Days out with the kids in and around East Sussex

Find something to do with the family throughout the season at our places in and around East Sussex. There's harvest fun in early autumn and new trails inspired by the fiery colours of the countryside to come back and try over half-term. Wild play areas are open throughout, and welly walks and leaf crunching will bring smiles to little faces whatever the weather.

Every time you visit, you help us look after special places for autumns to come.

Front view of Sandham Memorial Chapel, Hampshire

Places in the South East where you need to book 

Some of our places we care for in the South East of England will be opening with guided tours, so you’ll need to pre-book before your visit. These tours will be led by expert volunteers and will show the places in a new light. You may also need to book in advance at some other larger places, where visitor numbers need to be carefully managed for practical reasons.

A view of Bodiam Castle in the autumn sunshine

Bodiam Castle 

There’s so much in store for families this autumn. Little ones will be enchanted by stories of dragons, knights and castles near the mighty oaks and in the castle tower rooms (selected weekends). There’s a medieval armour display to capture the imagination of kids of all ages in Castle Courtyard, with experts on hand to bring everything from bucklers and basinets to life (selected dates). The wider countryside has beautiful walks or if it's wet, explore the grounds on a welly walk. Come back later in the season for a spooky, sensory trail all about Bodiam’s bats (23 Oct to 28 Nov, £2 per trail). Activities subject to change. Check website before visiting.

Mellow autumn sunshine shines on Rudyard Kipling's family home of Bateman's in East Sussex


Spot autumn crops grown in the garden through the season – from plums and pumpkins, to gourds and squash. Venture inside Park Mill to learn more about the history of this working mill. The natural play area will be open for families, watched stoically by oak, ash and thorn trees. Spot the lyrics from 'The Tree Song' on the sculpture in the play area, entwined with motifs of the leaves of these trees. Discover hidden treasures from the Kipling family home, as part of a new display in the Exhibition Room at Bateman’s.

Autumn colour at Sissinghurst Castle Garden

Sissinghurst Castle Garden 

Experience life as a Junior Garden on a trail criss-crossing the garden rooms, vegetable gardens, woodlands and lakes. Stop by the vegetable garden to learn more about how food journeys from plot to plate, and the secrets of veg growing from our friendly team.

Down by the boathouse at Scotney Castle, Kent

Scotney Castle 

The natural play area is surrounded by trees turning autumnal gold, and there's den building in the wilderness camp too. In the house, spot toys and games played with by the Hussey children through the decades. Later in the season, there'll be two tremendous family trails to tackle. One will be a welly wander through the woods and the other a journey through the garden.