East Sussex is full of amazing places to explore, come rain or shine.
Here's East Sussex-based blogger, Bex, mum of 3 year old twins, with a few of their favourite places to visit.
I'll start with Brighton - I could write a whole separate post about Brighton, there's so much to see and do, we've barely scratched the surface.
Sea Life Brighton
We took the twins to the aquarium on their 1st birthday and loved exploring the displays and various sea life.They also have an Amazonian area with snakes and other exotic creatures. My personal favourite was the underwater tunnel, seeing the turtles and fish gliding above us - the twins were mesmerised! They also have touch pools for the kids to explore the sensation of touching sea stars and anemones, it's great fun and educational too. Entry costs from £10.50 with under 3s going free. They also have special deals available online.
Globalls at Brighton Marina
For a full-on neon experience you should check out Globalls at Brighton Marina where they have both dinosaur and jungle themed mini golf courses. We went for the twins' 3rd birthday so it was all decorated for Christmas and we had a blast in the dinosaur room. Under 2s are free and tickets are £5.50 per person with free parking and plenty of places to eat nearby. It was a fantastic day out.
We live in Uckfield and have discovered so many amazing places nearby, it's pretty much equidistant from Eastbourne, Brighton and East Grinstead - so lots of fun day trips are easily accessible for us
Wilderness Woods & Cafe, Hadlow Down, near Uckfield
We love Wilderness Wood, a family run woodland in Hadlow Down. They have play areas with a tyre swing, slide, zip-line and pirate platforms. There are plenty of paths to explore as well as an awesome mud kitchen. You "pay what you feel" so it's great for big families as it's not too expensive for everyone to get in, you pay what you think it's worth and remember that it goes towards sustaining the woodland. Most importantly, they have an amazing kid-friendly cafe to warm up in after your outdoor escapades with a cosy wood-burner, colouring pencils, and a borrowing library with plenty of books for the kids to read while waiting for food. They also have delicious homemade cakes and very friendly staff.
Sheffield Park and Garden, Uckfield
Another fab place to explore with gorgeous trees and shrubs surrounding the pond, Sheffield Park is a spectacular sight particularly in the Autumn. It's a National Trust property so we get in free with our family membership (£9/month) and try to make the most of it throughout the year.
The town of Lewes is lovely - although we've yet to get to the castle! I love the cafes and shops in town and there are plenty of places surrounding Lewes which are perfect for kids.
Blackberry Farm, near Lewes
Blackberry Farm has loads going on! There's an indoor soft play for rainy days and outside you'll find an adventure playground with bouncy pillow, trampolines, swing boats, assault course, climbing frames and go-karts... You can feed the animals which the twins loved and they do tractor rides around the farm which are also hugely popular.
Raystede, near Lewes
Raystede centre for animal welfare is a great free day out with the kids - although of course if you can donate it goes towards helping to care for the animals (which you can also adopt!). Our twins love it there, wandering around the big duck pond, stroking goats, ponies and bunnies. As it's an animal re-homing centre you can see all kinds of pets there from parrots to dogs to tortoises with plenty of information about them all too. There's a play area with wooden shapes and obstacles to climb and they have their own cafe and charity shop on site.
And then of course there's Ashdown Forest.
The original 100 Acre Wood, home of Winnie-the-Pooh, has so many different areas to explore...the vast forest and heathland is somewhere which will always be on our list. We love taking the kids for walks exploring hobbit houses and checking out the free range cows. We took the kids to Pooh Bridge to play Pooh sticks on their 2nd birthday followed by lunch at Pooh Corner in Hartfield.
So there you have it... plenty of places to get started exploring East Sussex. I hope you love it as much as we do!
All photos by Bex Maini.