Events and things to do in Sussex - September 2015

Goodwood - photo: Marcus Dodridge

Goodwood - photo: Marcus Dodridge - Credit: Archant

Our guide to the best events in and around Sussex

Nature Tots Weekly Groups - Sussex Wildlife Trust

Weekly groups at Seven Sisters Country Park near Eastbourne and on the beach at Pett Level, Rye Bay. 10am-midday. Sussex Wildlife Trust Nature Tots are back for more forest fun and seaside exploration this September. Get your little ones outdoors to try their hand at woodcraft activities, bug hunting, or strandline scavenger hunts searching for treasures left behind by the tide. Hands-on activities are themed around wildlife and designed to develop social skills and independent learning. Highlights include sawing, drilling, shelter building and toasting marshmallows over the campfire. Nature Tots is suitable for ages three to five years, and all children must be accompanied by an adult.

Online booking is essential. For information on further locations across Sussex, dates and prices, please go to or call 01273 492630


Herstmonceux Astronomy Festival - 4-6 September

The Herstmonceux Astronomy Festival will be offering yet another full programme in 2015. With lectures, trade stalls, planetarium shows, telescope tours and family fun activities, there is a full programme of activities taking place over the three days. In addition to all this, there will also be raffles, a beer tent and the chance to camp under the stars.

01323 832731;


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Amberley Vintage Courtyard Market in aid of Action Medical Research - 6 September

Fourteen traders will bring a range of carefully curated antique, decorative and vintage goods to tempt the appetites and wallets of market visitors. Located in the pretty courtyard of Oak Tree House, one of the most distinguished private houses in Amberley, the market will be open from 12 noon until 5pm.

Other highlights include a secondhand book sale in the church; tours of the historic village; children’s circus workshops and the chance to meet Paddington Bear.


A Walk on the Wild Side RSPB Pagham and Medmerry - 8 and 19 September

10am-midday. Take a stroll around part of the reserve with Ray Chiverton and see some of the wild residents. Entry: £8 per person, £6 members.

Visitor Centre, Selsey Road, Sidlesham


An evening with Michael Fish - 10 September

Lansdowne Hotel, Eastbourne

7pm. An Evening with Michael Fish is being hosted by SASBAH – the Sussex Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, celebrating the charity’s 50th birthday.

The cost of the evening, which includes a three-course meal, is £20, and there will also be a raffle with funds going to the charity, which is based at Gun Hill, near Horam. The charity provides support for around 500 people across Sussex affected by spina bifida, hydrocephalus and other disabilities.

To book your seat call 01825 873045 or email


Heritage Open Days - 10-13 September

Heritage Open Days are a fantastic way to discover a new side of a familiar site or building, uncovering secrets and unlocking areas not usually open to the public.

This year’s festival promises to be the most diverse yet, with a greater variety of places taking part and regular participants invited to create original and innovative events. Join guided walks, visit secret archives, discover hidden works of art – or simply soak up the sunshine in a garden of your choice.

For more information go to


Wakehurst Place Open Air Cinema - 11-12 September

Ardingly, Haywards Heath

Bring a picnic and enjoy the old favourite sing-along film Grease on Friday 11 September (6.30-9.30pm), as well as the wonderful animated success story Frozen on Saturday 12 September (6.00-9.15pm) in the beautiful gardens of Wakehurst Place. Tickets: Premium £27, Adult £14.50, Child £10.50, Family £40.


Goodwood Revival - 11-13 September

Goodwood, Chichester

Established as the only sporting event that’s staged entirely in period theme, the Goodwood Revival is a magical step back in time, celebrating the halcyon days of motor racing as it used to be, with all the accompanying spectacle and glamour of the era.

This year’s Goodwood Revival will pay tribute to legendary racing car constructor, driver and engineer Bruce McLaren, with a sensational parade of cars spanning his career taking to the track on all three days of the event.

For more information go to


Rye Arts Festival - 11-27 September

The festival attracts a stimulating array of authors, performers and artists both high profile and emerging, national and international.

Highlights include operatic ensemble The Euphonia Company performing Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Artist in Residence: Masterclass by Charlie Cobb and Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt.

For more information call 01797 224442 or go to


Boomerang Hickstead - 12-13 September

Hickstead presents Boomerang, a brand new two-day music event at the world-renowned Hickstead International Arena.

The Proclaimers will join Simple Minds on the Saturday night to perform songs from across their famed career. Also on Saturday are British-bred, country music-influenced duo, The Shires and Andreya Triana.

Jessie J will headline on Sunday, with further support from Soul II Soul, The Vamps and rising singer songwriter star, Rae Morris.

Tickets available at


Saddlescombe Farm Heritage Open Day - 13 September

Saddlescombe Road, near Brighton

10.30am. Discover this ancient downland farm that was once owned by the Knights Templar. Enjoy tours of the 17th century Threshing Barn, Tudor Scullery and Donkey Wheel, which are just part of the fascinating fabric of this farm. You can also venture further afield for tours on surrounding Newtimber Hill, considered one of the best downland sites in the country. Refreshments at the wonderful Hiker’s Rest café.


Ocean Film Festival World Tour - 14 September

7.30pm. The Ocean Film Festival showcases the world’s most amazing ocean films above and below the water’s surface – letting you immerse yourself in the wonders of the ocean without getting your feet wet! Inspiring and thought-provoking, the Ocean Film Festival takes you on a journey across the globe showcasing the huge waves of Australia, diving with sharks off the coast of Africa and heading north to the far reaches of the Arctic Circle. Tickets: £14.

Corn Exchange, Brighton: 01273 709709


New Horizons Appeal Autumn Gift Fair On behalf of St Catherine’s Hospice - 16-17 September

• Preview night Wednesday 16 Sept 6.30-9pm (theme James Bond 007)

• Fair Day Thursday 17 Sept 9.30am-4pm

The Autumn Gift Fair at Knepp Castle in Shipley, West Sussex will feature beautiful homewares, exquisite home accessories and countryside fashion and glamour, artisan produce from the local area and beyond.

Preview tickets £10 each, available from 01293 447367. For more information go to or

Admission on day £5, includes refreshments on arrival. Lunch served from 12-3pm with afternoon tea to follow.


Crush - 22-26 September

The Best Days of our Lives

It’s 1963 and Dame Dorothea Dosserdale School for Girls has a proud tradition of fostering free spirits from all walks of life – so it’s a crushing blow when the new Headmistress turns out to be a tyrant with strict Victorian values. New musical Crush celebrates schoolgirl friendships and fighting for what you believe in.

Theatre Royal, Brighton: 0844 871 7677


Charleston Small Wonder Festival - 23-27 September

Charleston, Firle, Nr Lewes

Small Wonder demonstrates the vibrancy and variety of the short story form. This year’s festival is a showcase for some of our most talented writers as well as a celebration of the influence of stories on other art forms. It also brings practitioners from Africa, America, Ireland, Canada and Central Europe to Sussex, guaranteeing an international atmosphere.

Highlights include the StorySLAM with The Moth from New York on its first visit outside a metropolis, the stories of Stefan Zweig, inspiration for Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel and BBC Radio 4 Bookclub with James Naughtie.

Dome ticket office call 01273 709709. For workshops and outside events call 01323 811626.

For more information go to


Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning - 25 September

Get together with friends and family and simply ask for a donation in return for a cuppa and a slice of cake. To sign up today to run your own coffee morning or to find a coffee morning near you go to


The Chiddingfold Quintessentially English Autumn Sale - 26 September

Village Hall, Coxcombe Lane, Chiddingfold

10.30am-3.30pm. Just over the border into Surrey, a wonderful sale of vintage and artisan treasures for you and your home. Admission £1 (children free). Delicious homemade refreshments on sale. Proceeds to St Mary’s church, Chiddingfold and the Church of the Holy Spirit, Distington, Cumbria. Facebook: Chiddingfold Quintessentially English.


Parham Harvest Fair - 26-27 September

Parham House and Gardens, Storrington

10.30am-5.00pm. The Parham Harvest Fair brings together the very best of homemade food, locally grown produce and small holding, as well as activities such as deer walks and seasonal cookery demonstrations.

This year ITV’s This Morning chef Phil Vickery will be demonstrating some of his favourite seasonal game recipes, and Rosemary Moon is back by popular demand, showing us how to create delicious dishes with the very best fresh produce of the season.

For more information go to


Sussex Walking Festival - 26 September-4 October

More than 60 organised walks are on offer at the Coast and Country Walking Festival in Sussex this autumn, with a new foray into wild forest food foraging, navigation techniques, wine tasting and a celebration of ‘Mad Jack’ Fuller.

The nine-day festival covers routes around Eastbourne and the breathtaking scenery of the South Downs National Park, the enchanting High Weald of Sussex and the wild and wonderful Ashdown Forest.

To book call 01323 443275 or book online at

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