What’s on in Sussex

There are hundreds of events on across the UK each month at great locations from stately houses to beautiful gardens and public areas. Here are just a few that we recommend:


2 December 2009
Guided Tour: Petworth Servants’ Living Quarters
Petworth House & Park, West Sussex
A rare chance to see where the servants at Petworth actually lived, from the visiting servants of guests to the residential staff of this palatial House. See the wonderful surviving wallpapers and the surprisingly magnificent views across the park. Learn about the hierarchy and rules that governed their lives. These areas are not normally shown to the public, visitors should be aware that there are several sets of stairs to climb.

Opening times: 11am – 1.30pm
Admission Prices: all tickets £22.50, includes coffee on arrival, lecture and two course lunch.
Tel: +44 (0) 871 527 1886 (booking essential)

December 2009 (5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 & 23)
Christmas Garden Trail
Bateman’s, East Sussex
Follow the clues through the garden that lead to a Christmas prize! Free admission to Garden, Shop and Tearoom.

Opening times: 11am – 4pm
Admission Prices: all tickets £2
Tel: +44 (0) 1435 882302

11 December 2009
Wreath Making Workshops
Nymans Gardens, West Sussex
Drop in event at the new Potting Shed Learning Room: make a beautiful winter wreath to take home for Christmas.

Opening times: 11am – 2pm
Admission Prices: all tickets £10
Tel: +44 (0) 1444 405250

12 December 2009
Bayleaf Brass Afternoon Family Christmas Concert
Petworth House & Park, West Sussex
Bayleaf Brass is a youth brass quintet from Sussex, and all five members study at the Junior Guildhall School of Music. They will perform a festive repertoire of music in the North Gallery including some carols for everyone to join in with, and guests will be offered a complimentary drink during the interval. Meet in the Audit Room Restaurant. Please note the North Gallery can be chilly so dress warmly.

Opening times: 2 – 4pm
Admission Prices: Adults £15, Children £8
Tel: 0844 249 1895 (booking essential)

12 & 19 December 2009
The Castle at Dusk
Bodiam Castle, East Sussex
On two Saturday evenings the Castle stays open late and comes alive with festive music and twinkling lights to add even more magic to this special time of year. You can enjoy complimentary refreshments before visiting Father Christmas and the Snow Queen.

Opening times: 10 – 7pm
Admission Prices: all tickets £6, parking £2 for cars
Tel: 01580 830196 then press ‘0’ to come through to the Office (booking advisable)

16 December 2009
Courtyard Carols
Standen, West Sussex
Sing along with the East Grinstead Choral Society as they perform in the Courtyard at Standen. Also enjoy their music as they sing while you walk around the decorated ground floor rooms. Mulled wine and mince pies will keep you warm outside. Meet in the Audit Room Restaurant. Please note this is an outdoor event so please dress warmly. The House will be open to visit preceding the performance in the Courtyard.

Opening times: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Admission Prices: Adults £8.50, Children £4.50
Tel: 01342 323029 (booking essential)

4 January 2010
New Year Walk
Bateman’s, East Sussex
Help the Warden burn off the excesses of the festive season with an energetic walk around the beautiful countryside that surrounds Bateman’s. Walk 1½ -2hrs. Please wear walking boots/shoes or wellies & suitable clothing. Meet at the ticket office in the car park. Assistance dogs only.

Opening times: 10.30am – 12pm
Admission Prices: £5
Tel: 01435 882302 (booking essential)

10 January 2010
Wolstonbury in winter
Devil’s Dyke, West Sussex
Explore the woods of Wolstonbury Hill, where ancient beech trees, yews and box cling to the slopes. Enjoy the mix of the new and old that followed the great storm and fine views higher up the hill. Meet at the Jack & Jill pub, Clayton on the A273. Dogs on leads welcome and please wear stout footwear.

Opening times: 2 – 4pm
Admission Prices: all tickets £3

12 January 2010
Lunch Lecture: The Great Polar Explorers – Patrick Coulcher
Nymans Garden, West Sussex
Patrick delves into the lives and Antarctic adventures of Sir Ernest Shackleton and Captain Robert Scott, with early photographs of Shackleton’s great expeditions from 1902 to 1915. Meet in the Visitor Reception.

Opening times: 11am – 3pm
Admission Prices: all tickets £25 includes coffee on arrival and two course lunch
Tel: 0844 249 1895 (booking essential)

8 February 2010
Lunch Lecture: The Capable Mr. Brown – Russell Bowes
Nymans Garden, West Sussex
Garden historian Russell Bowes takes a look at the life and career of Lancelot “Capability” Brown – a man who changed the face of England forever. Born into poverty and obscurity, he became renowned across the world as the father of the English landscape garden movement.

Opening times: 11am – 3pm
Admission Prices: all tickets £25 includes coffee on arrival and two course lunch
Tel: 0844 249 1895 (booking essential)

21 February 2010
Family Workshops: Spring Bird Box Making
Nymans Garden, West Sussex
Fill your garden with the sound of new-born birds by making a bird box with the Nymans Garden Woods team to take home for Spring. Meet in the Visitor Reception

Opening times: 11am – 12.30pm
Admission Prices: all tickets £5
Tel: 01444 405250 (booking essential)

28 February 2010
Winter River Walk for World Wetlands Day
Cuckmere Valley, East Sussex
A rare opportunity to discover an ancient downland farm and its surroundings. Saddlescombe Farm has seen over 1000 years of history and still retains many of its old buildings, including the donkey well and 17th century barn. The surrounding downland holds even greater allure with over 2000 years of stories to tell. Meet at The Royal Oak Pub in Poynings. Dogs on leads are welcome.

Opening times: 2 – 4.30pm
Admission Prices: all tickets £3
Tel: 01273 587712

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