Little Sussex: Halland

Each month Kate Eastman is searching out the best things to do with children in the county with her son, Jasper. This month she visits Halland and the surrounding area

Bentley Wildfowl and Motor Museum at Halland has lots to offer all age groups and especially families. The Motor Museum has more than 100 exhibits covering motoring history from Edwardian to supercars with many rare and unique examples.

If wildlife is your interest then the wildfowl will appeal as there are over 2000 birds and about 140 different species of wildfowl set in beautiful natural surroundings.

Next month you will have an opportunity to see all the ducklings, goslings and cygnets. Many should still be at that appealing age covered in down feathers. Listen to the amazing sounds and look at the incredible colours of the swans, geese, ducks, cranes, flamingos and peacocks which come from all over the world; many of which are endangered and regularly breed in captivity.

You can see how our ancestors would have lived with the woodland/ancient buildings trail. Children can enjoy the miniature railway which runs weekends and holidays as well as the adventure play area with aerial walkway. Plus, see the Kune Kune pigs, small animals, craft workshops and lots more. 

Bentley is flat and easily accessible for the disabled with free electric scooters/wheelchairs available on request. The tearooms are famous for their homemade cakes and cream teas and serve light lunches and snacks.

Open 10.30am to 5.30pm daily, house opens 12 noon. Prices are adults �8, seniors/students �7, children �6 (3 –15) under 3 is free, family �26 for two adults and up to three children.

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Bentley Wildfowl and Motor Museum, Halland, located seven miles N.E. of Lewes and clearly signposted off the A22, A26 and B2192. Telephone 01825 840573.

Two other great things to do:

Michelham Priory & GardensMichelham Priory’s beautiful historic house, grounds and gardens have much to explore including the moat walk, kitchen garden, medieval medicinal garden, water garden, nature room, sculpture trail, playground and the Iron Age roundhouses. 

Peaceful and tranquil, but with plenty to keep children entertained, there’s always something on offer. Dating back to the 13th Century, the Priory has been occupied continuously ever since and offers a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities to celebrate its history. 

In the activity kitchen you can try your hand at some of the kitchen tasks from days gone by, or visit the evacuees’ bedroom where you can play with the toys or make a paper aeroplane.

The working watermill is open daily from 2pm, and if you visit on a weekend, you may be lucky enough to see the forge being used by the blacksmith. The Michelham Bowmen practise their archery every Saturday afternoon on the South Lawn and offer free ‘have a go’ sessions for visitors of all ages.

Coming soon in summer 2012 is the new Medieval interactive gallery in the gatehouse, and weekly Sunday sessions with the ‘Tudor Housewife’ in the house itself.

Open 1 Mar – 31 Oct, Tues – Sun from 10.30am, also Bank Holiday Mondays and every day in August. With ample free parking, toilet facilities, shop, caf� and picnic area.

Michelham Priory, Upper Dicker near Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 3QS. Telephone: 01323 844224.

The Cuckoo Trail

This 11 mile surfaced path through the glorious Sussex countryside is mostly traffic free and is a safe route for walkers and cyclists of all ages. The picturesque trail follows the former Cuckoo Line railway track and stretches from Heathfield to Eastbourne Park. It passes through Horam, Hailsham and Polegate.

There are lots of sights, sounds and smells to experience. In May, look for butterflies such as the orange-tip.

Caf� culture: Cool places to eat with your kids

Muffins Caf� is a local family business run by Lesley Lefort with help from her mother Ann. They offer a charming, atmospheric eating experience. Indulge in their selection of special home made cakes and gateaux. Located in a beautiful village setting, with easy parking. Open Mon to Sat 9:30am till 4:30pm.

Muffins Caf�, 9 High Street, East Hoathly, East Sussex BN8 6DR.  01825 840087

A pint and a bib!

The Laughing Fish

Andy and Linda invite you to join them at their friendly village pub providing great home-made food, a range of cask ales, and a warm welcome. They have a lovely garden with patio and fantastic children’s play area and plenty of parking and good wheelchair access.

Food is served at the following times: Monday to Friday 12noon to 2.30pm. and 6 to 9pm. Saturday 12 noon until 9 pm. Sunday 12 noon to 3.30pm. Smaller portions of main course dishes are always available.

The Laughing Fish, Station Road, Isfield, Nr. Uckfield, East Sussex, TN22 5XB. 01825 750349.

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