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Family Activities

Family Activities

With so many attractions and ways to explore and discover the National Park, there’s no reason to be short on ideas for family days out.

We’ve put together a list of fantastic days out in the South Downs, suitable for families of all ages. Make sure to share your special moments with us on Twitter and Instagram!

Hunt for Geocaches

For the treasure hunters out there, you may want to try your hand at geocaching. Geocaching is a real-world treasure hunt that combines being outdoors, exercise and technology.

We’ve also developed the South Downs Geotour which is a great way of exploring some of the hidden places in the National Park you may otherwise miss. You can work towards earning a souvenir GeoCoin by eating local, staying local and travelling by bus, train or bike.

Take a Trip to the Zoo

If you’d like to see animals you’re not likely to find in the South Downs, why not take a trip to one of the two award-winning zoos in the National Park?

Marwell Zoo in Winchester and Drusillas Park in Alfriston both have a large variety of animals to observe and learn about. They are also committed to providing the highest standard of welfare for all their animals and do excellent conservation work both locally and overseas.

Go for a Ramble

With over 3,300km of footpaths, bridleways and byways in total across the National Park, there certainly isn’t a shortage of places to walk off your Easter calories (or perhaps work up an appetite for even more!)

Below you can find our Miles Without Stiles leaflets, designed for those with limited mobility, wheelchairs and pushchairs.

We have also published a large number of other walking leaflets, with varying difficulty levels and lengths, available on our Walking page.

Get on your Bike

Cycling is another fantastic way to combine exercise with seeing more of the National Park. We have 1,200km of car-free bridleways miles of leafy country lanes and old railway trails including the Downs Link and Centurions Way.

Find a full list of our cycling leaflets on our Cycling page.

Travel Back in Time

As you would expect from the National park that inspired H G Wells to write the Time Machine, we’re lucky enough to have lots of ways to travel back in time in the National Park.

Weald & Downland Living Museum

Discover what life would have been like for people in the South East of England up to 950 years ago at the Weald & Downland Living Museum. Over 50 historic buildings, rescued from various sites across the South East, provide the setting for an interactive way to discover England’s rural history.

From Good Friday 19 – Easter Monday 22 April 2019 visitors can experience traditional Easter preparations and celebrations, which begin with the traditional Good Friday bake in Winkhurst Tudor kitchen.

Activities vary each daily and include egg painting, bonnet making and an Easter bonnet parade in the Market Square on Easter Monday.

Amberley Museum

Located in the heart of the South Downs National Park, Amberley Museum gives visitors a chance to connect with the South’s working past and see remnants of it’s industrial heritage.

Explore the history of communications and have a go at printing in their working print shop, the only one of its kind in the South of England.

Bignor Roman Villa

Enjoy the stunning remains of a Roman home with world-class mosaic floors in a spectacular Downland setting.

Learn why the Roman owners chose to develop such a magnificent settlement at Bignor in the 3rd Century AD and how they acquired wealth from its location.

Gilbert White’s House and Gardens

Nestled in the North West of the South Downs National Park, Gilbert White’s House & Gardens hosts family activities and events throughout the year!

The galleries of naturalist Gilbert White, Frank Oates, and South Pole explorer Lawrence Oates, have permanent interactive discovery puzzles and videos for children to engage with, alongside house and garden activity trails.

Special events are also hosted for children during the holidays, such as pond dipping, children’s theatre, and nature explorer days, that involve hunting for birds and butterflies, and craft activities inspired by nature.

During term and holiday time the ‘Forest School’ and ‘John Muir Award’ scheme also operate onsite.


"The Downs...too much for one pair of eyes, enough to float a whole population in happiness."