With plenty for families along the East Sussex coast, the Coastal Cultural trail is great for a weekend away with the kids. All three galleries offer a wide range of activities to help children get creative.
If you start the trail in Eastbourne, be sure to check out Towner’s free family drop in, which runs every weekend and weekdays during school holidays. Families can spend the day getting creative and making art of their own in Towner’s ground floor lobby, then check out the free exhibitions for inspiration. The gallery also runs a free art Tiny Towner Drop in every Tuesday 10am-1pm for under 5s and their parents, as well as a variety of regular family and children’s workshops. Eastbourne is also a short distance from Birling Gap beach and the stunning countryside of the South Downs. Seven Sisters Sheep Centre is worth a visit, especially during lambing season and Prince’s Park in Eastbourne, with its kids’ playground, is a great spot for children to enjoy the great outdoors.
Heading to Bexhill, children can take part in a wide range of activities at the De La Warr Pavilion, from creative workshops and family drop-ins to stories for toddlers. The Pavilion is located right on Bexhill seafront, so once you have had a look at the free exhibitions and made your own masterpieces, you can explore the beach and splash about in the water play-fountain. The Café Bar has a family corner of child-sized furniture, crayons and paper and a children’s menu is available in the Café Bar, which also serves the yummiest hot chocolate, babyccinos and home-made cake. The Pavilion has a programme of family films, projected on the outside of the Pavilion throughout August so if you are visiting in the summer holidays, take a picnic and round off your evening with an open air screening.
Hastings has a great variety of attractions for children. Be sure to look out for family creative drop-ins and workshops at the Jerwood Gallery and explore the collections and exhibitions with a free children’s trail. Just along the road from the gallery are the Fisherman’s and Shipwreck Museums, which tell the story of the fishing heritage of the Stade, originally the landing place for the Norman invasion. The Smuggler’s Caves up the hill are worth a visit, but not for the faint hearted! The Blue Reef Aquarium is just a short walk from the gallery or you could test your skill at adventure golf. A 15-minute drive outside of Hastings is the historic town of Battle. There you can explore Battle Abbey and Battlefield, the site of the 1066 Battle
of Hastings and find out more about the most famous date in English history. Hastings has a number of events throughout the year from Jack in the Green May Day celebrations to Hastings Bonfire, so be sure to visit visit1066country.com before you visit to find out what’s on.
Photo by Avant Photographic