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Sussex Attractions

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The sheer diversity of Sussex attractions means there is always plenty to keep everyone entertained.
Sussex encompasses a significant portion of England's southern coastline and a trip to the seaside is always popular with old and young alike. Brighton probably symbolises the typical English seaside resort more than anywhere else, although if it is sandy beaches you're after, you might prefer other resorts such as Bognor Regis or Littlehampton.

Days out often revolve around the children, so keeping them happy is a priority. A visit to the Sea-Life Centre in Brighton should be popular, and the kids especially will love the new 'Venom' feature, showing various deadly poisonous sea-creatures from around the world. Guaranteed to be both educational and entertaining. Children love getting close to animals, and at Ashdown Llama farm, they can do exactly that. To see more traditional farmyard animals, visit Fisher's Farm Park - another great day out, especially for the younger members of the family.

Nature features highly in the list of Sussex attractions, for example, there are several wildfowl reserves, such as the Arundel Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre, the Bentley Wildfowl Centre and the Pulborough Brooks RSPB Nature Reserve. Here are opportunities to see, learn about and sometimes feed a wide variety of wetland birds.

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Children and adults all love castles. Perhaps your interest lies in the history and architectural background of these fascinating relics of bygone ages. Or perhaps you just like running around on battlements pretending to repel marauding armies. You can satisfy both urges by visiting any of several castles in the county. Some of the more prominent ones can be found at Arundel, Herstmonceux, Lewes, Pevensey, Rye and Bodiam, although not all are open to the public. Sussex is steeped in the past and home to probably the most remembered snippet of schoolboy history, the Battle of Hastings in 1066 during which the Saxon King Harold was famously shot in the eye. Or so the story tells us. Battle Abbey was built to commemorate William's victory and, now run by English Heritage; it operates a visitor centre where you can learn much more about the characters and the event itself.

For a more leisurely day out, why not check out some of the many country houses and gardens for which Sussex is famous. Close to Haywards Heath, Borde Hill Gardens have been delighting garden lovers for more than 40 years. Nearby there are several National Trust gardens to choose from. Nymans Garden is set amidst the ruins of a gothic mansion and features a historic collection of plants. Wakehurst Place is administered and maintained by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and has an astounding collection of rare and exotic plants from around the world. Sheffield Park Garden is a magnificent 'Capability Brown' designed garden, and features waterfalls and several large lakes. Goodwood House is a magnificent Regency mansion set in beautiful wooded parkland at the foot of the South Downs. The house and gardens are outstanding in their own right, but Goodwood is probably most famous for hosting motor racing events such as the Goodwood Revival and the Festival of Speed, as well as the Glorious Goodwood event at the nearby racecourse.

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Continuing the transport theme, the Bluebell Railway was the UK's first preserved standard gauge passenger railway, which has since developed into one of Sussex's most important tourist attractions. As well as the usual daily service throughout the summer, there are many themed 'specials', some of which feature on-board catering such as breakfast or afternoon tea. And don't forget Brighton's own little railway - the Volks Electric Railway starts near the pier and runs east towards Black Rock and the Marina. It provides an excellent way to see the resort's famous seafront.

Finally, there is a diverse collection of museums to be found in Sussex. The Brighton Toy and Model museum has over 10,000 toys and models on display with a priceless model train collection and many period antique toys. Or if you prefer your vehicles life-size there's the Bentley Motor Museum near Ringmer, which also doubles as a wildfowl centre (see above).

As you can see, the list of attractions in Sussex is very diverse. By mixing and matching the different types of venues, you can easily satisfy all tastes and age groups. Hopefully, the whole family will take away many fond memories of their stay in Sussex.

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