Use our discovery tool to find lots more free family fun in Sussex. Search by location and filter activities according to your preferences - e.g. pushchair, scooter or bike friendly. Exploring new places has never been easier!

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Happy Christmas!

Alison x

P.S. It's been raining pretty much constantly for several weeks now in Sussex making perfect puddles for pre-schoolers! Watch out for unsurfaced paths which are extremely muddy now - wellies are a must everywhere.

Walks in West Sussex are shown first, followed by those in East Sussex. Walks in each county are presented in no particular order.

Bramber Riverside Walk, Nr. Shoreham, West Sussex

A pretty, flat walk along the banks of the River Adur. The surfaced 'access for all path' makes it suitable for all and the linear route enables you to decide how far you walk. Find out more by clicking here.

Suitable for: Dogs, pushchairs, wheelchairs.

Petworth `deer Park, Petworth, West Sussex

Blow away the cobwebs and let the kids run free, whilst seeing hundreds of fallow deer (honestly) in this stunning 700-acre historic park. There are various routes to follow, with distances to suit every family. Click here to find out more.

Suitable for: Dogs. Recent heavy rainfall has made the grassy rides boggy in places and unsuitable for pushchairs.

Kingley Vale, Nr. Chichester, West Sussex

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! Designated a 'National Nature Reserve' Kingley Vale also has superb chalk grassland with far-reaching views.

​What makes it great for a festive walk?

* Well way-marked nature trail

* Amazing, ancient, gnarly trees

* Option to reduce distance (5.5 km) by doing just the forest part of the trail

Click here to find out more.

Suitable for: Dogs.​

Harting `down, Nr Petersfield, West Sussex

Spectacular views if you're prepared to climb a few hills! Harting Down is a large area of open chalk downland, managed by the National Trust. Choose from 2.7 or 3.5 mile circular routes. Click here to find out more.

Suitable for: Dogs and mountain bikes. The route is not currently suitable for buggies.

West Wittering, Nr. Chichester, West Sussex

Walk along fine golden sand at the best beach in Sussex!

Why it's great for a festive walk:

*The wide beach enables groups of family/friends to walk and talk side by side

*Walk as little or as far as you wish


*A great place for ball games

Click here to find out more.

Suitable for: Dogs

St Leonard's Forest, Horsham, West Sussex

Legend has it that a fearsome dragon was slain here in the 6th century! The forest spans 722 acres. Its mix of deciduous and coniferous woodland and wide paths make for a delightful place for a family walk or cycle. Stick to the surfaced trails, which remain relatively mud-free in winter. Click here to find out more.

Suitable for: Dogs, bikes, pushchairs, wheelchairs

High Weald Circular, Ashdown Forest, East Sussex

The wide grassy rides on this open heathland walk are great for walking and talking with family and friends, whilst the kids run free. Find out more by clicking here.

Suitable for: Dogs

Rye Harbour, Rye, East Sussex

Voted Britain's favourite nature reserve (2016), this flat, wheel-friendly route is great for the whole family. Famous for its bird life, there are five accessible hides along the way and a wide variety of species to spot. Click here to find out more.

Suitable for: Dogs, bikes, scooters, pushchairs, wheelchairs

Hastings Country Park, Hastings, East Sussex

This large nature reserve comprises ancient woodland, heathland, grassland and farmland. However it is the 5 kilometres of dramatic sandstone cliffs and coastline which make this park spectacular! There are two short wheel-friendly paths (0.8 km and 0.6 km each way) and a large network of trails for walkers. Click here to find out more.

Suitable for: Dogs, pushchairs, wheelchairs.

Firle Beacon, Nr Lewes, East Sussex

Standing at 217 m, Firle Beacon commands far-reaching views and is part of the South Downs National Park. Don't worry though, there are no steep hills to climb as the car park is right at the top! Walking on chalk grassland, the path is well-drained and remains relatively mud-free all year. Learn more by clicking here.

Suitable for: Dogs and mountain bikes. Pushchairs not recommended due to recent heavy rainfall.

Arlington Reservoir, Nr Hailsham, East Sussex

A gentle circular walk with great waterside views. Easy peasy to navigate - simply follow the numbered way marks. Click here to find out more.

Suitable for: Dogs, pushchairs, wheelchairs

Seaford Head Reserve, Seaford, East Sussex

Enjoy spectacular views of the Seven Sisters cliffs and Cuckmere valley on this coastal walk. Surely a strong contender for the best walk in Sussex! Click here to find out more.

Suitable for: Dogs

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Covering: East Sussex, West Sussex and Brighton & Hove, UK