10 things to do in Sussex in July 2021

The Petworth Festival

Jess Gillam will be playing her saxophone at The Petworth Festival - Credit: Robin Clewley

While the sun shines, there's plenty to see and do in our county and these top events in Sussex in July are well worth heading out for...

Great days out in Sussex in July
1. The Petworth Festival
Petworth House and Park.
When? July 14-31.
How much? Free to £37.50, depending on the event.
This highly-anticipated summer festival is back for a fully-fledged in person event, which is music to our ears. There's a fantastic line-up of artists set to perform. Highlights include the saxophonist Jess Gillam, pianists Imogen Cooper and Isata Kanneh-Mason, and Sussex-based tenor Mark Padmore. You can also catch top theatrical performances, such as comedian Adam Kay's This is Going to Hurt, which offers a glimpse of life of a junior doctor.  

Waterlilies Sheffield Park and Gardens

Watch the waterlilies float serenely at Sheffield Park and Gardens - Credit: Elliot Newman

2. Waterlily Festival
Sheffield Park and Gardens, Uckfield.
When? Until July 18.
How much? Park admission tickets: £13 adult, £6.50 child, £32.50 family.
​Wander the shores of the lakes at the National Trust's Sheffield Park and Garden, which will be adorned by thousands of waterlily plants. There are seven species in various hues to gaze at. Plus, you can get an up-close look at the bright blooms and buzzing dragonflies thanks to the specially installed floating pontoon. On top of this, there will be giant lily pads and flowers created by art charity Same Sky, as well as fun family activities to keep the little ones entertained. 

3. London to Brighton Electric Rally
Finish line at Madeira Drive, Brighton.
When? July 18.
How much? Free for spectators.
From the Sinclair C5 to the Jaguar i-Pace, this electric vehicle rally is set to be a showcase of innovation across electric motoring and clean energy. Join a variety of vehicles, including Renault’s electric microcar, the Renault Twizy and solar-powered cars, alongside self-build vehicles - including one built from a former chicken coop - as they set off from on the banks of the River Thames. They’ll zoom over 58 miles before finishing on Brighton Beach. There’s an Education Zone with static and moving displays, refreshments and fun for all the family. 

READ MORE: 5 up and coming Sussex artists

Theatre and stage events in Sussex in July

Ballet Central

Ballet Central will put on stunning, mesmerizing performance at The Hawth - Credit: Amber Hunt

4. Ballet Central
The Hawth, Crawley.
When? July 5.
How much? Tickets £16.
This year’s repertoire delivers an exciting show of theatricality, technical excellence and drama. Under the artistic direction of Christopher Marney, the company of young graduate dancers will be performing a crowd-pleasing collection of dance pieces to showcase the dancers’ considerable technique and skills as they embark on their professional careers. The performances are choreographed by international dance industry influencers, enhanced by stunning costumes and powerful music. 

5. Tim Vine is Plastic Elvis
Pavilion Theatre, Worthing.
When? July 8.
How much? Tickets £27.50.
The Edinburgh Festival sell-out is now on tour. Feel the electricity as Plastic Elvis hits the stage backed by his incredible five piece, The High Noon Band. He'll shake, smoulder, and try and control his hair - all while being a heartbreaker. Sing along with some of the King's greatest songs for an energetic evening of rock'n'roll.  

6. Tom's Midnight Garden: A Midsummer Ballet 
Denmans Garden, Fontwell.
When? July 16.
How much? £13.52 adult, £9.51 child, £38.32 family.
This brand-new ballet production, adapted from Philippa Pearce’s classic children’s novel of the same name, is sure to be enchanting. Nestle down outdoors amid towering trees and flowerbeds in full bloom for the story of a garden that only exists on the 13th chime and the powerful, enduring friendship that two children find there. Afterwards, little ones can even get their photo taken with the members of the cast. 
Available from Frankly Speaking Productions at eventbrite.co.uk

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Art exhibitions in Sussex in July

A piece by Jackie Hulford, who is exhibiting at Sussex Art Fairs

A piece by Jackie Hulford, who is exhibiting at Sussex Art Fairs - Credit: Jackie Hulford

7. Sussex Art Fairs
Goodwood Racecourse, Chichester.
When? July 2-4.
How much? £7.20 for general admission on Saturday (11am-6pm) and Sunday (11am-5pm). Sussex Life readers can get 50% off weekend entry by using the code SUSSEXLIFE50.
Over 100 exhibitors will display thousands of fine pieces of art at this much-anticipated art fair, which is the largest of its kind in the county. There, you can admire a range of works by both established and up-and-coming local artists, as well as from galleries and collectives. There’s something to suit every budget, with prints and smaller works starting from £50, rising to over £5,000 for masterpieces. There's also a selection of artworks costing £50 each, which have been donated by exhibitors with all proceeds going to Sussex Wildlife Trust.

All is Rippling, All is Dancing, oils on canvas by Veronica van Eijk

All is Rippling, All is Dancing, oils on canvas by Veronica van Eijk - Credit: Veronica van Eijk

8. Longley’s Studio Barns Exhibition
 Longley’s Studio Barns, Hailsham. 
When? July 3-4.
How much? Free entry.
Now in its 12th year, popular art venue Longley’s Studio Barns is opening its doors for an exciting exhibition by 10 professional Sussex artists, including Veronica van Eijk. You’ll find paintings, original prints, glass art, ceramics, indoor and garden sculpture and contemporary jewellery to browse and buy. Linger longer and enjoy the refreshments served in the barn and gardens in aid of St Wilfrid’s Hospice.  

An intimate retrospective of the work of Joan Miró is being exhibited at Newlands House in Petworth

An intimate retrospective of the work of Joan Miró is being exhibited at Newlands House in Petworth - Credit: Tinx Newton

9. Le Gran Belleza
Newlands House Gallery, Petworth.
When? Until July 4.
How much? £12, book in advance.
Through La Gran Belleza, the gallery presents a collection of significant works by the pioneering modern master Joan Miró. Artworks spanning Miró’s artistic career from the 1930s to 1980s are given exceptional space and light in the beautiful Grade II listed Georgian townhouse. This fascinating exhibition is guest-curated by Dr Javier Molins, a specialist in Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró and contemporary art. Words by Tinx Newton. 

Most wanted wines

Say cheers to the summer with Most Wanted wines - Credit: Sam Jones

10. Most Wanted Wines on Tour
Bison Beer Beach Bar, Brighton and The Pier, Hastings
When? July 24-25 Brighton, August 7-8 Hastings
How much? Free to attend.
There's nothing quite like sipping on a lovely wine to make your summer feel special, and you can sample some of the finest while enjoying competitions and games. The top prize is a £1000 voucher for The Pig Hotels plus a year’s worth of wine, because let’s face it, that’s what everyone needs right now. Plus there will be loads of chances to win wine, restaurant delivery vouchers and limited-edition merch. 

These events are all correct and happening at the time of publishing, but please check individual events before heading out to avoid disappointment. 

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