The South Downs National Park is filled with the natural beauty of rolling green hills and distant sea views. Families of all ages could explore and ramble over this historic landscape for hours but should you fancy something a bit more structured for the kids we’ve got nine ideas to keep them busy.
Visit a working windmill
You’ll find many traditional wooden windmills dotted over the South Downs. Some of them have been refurbished and still make flour. Jill Mill in Clayton holds open days throughout the summer months so you can take your kids and show them how flour is made! On your way out be sure to buy some freshly ground flour for baking with the kids at home.
Let’s go fly a kite
Up to the highest height!
Let’s go fly a kite and send it soaring
Up through the atmosphere
Up where the air is clear
Oh, let’s go fly a kite! 🎶
On the windy hilltops of the South Downs what could be better than flying a kite?!
Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre
Nestled in the South Downs National Park, the Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre is dedicated to the industrial heritage of the South East. Visitors can enjoy a narrow-gauge railway and bus service (complete with free rides around the grounds), exhibits about telecommunications and electricity, and a printing workshop.
Bignor Roman Villa
If your children are learning about the Romans at school (or even if they’ve not got to them yet) they’ll be fascinated by a visit to the Roman villa in Bignor. This grand villa was rediscovered in 1811 and is one of the largest known Roman homes in the UK, it has spectacular mosaics, an intricate heating system and various finds from excavations on show.
This place has almost endless entertainment for kids including a zoo with penguins and meerkats, water play, soft play, rides and mazes. Different areas of the park are themed and include Lemur Land and Hello Kitty Secret Garden. You’ll need a day to explore the whole park and you could happily come back time and time again.
The world famous opera house is surrounded by stunning countryside that has to be seen to be believed. Your older children will enjoy the occasion of dressing up and going for a picnic before watching professional opera being performed. Keep your eyes peeled for tickets going on sale as they often sell out quickly.
Your little darlings are bound to enjoy a day at Marwell Zoo, it has hundreds of animals including giraffes, tigers & penguins! The site is a whopping 140 acres and also has a train and five adventure playgrounds. There are daily talks and animal feeds as well as cafés and a gift shop.
Tucked away on a hillside in the heart of the Surrey Hills AONB, Winkworth’s wild woodland is the perfect spot for a refreshing walk. It has a mixture of level walkways and challenging hills, so there’s a route for everyone. Dogs on leads are welcome plus a disabled car park at the bottom of the Arboretum provides access to the meadow and lakeside walk. There are always lots of seasonal activities on offer such as the Cadbury’s Easter Egg hunt.
South Downs Light Railway
Since 2000 this shrunken steam railway has taken thousands of passengers on a gentle one mile trip around Pulborough Garden Centre and out into the countryside. Steam trains run every weekend and Bank Holiday from March to September and also on Wednesdays in school holidays. Special events are held during throughout the year, especially in December when Santa pops up in his special grotto reached by catching the train to North Pole Station.