Pubs, restaurants, cinemas and an ever increasing list of public spaces are becoming no-go zones in the wake of the Corona-Virus pandemic. If, like me this leaves you scratching your head and starting to panic as to where exactly can we go you’ll be relieved to hear that (for the time being) there are a number of pretty cool places right on our doorstep. I’ve put together a list of a few of my favourite spots around East Sussex all of which offer space, escape and stimulation for the whole family. I know it can be hard to see the positives right now but this is one of the best times of year to get outside an explore. Let’s make the most of being outdoors and embrace the opportunity to explore alternative ways to spend family time together:
There are good walking trails right along the River Cuckmere that children can scoot or cycle along and are even accessible for wheelchairs. As the area is a flood plain it is often very wet so I highly recommend taking wellies. You can park at the main car park for around £3 and walk right along the trail to the beach. The beach itself is rugged and wild with driftwood and historic Pill boxes to explore. Set between the famous Coastguard Cottages and the first of the Seven Sisters the scenery here will take your breath away.
Not only is the Ashdown Forest home to an actual literary legend it’s also the largest public space in south east England. Explore the miles of open heathland and ancient forests whilst retracing the steps of Winnie the Pooh and his friends. A couple of our favourite spots are the walk to Pooh Sticks Bridge which has its own car park at Chuck Hatch Lane (make sure you look out for the tiny doorways on your walk) and the area around Gills Lap which offers sweeping views across the whole forest.
Black Cap is a National Trust owned area of countryside in the heart of the South Downs. We access the route by driving through Lewes past Offham on the road towards Plumpton. We park in a layby on the road (easy to miss!) and follow the National Trust marked route straight up to the summit. This is a steady climb but short enough that even our 4 year old can easily manage it. The route offers incredible views all the way up with plenty of gulleys and banks to explore and distract little walkers.
Miles of sandy beaches, an expanse of sand dunes for the children to explore and shallow waters when the tide is low. Camber Sands can offer the perfect beach day year round. Wrap up warm even on sunnier spring days as the wind can be very fresh. On warmer days prepare to spend the whole day pitched in one of the sheltered sand dunes. If you’ve got time check out the walk at Rye Harbour where little ones can scoot along whilst watching the boats come in.
Birling Gap is the gateway to the Seven Sisters and a brilliant place to collect fossils. There is plenty of parking at the main Birling Gap National Trust site where you can access the beach via a steep set of steps. It’s worth checking tide times before you go as rock pooling and fossil hunting is always best on a lower tide. If you’re really keen on fossils it’s definitely worth taking a little fossil guide, bucket and spade and even a small chisel to open the rocks.
Have you got a favourite place to escape cabin fever in Sussex or Kent? Please let me know I’d love to check it out for myself and maybe feature it in another regional round up firstname.lastname@example.org