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Sussex

Sussex is a place of beautiful coastline, gardens, literary greats, rolling South Downs, vast art collections and a castle. Discover what to see and do and plan a day out to remember.

Places to visit

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Top places to visit in Sussex

Forecourt Garden in full summer at Nymans
Place
Place

Nymans 

A garden lovers' home for all seasons, with an extensive yet intimate garden set around a romantic house and ruins.

near Haywards Heath, West Sussex

Fully open today
A view of the lake in summer at Sheffield Park, East Sussex. The lake is covered with lily pads and surrounded by mature trees in full leaf, with bright blue skies above. On the lake is a small boat with some voluneeers in completing maintenance work.
Place
Place

Sheffield Park and Garden 

Acres of Grade I listed landscaped garden and lakes, surrounded by historic parkland and woodland

Uckfield, East Sussex

Fully open today
View across the Upper Pond to the West Front of the house at Petworth House and Park, West Sussex
Place
Place

Petworth 

A magnificent 17th-century house displaying one of the finest art collections in the care of the National Trust, nestled in a 700-acre deer park

Petworth, West Sussex

Fully open today
Performers in medieval costume and armour in front of Bodiam Castle
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Place

Bodiam Castle 

Archetypal 14th century moated castle with ruined interior - a glimpse of medieval splendour

near Robertsbridge, East Sussex

Fully open today
View of the house and garden at Standen, West Sussex
Place
Place

Standen 

Arts and Crafts family home with Morris & Co. interiors, set in a beautiful hillside garden

East Grinstead, West Sussex

Fully open today
A view across the rose garden towards the Bateman's house in summer
Place
Place

Bateman's 

Jacobean house, home of Rudyard Kipling

Burwash, East Sussex

Fully open today
The cliffs in twilight at Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters, East Sussex
Place
Place

Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters 

A popular coastal hub, where the South Downs meet the sea

near Eastbourne, East Sussex

Fully open today
An autumn sunset reflecting golden light on the red bricks of Uppark House
Place
Place

Uppark 

Uppark is currently closed for essential repairs until summer 2025.

Petersfield, West Sussex

Closed now
A tree covered in orange leaves in autumn, with the sun shining through the branches, at Wakehurst, West Sussex
Place
Place

Wakehurst 

Wild botanic garden, managed by Kew and home to the Millennium Seed Bank

Haywards Heath, West Sussex

Fully open today

Summer holidays in Sussex

Looking for a day out in Sussex that’ll keep the whole family entertained? Find the best family-friendly places to visit and discover the fun-filled activities on offer as part of our Summer of Play, sponsored by Starling Bank.

Child drawing on a chalk board at Summer of Play
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Summer of Play at Nymans 

Play your way through the summer holidays. Comber’s field is jam packed full of races, games and active challenges, while the play glade is the perfect shady spot for nature explorers with den building and a woodland cabin to discover. and a woodland cabin to discover. 20 July - 1 September 2024.

Brown bear illustration in front of the giant redwood
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Summer of Play at Sheffield Park and Garden 

Come on an exotic animal hunt in the gorgeous gardens. Spot artist Tom Sears’ giant, colourful illustrations of monkeys, leopards, anteaters and more. Kwik Cricket is back every Wednesday in the holidays, plus stand up paddle boarding on the picturesque lakes and a pop up play area in the stream garden. 20 July to 1 September 2024.

What's on for families in Sussex

Girl looking through binoculars

Family-friendly places to visit in Sussex 

Find a family adventure to spark the imagination in Sussex, including Nymans, Bodiam Castle, Petworth and more. Discover the best natural play areas, summer holiday activities and café stops.

Beaches and coast in Sussex

Discover shifting sands, salt marshes and a vibrant coastal hub on the Sussex coast.

People and dogs on wet sand at the beach, with chalk cliffs behind, at Birling Gap, East Sussex
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Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters 

Discover what to see and do at Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters. Fossil hunt on the beach, walk on the historic downland or enjoy the views as you spot birds.

Two people walking across the sand at East Head in West Sussex with the rough wooden posts of an old groyne in the foreground and the sea sparkling in the distance
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The beach at East Head 

Explore East Head beach. With space to play, scenic walks and interesting wildlife to discover, there's lots to see and do at this popular spot.

Castles in Sussex

Sussex is home to one of the National Trust's top castles.

Visitors walk around in the open-air centre of Bodiam Castle, East Sussex
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Bodiam Castle 

With its full moat, original wooden portcullis, murder holes, spiral staircases and battlements, a visit to Bodiam Castle provides a glimpse back in time to the 14th century. Enough of the interior ruins survive to give an impression of castle life, and on selected dates, look out for tours, talks, armour demonstrations and family trails to find out more about the people who lived and worked here.

Places to stay in Sussex

The exterior of Woodlands Cottage, nr Haywards Heath, Sussex

Woodlands Cottage 

A former game keeper’s house, this classically-styled cottage is surrounded by woodland.

The exterior of The Morris Apartment within Standen House, West Sussex

The Morris Apartment 

A one-bedroom apartment in trademark Arts and Crafts style, on the second floor of Standen House.

Our work

Find out about the conservation, biodiversity, community, wildlife and nature work taking place in Sussex

Project
Project

Changing Chalk partnership 

The South Downs have been a place to live, work and play for thousands of years. Together we can make sure they will be enjoyed for thousands more. Learn how the projects of the Changing Chalk partnership, led by the National Trust, are restoring lost habitats, bringing histories to life, and providing new outdoor experiences across the eastern South Downs, and discover how you can get involved.

Upcoming events

Event

Daily guided tours of the garden 

Nymans, near Haywards Heath, West Sussex

Join a daily guided garden tour led by expert garden guides.

Event summary

on
20 Jun to 31 Dec 2024
at
10:00 to 17:00
+ 194 other dates or times
Event

Lakes & Lilies Festival| From 15 June and throughout the summer 

Sheffield Park and Garden, Uckfield, East Sussex

Sheffield Park & Garden’s picturesque lakes burst with colour during the summer. From jewel-like waterlilies to swathes of wildflowers or explosions of rhododendrons. Lakes & Lilies is a celebration of this with activities for all-ages.

Event summary

on
20 Jun to 1 Sep 2024
at
10:00 to 17:00
+ 73 other dates or times
Event

Petworth Late: Summer Solstice 

Petworth, West Sussex

Enjoy the summer solstice in the Pleasure Garden at Petworth.

Event summary

on
20 Jun 2024
at
19:00 to 22:00
Event

The Tiger Who Came to Tea 

Nymans, near Haywards Heath, West Sussex

Explore this very special teatime through extracts and illustrations from Judith Kerr’s classic story, The Tiger Who Came to Tea, on a family trail around the garden, produced in partnership with HarperCollins Publishers. Sat 4 May - Sun 14 Jul.

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on
21 Jun to 14 Jul 2024
at
10:00 to 16:30
+ 23 other dates or times
Event

Of earth and air 

Standen House and Garden, East Grinstead, West Sussex

Fri 17 May - Mon 1 Jul: 10am - 4.30pm. An exhibition of bird and flower inspired metal sculptures by Surrey based artist Alison Catchlove.

Event summary

on
21 Jun to 1 Jul 2024
at
10:00 to 16:30
+ 10 other dates or times
Event

Friday Lates 

Nymans, near Haywards Heath, West Sussex

Every Fri evening from Fri 21 Jun - Fri 26 Jul we're open until 8.30pm for picnics and live music. Dogs welcome after 4.30pm. Kiosk open. No need to book ahead.

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on
21 Jun to 26 Jul 2024
at
10:00 to 20:30
+ 5 other dates or times
Event

Conserving Kauffman 

Petworth, West Sussex

This summer, we’ll be shining a light on the recent conservation of Angelica Kauffman’s Diomed and Cressida (1788) with a spotlight display.

Event summary

on
21 Jun to 24 Nov 2024
at
10:30 to 16:00
+ 156 other dates or times
Event

Bird Trail 

Alfriston Clergy House, Polegate, East Sussex

Can you find all the birds hiding in the garden?

Event summary

on
21 Jun to 29 Jun 2024
at
10:30 to 16:00
+ 3 other dates or times
Small girl running between conical topiary hedges in the Cherry Garden at Ham House

Where will you visit next?

Discover lots of gardens, historic houses, days out at the coast and more.