The summer holidays are well and truly upon us and for those with children to entertain the pressure is on. Luckily, Sussex is blessed with some amazing historical places which provide the perfect combination of fun but educational things to do with the kids. The Sussex Archaeological Society has a busy calendar of events over the school holidays with something different for every day of the week at its historic Sussex Past properties across the county.
Medieval Monday and Tudor Tuesday in Lewes
On Medieval Mondays at Lewes Castle & Museum in East Sussex, children can dress up in armour, battle dragons and take part in games and crafts at the impressive Norman castle every week from 11 am to 1 pm, with additional archaeology-themed activities every Thursday. No booking is required and all activities are included in the cost of admission, so families can make the most of visiting – from panoramic views at the top of the castle to the diverse collection of artefacts in the adjoining Museum of Sussex Archaeology. Admission starts at £8 for an adult and £4 for a student or child.
Down the hill at the intimate Anne of Cleves House, activities on Tudor Tuesdays include spinning, sewing, drawing, crafts and games in the property’s Tudor Garden between 1 pm and 4 pm. Activities are included in the cost of admission, which starts at £6 for an adult and £3.50 for a student or child. For those who want to make a day of visiting both Lewes Castle & Museum and Anne of Cleves House, which are a ten-minute walk apart, combined tickets are available, priced at £13.50 for an adult and £7.50 for a child.
The Chichester Romans
Just a short walk or cycle from Chichester city centre in West Sussex, visitors to Fishbourne Roman Palace can explore the magnificent mosaics at the largest Roman home north of the Alps and join in with fun Roman-themed activities every Thursday. Admission is £12 for an adult and £6 for a child.
Over the weekend of 30 – 31 July, soldiers of the Ermine Street Guard will be setting up camp and giving thrilling displays in the Palace’s formal garden, providing live demonstrations of how the Roman Army prepared for combat. Pre-booking tickets online is recommended for this popular event, with prices starting at £15 for adults and £8 for a child.
Nature at crafts at Michelham Priory
At Michelham Priory House & Gardens in East Sussex, visitors can get close to nature and explore the abundant gardens, enjoy a picnic on the lawns and take part in family drop-in sessions every Wednesday, with activities on a different theme every week, from pre-history to wildlife. Activities are included in admission to the historic house, which dates from 1229 and is set within a stunning island, surrounded by the largest medieval moat in the country. Parking is free and the site has a revamped children’s play area, with a range of homemade cakes and local produce available at the café.
From Friday 29 to Sunday 31 July, the grounds will be transformed as craftspeople from the Sussex Guild return to show off their wares at the Contemporary Craft Fair. Entry is included in admission, with tickets available on the door only during that weekend.
You can find out more about all the above attractions at: https://sussexpast.co.uk/
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