18 of the best things to do in Sussex in September

Mama G's Story Time Roadshow at The Warren, Brighton Beach. Photo: SJKnight Photography

Mama G's Story Time Roadshow at The Warren, Brighton Beach. Photo: SJKnight Photography - Credit: SJKnight Photography

There’s plenty of inspiration here, from swimming with your dog at Saltdean Lido to socially distant comedy with Romesh Ranganathan and friends

Barnett Freedman, The Darts Champion, 1956 colour lithograph. Image courtesy of Pallant House

Barnett Freedman, The Darts Champion, 1956 colour lithograph. Image courtesy of Pallant House - Credit: Archant


5-20 September

Artwave at venues across Lewes, Seaford, Newhaven

Artwave is Lewes district’s annual celebration of local art and creativity. Painters, photographers, sculptors, jewellery makers and craftspeople will be opening their studios, workshops and gardens to the public over three weekends (no homes will open this year due to the pandemic). It’s an opportunity to see new work by both established and emerging artists.

The Three Musketeers at BOAT

The Three Musketeers at BOAT - Credit: Patch Harvey

11-13 September

Petworth Park Antiques & Fine Art Fair at The Marquee, Petworth Park

The rescheduled annual Petworth Park Antiques & Fine Art Fair is due to return to the grounds of the National Trust’s Petworth House this autumn. Specialist exhibitors will be selling fine period furniture, clocks, jewellery, silver, oil and watercolour paintings, sculpture, glass, lighting, ceramics, 20th century design objects, vintage watches, historical medals, garden statuary and many other decorative works of art.

Tickets: £5.

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19 September-16 May 2021

Art, Life and Us: Christine Binnie, Jennifer Binnie and the Towner Collection at Towner, Eastbourne

Christine Binnie and Jennifer Binnie have a long-standing connection with the Eastbourne area and grew up in Wannock, attending Eastbourne College of Art and Design which firmly established their identities as artists.

They have both developed a strong connection to the rural and downland landscape which has influenced their work in performance art, pottery (Christine) and painting (Jennifer). Along with Wilma Johnson, the sisters are founding members of The Neo Naturists, a performance art collective which evolved in the early 1980s in London.

This exhibition will feature their own work alongside their collections from the gallery’s collection to guide the visitor through a journey exploring themes of nature, the body, meaning and the cycles of life.

Free entry.

Open now

Quentin Blake: We Live in Worrying Times at Hastings Contemporary

Sir Quentin Blake returns to Hastings Contemporary with a prophetic show of new drawings, paintings, and a large-scale mural. At the centre of the exhibition is The Taxi Driver, a 30 x five-foot mural, completed by Blake in a single day at Hastings Contemporary, that pays homage to Picasso’s Guernica, transposing its anti-war sentiment to the present day.

Also exhibiting at the gallery now is Victor Pasmore: Line and Space. His pioneering development of abstract art is considered to be one of the most significant achievements in 20th century British art, and this retrospective will include some never-before-seen pieces made close to his death in 1998.

Until 1 November

Barnett Freedman: Designs for Modern Britain at Pallant House, Chichester

Barnett Freedman was one of Britain’s most highly prized commercial designers of the mid-20th century.

His art was part of everyday life: from book jackets to posters on the London Underground and beer advertisements in pubs. Freedman worked with clients such as Ealing Studios, London Transport, Lyons’ Tea Houses and more. He became an official war artist during World War II and recorded the aftermath of the D-Day landings. This is the first major reappraisal of his work since 1958’s Tate Gallery retrospective.

Tickets £12.50, under-18s free.


5-12 September

Moonlight Walk Week 2020 - take part wherever you are

Step up for St Wilfrid’s Hospice and pledge 10,000 or 20, 000 steps. Walk to remember a loved one, walk for the challenge, walk with family and friends, walk to show you care.

Complete the challenge in your own time, at your own pace. Raise £60 to earn a commemorative medal with many more prizes up for grabs.

Sign up to receive your t-shirt and fundraising pack at Stwh.co.uk/moonlightwalk

6 September

Littlehampton 10k: Virtual Edition

This sponsored run, in aid of children’s hospice Chestnut Tree House, is going virtual this year. Although runners will be undertaking the challenge separately and apart, they will enjoy a live welcome, warm-up and thank you messages over Facebook Live and a special Spotify playlist, as well as medal sent by post. There’s also a fundraising pack available as well as virtual catch-ups to help with training.

If you’d like to get involved in the Littlehampton 10k: Virtual Edition email events@chestnut-tree-house.org.uk or call on 01903 706355.

11 September

Rockinghorse Charity Golf Day at the Mid Sussex Golf Club, Ditchling

This fun sporting challenge will raise money for Rockinghorse, a local charity improving the lives of sick and disadvantaged babies, children and young people by funding equipment and services. Entry fee (£280 for four people) includes breakfast and a two-course meal in the afternoon, plus a prize-giving presentation.

To register a team for the golf day, call Rockinghorse on 01273 330044 or email stella@rockinghorse.org.uk


Now until 13 September

Mama G’s Story Time Roadshow at The Warren, Brighton Beach (next to the pier)

This one-pantomime dame show promises 50 minutes of stories and songs that celebrate being who you are and loving who you want.

Audiences can bring the whole family to meet Mama G’s cast of colourful creations: a confused horse, feuding fairies, a fashionista dinosaur, bonfires lit with dancing, airport trumpet players and soldiers in frocks!

Tickets £48/£40 (distanced tables of six)

Saturdays throughout September

Krater Comedy Club at The Warren, Brighton Beach (next to the pier)

Komedia is bringing Brighton’s famous comedy night to The Warren Outdoors, hosted by resident MC Stephen Grant with two headline acts each week including Milton Jones, Andy Parsons, Simon Evans, Laura Lexx, Angela Barnes, Marcus Brigstocke, Rachel Parris, Kerry Godliman and many more.

Tables, for up to six people, from £32.

3 September

Show and Tell presents Stand-up under the stars: with Tim Vine, Shappi Khorsandi, Ivo Graham at Brighton Open Air Theatre

Brighton Open Air Theatre

This laughter-filled line-up has an all-star line-up, with alumni of Live at the Apollo, QI and Mock the Week set to perform.

Tickets: £21, £1 from each ticket sold goes to The Old Market, Brighton & Hove’s much-loved independent arts venue (16+, under-18s must be accompanied by an adult).

5 September

Romesh and Friends at The Hawth Amphitheatre, Crawley

An open-air comedy show hosted by Romesh and with some of his comedy friends.

The Crawley native has been busy of late, with two series of his BAFTA-nominated series Asian Provocateur, BBC Two series The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan and a regular spot on A League of Their Own. His autobiography Straight Outta Crawley: The Memoirs of a Distinctly Average Human Being, which became a Sunday Times Bestseller. So this is a rare chance to catch him on his own turf!

Pitch (for 2 people): £32. Pitches will be separated by 1m to assist with social distancing. Tickets limited to two pitches per booking.

6 September

The Three Musketeers at Brighton Open Air Theatre

When young D’Artagnan travels to Paris to join the king’s musketeers he discovers a dastardly plot to discredit Queen Anne in the eyes of King Louis XIII and the country. With his brothers-in-arms, D’Artagnon now must defeat the evil Cardinal Richelieu and Milady de Winter, but the quest will be beset by twists and turns.

This Is My Theatre presents an action-filled interpretation of the classic novel, complete with adventure, romance and sword-fighting.

Tickets: adults £15, concessions £10, family £45

18 September

Short Stories, Tall Tales: The Gingerbread Man at Ropetackle Centre, Shoreham

“Run, run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me I’m the gingerbread man!”

Actress Hannah Summers brings this classic story to life through live performance and creative play. Suitable for babies and children up to four years old, duration 45 minutes.

Tickets: adult and child pair, £9.


7 September

Bat Walk at Wakehurst near Haywards Heath

This evening walk and talk will be hosted by Wakehurst rangers Steve Cook and Kari Winter, who will introduce the different bat species that live in the gardens, their behaviours, habitat requirements and what Wakehurst has to offer them.

Using electronic detectors, they will try to pick up the ultrasonic calls of hunting bats during the walk from the Mansion down to Westwood Lake and back.

You will also learn about other animal species, birds and insects that make their homes here.

Tickets: £15, suitable for 10 years+

8 September

Inspirational drawing in the gardens – pattern and place at West Dean Gardens

This short course with artist Rosie MacCurrach allows students to explore the famous gardens through observational drawing, mark-making and patterns. A group introduction in the morning will precede short, focused periods of drawing and then a longer study in the afternoon, all using charcoal and ink.

Tickets: £138


19/20 September and 26/27 September

Dog Swim Weekends at Saltdean Lido

Each year this beautiful Art Deco attraction closes the season by opening the pool to canine paddlers. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, there will be five sessions on each of the four days and tickets will no doubt be in high demand.

Tickets must be pre-booked and humans who wish to swim with their dog will need their own swim ticket.

Tickets: human swim £7.95, dog swim £7.95, human spectator £3.18

20 and 21 September

The Schooner Radio Controlled Group at Leonardslee Gardens near Horsham

Watch radio-controlled model boats traverse the lake, including miniature yachts, lifeboats, warships and steam boats. Picnic baskets are available to hire from Clocktower Café, where you can also find everything you might fancy to eat, from pate and cold cuts to cheeses, fresh bread and salads.

Free with annual pass or garden entry, adult tickets £12.50, child £6.50.

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