My top five free summer days out near Brighton with kids!

I have two young boys under 6 and they are full of energy.  Getting out the house and into the fresh air on the weekends is really important to us.  We don’t want to spend money every time we leave the house though so frequently we pack our lunch and head off to one of the following destinations!
  1. Raystede – this is an animal welfare centre.  It is free to enter, although they do ask for a donation. There is a cafe and outside picnic benches with a play tractor which we make use of all year round (as pictured above).  There are all kinds of animals there from hamsters to horses – it is a great day out! Watch out for the parrots that can say hello and look out for their summer and Christmas fairs when there are all kinds of things going on.
  2. Roundstone – this is a large pick your own farm with lots of fruit and vegetables.  There is a tractor there which you can get on and off at various points around the farm.  There is no entrance charge and no fee for the tractor.  There is a cafe and a farm shop on the site and on Sundays there is a car boot sale in the car park.  My kids love picking (and eating – shhh don’t tell anyone) the strawberries and the raspberries there and they would be quite happy to sit on the tractor for hours going round and round the farm as well!
  3. Woods Mill – this is part of Sussex Wildlife Trust and is a great woodland nature trail.  At the right times of year you can go pond dipping and bird watching.  There are picnic tables and toilets there, but no cafe.
  4. Ditchling Common – This is another nature trail just past the village of Ditchling.  There are no facilities there other than a few picnic benches.   It is just a nice walk through woods, past a small lake/ large pond and across a field.  
  5. Walking by the river in Shoreham.  We always park in this car park and cross over the bridge to the east side of the river.  It is a nice walk, with some interesting sculptures alongside the Ropetackle Centre. If you keep walking further up there are picnic tables with great views across the river to Shoreham airport.  A perfect place to keep our two little boys entertained while they are eating their lunch.  At the right time of year there are lots of blackberries to be picked and you can cross over the river and walk all the way back to the car park via a playground (although watch out the path back is pretty narrow)!  There are car boots sales held in that car park sometimes though, so occasionally we get so sidetracked by that we don’t get round to doing a river walk!
We do drive to all these places and they all have car parks.  I’m not sure how easy they would be to get to on a bus from the Brighton area, but if you find out please let me know!  
One final tip –  my favourite website for finding out what’s on for kids in Brighton is Child friendly Brighton. The calendar section is brilliant and has helped me find out about free events in the area that I otherwise wouldn’t have known about.
Which places do you take the kids for free in the Brighton area – I’m always looking for new adventures with mine!
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  1. Zoe

    I should have just put days out – as these outings are good on winter days too – just wrap up warm!

  2. Have you visited Jill windmill at Clayton? It is open 2-5pm on Sundays during the Summer. Free parking. You can then walk up the hill on South Downs Way as far as Ditchling Beacon if you are feeling energetic!

    We also like to walk at Shoreham along the towpath by the houseboats and visit the play area behind them.

  3. Zoe

    We used to go up to Ditchling Beacon a lot and once or twice walked to the Jack and Jill windmills. I forgot there is a carpark near the windmills and that's great it is free as you have to pay now at Ditchling Beacon.

    I have been to the play area near the houseboats, but haven't walked along the towpath – will have to try that one next time!

    Thanks for the tips!

  4. Zoe

    We went to see the Jill windmill the other day and we were very lucky and caught it on a day it was open to have a look at (a Sunday afternoon). Apparently a few times a year they grind wholemeal Sussex flour and you can buy it – see their website:

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