The turkey is eaten, the presents unwrapped, and then we enter the no man’s land that is the six days between Christmas Day and New Year. Slowly we eat our way through mountains of leftover cheese and Christmas pudding and wonder if the bin men will come soon as we slowly lose track of time. With all this in mind, and to help you make the most of your holidays, here are six Sussex things to do between Christmas and New Year, in short, something for each day.
At some point between Christmas and New Year, a full day in front of the TV is probably in order, and that’s absolutely fine. But why not make it a Sussex affair? Watch the 2015 film Mr Holmes which is set at Wickham Manor near Winchelsea. You can also stay at this gorgeous location so you could plan a mini break in East Sussex as you watch. Other films featuring Sussex include Black Narcissus (1947, Leonardslee Gardens), Brighton Rock (1947 and 2010, Brighton), Genevieve (1953, London to Brighton!), The Innocents (1961, Sheffield Park) Quadrophenia (1979, Brighton), Mr Turner (2014, Petworth) and Emma (2020, Firle Place). TV series filmed in the area also include Foyle’s War (in and around Hastings), Mapp & Lucia (Rye), Flesh & Blood (Eastbourne area), and Grace (Brighton). There are plenty more but these should keep you occupied for a day!
Sussex ice skating
After all the over indulgence, it’s time to get active. Head to Eastbourne and the Lightning Fibre Ice Rink, which is outside the Enterprise Centre and Eastbourne Railway Station and is open every day except Christmas Day until the 8th January. Or head to Brighton and the ice rink in front of the Royal Pavilion. Powered by green energy this year and also open until the 8th of January (except Christmas Day). If you’re in West Sussex, head to Worthing and the ice rink in Steyne Gardens. This is open every day (except Christmas Day and Boxing Day) until the 19th of February 2023. Check booking requirements for all before travel.
Sussex winter walks
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a hearty walk and let’s face it, Sussex has superb walks in abundance. One of my favourite walks of this year has to be The Seven Sisters. The walk from Exceat Bridge or Seaford to Birling Gap is tough on the legs but rewards you in spades with stunning views and landscapes. It’s a great one for blowing away the cobwebs and you can always get the bus back (although check it’s running first).
But if you’re looking for other ideas, have a look at these:
Visit a castle or historic house
We have some magnificent castles and historic homes in Sussex, and if you don’t want to while away the hours outside, head to: Rye Castle (The Ypres Tower is open daily throughout the year), Bateman’s (Burwash), Standen House (East Grinstead), Nymans (Haywards Heath), Petworth House, or Lewes Castle.
Pantomimes are taking place all over Sussex. Catch Beauty and The Beast at White Rock Theatre, Hastings (from 15-31 December 2022), Cinderella at The Capitol in Horsham (also on until 31th December) or Beauty and the Beast at the Regis Centre in Bognor Regis (until 31th December). And if you really don’t fancy panto, then there is always the theatre instead.
Take a steam train
The Kent & East Sussex Railway (which runs from Tenterden to Northiam and Bodiam) is operating on the 30th and 31st of December with their Steam into the New Year experiences. Nearby Bodiam Castle is also open between Christmas and New Year so it could be fun to combine a visit to both. The Bluebell Railway near Chailey will also be open and they have their Steam Lights event running most days too. You need to book at both venues.
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