6 lovely picnic spots in East Sussex
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Sheffield Park and Garden
This gorgeous garden in East Sussex is the culminative masterpiece from centuries of horticulture and landscape design. The parkland has mirror-like lakes and a waterfall which can be heard all around, and attracts buzzards, skylarks and other fascinating creatures. For flower fanatics, the park is also full of richly coloured blooms. Between April and May the bluebells spring, while in summer the vibrant rhododendrons fire up.
The details: Opening times are 10am-5pm daily. Parking is free, but the entry free is £13.50 per adult and £6.50 per child, with group ticket options available. Dogs on short leads are welcome.
Camber Sands’ golden grains make for lovely comfy picnic seating, and the waves make for glorious viewing. The beach is regarded for being one of the best in the UK for beachcombing, so make sure to pack a bag for shells and sea glass. A full stomach and a treasure hunt must be a perfect picnic recipe.
The details: There is a paid car park opposite the beach. Public toilets are located at the car park. Dogs are allowed except for in one zone in the summer, which can be found on the Rother District Council website.
For those who wish for ocean views without sand in their shoes, Cuckmere Valley is a stunning option. The Cuckmere River cascades across the grasslands and the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs stretch into the distance, so no matter where you place down your blanket, you will be ready for relaxation. If you go in the summer, see if you can spot any rare and colourful butterflies.
The details: Open from dawn until dusk. There is free car parking at Seaford Head Local Nature Reserve and High and Over. Toilets at Seven Sisters Visitors Centre are currently closed. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leads.
Alexandra Park, Hastings
Marked proudly with a Green Flag, Alexandra Park is a well-kept, beautiful location in Hastings. Its famous arboretum hosts one of the best collections of trees in the country. They’re ideal for nestling under with scrumptious food, or even for some shade for a post-lunch nap. There are also plenty of other features, such as the miniature railway and the peaceful reservoirs.
The details: Open 24 hours. There is a Morrisons nearby with a car park. Toilets are available. Dogs should be on leads.
Ditchling Beacon will make you feel on top of the world, as it’s the highest point in East Sussex. Enjoy panoramic views from all around – spot the sea from the south, look north across the Weald or cast your glance east-west to see the South Downs. Arrive at sunset with that special someone for an extra romantic picnic.
The details: Open dawn to dusk. £3 parking for non-National Trust members. Toilets available in Ditchling village. Dogs are welcome but must be on leads.
Forest Way Country Park, Hartfield
Bask in the quiet joys of the countryside at this beautiful Country Park in the heart of East Sussex. With walking and cycle paths of varying difficulty, you could go on a ramble or ride then stop off at one of the many seats or benches for scrumptious sustenance. Keep an eye out for wildlife like swallows, deer and dragonflies.
The details: Open 24 hours. There is a public car park. Toilets are available at Forest Row. Dogs must be kept under close control.
At the time of writing travel was only advised in your local area. Please check latest government restrictions before you visit any of these spots.