Thanks to the easing of lock-down restrictions life is slowing being breathed back into our local leisure and outdoor pursuits businesses. If you’re like me as well as itching to get back outdoors you’ll also be eager to know which facilities are now open and what changes have been put in place to ensure our safety. I’ve put together a selection of just a few places you can head to to get your fix of family adventure across Sussex and Kent. Please make sure you get in touch directly with venues before visiting as capacity has been reduced at most places due to social distancing.
Where? Northiam, East Sussex
Opening when? Open now. Bodiam Boating was one of the first to re-open at the end of May.
What can you do there? Bodiam Boating offers a range of activities based on the beautiful River Rother. You can hire a vessel (Stand up paddle boards, single kayaks £15 / hour or Canadian canoe, tandem kayaks, rowing boats £20 / hour) or pay £5 to launch your own vessel from the jetty. There’s also a campsite and cafe all at the same site.
How have they made it safe? Social distancing (one in one out to reception and cafe area), cleaning time for equipment between each booking, customers need to be able to get in and out of vessels without physical support from staff, take away only from the cafe (you are welcome to eat in their camping field).
Where? Lamberhurst, Kent
Opening when? Now. Bewl Water re-opened in the middle of May.
What can you do there? Bewl is a great place to explore or take a picnic. There are 12.5 miles of walking trails around the reservoir which you can also explore on bike. Bike hire is available although they are asking that customers bring their own helmets. In terms of water sports Bewl would usually offer one day access for SUP’s, kayaks and canoeing – these activities are currently only available to those holding annual membership. There are plans for the Aqua Park and pedalo hire to re-open from July on. The coffee shop is open form 11am with hot and cold drinks available. Toilets are also open. Parking and admission is £5 per vehicle.
How have they made it safe? Play areas are currently closed. One way system and social distancing in cafe area and other inside spaces. Own cycle helmets required. Day access for water sports on hold.
Where? Hove Lagoon, Brighton, Sussex
Opening when? 15th June onwards.
What can you do there? SUP, wakeboarding and windsurfing. Rental and lessons are currently available. Wet-suit hire is available.
How have they made it safe? Changing rooms and toilets are currently closed. Guests need to arrive prepared for their session or able to change outside. All activities need to be pre-booked and paid for online before arrival. The cafe is only open at peak times for takeaway only. Hove Lagoon hope to open more facilities by July so please check their website for most recent updates.
Where? Uckfield, Sussex
Opening when? Planning to re-opening on Saturday July 11th
What can you do there? High ropes, low ropes, giant swing, bounce about and climbing wall. Activities start from age 3 up. Read more here.
How have they made it safe? Reduced number of guests on site at any time, staff may wear protective gear if you need assistance putting on harnesses, you may be asked to wash your hands, contact less payment preferred, bookings online only.
Where? Goudhurst, Kent
Opening when? Now, Bedgebury re-opened in late May.
What can you do there? A number of their usual facilities such as the play areas and Go Ape remain close but walking trails, cycle trails, bike hire and cafe are all open.
How have they made it safe? The car park capacity is limited to allow for social distancing – this has meant that especially at weekends Bedgebury are closing the car park last minute and turning away visitors. It is certainly worth having a plan B in mind before setting off especially if you are travelling a long way. The cafe is operating a takeaway service only. Some toilets are open but they are closed for cleaning at some parts of the day. As mentioned play areas and Go Ape remain closed.
Where? Barcombe, near Lewes, Sussex
Opening when? Always open!
What can you do there? Barcombe Mills is an area on the River Ouse where you can enjoy wild swimming, SUP and kayaking. Please be aware the water is deep and swimming should only be attempted by confident swimmers. We have taken our children (ages 4 and 10) who have enjoyed swimming with inflatables. This is open water on a river – there will be no life guard on duty. Please swim responsibly.
How have they made it safe? Please visit following current social distancing guidelines.
If you would like your family adventure venue to be added to the list please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org