Looking for a fun, family day out? Let us take you on a tour of West Sussex

Looking to make the most of the last days of summer with a family day trip to the beach? Find out why West Sussex might be the perfect destination. 

While we’re still enjoying warm(ish) summer weather, why not plan a day trip with the kids to West Sussex? There are the beautiful seaside towns and unique spots like Arundel Castle, Stansted House, RSPB Pulborough Brooks, Wetlands Trust, and Sussex Wildlife Trust just waiting to be explored.

To help you plan your day out, I have listed some of my favourite spots: beach, farm, garden, castle and playgrounds. So, read on and let me take you on a tour.

First stop: The beach!

The beach directly in Worthing town is fabulous, but if you fancy a quieter spot, how about driving west towards Ferring?

  • Park for free near Worthing Sailing Club and take a stroll to the Sea Lane Café, where you’ll find lovely beach huts, a fishmonger in a hut and the seaside café (which, by the way has the best cakes)!
  • Even further west is the Blue Bird Café. Go early to get a parking space or park on the road just before the café, then just walk along the beach towards Kingston Beach green with an ice-cream in hand. Yums!

Next stop: The Farm!

Roundstone Farm is great location for kids (and big kids!). Hop on a tractor ride to your desired location, and pick strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, cabbage, broccoli, courgettes, plums… the choices are endless. The farm runs from June until September.

Next stop: A picnic!

Once you’ve worked up an appetite at the farm, head up to the nearby Highdown Gardens, on top of The Downs. They’re simply gorgeous. You can bring your own picnic and choose a nice spot between beautiful flowers. The kids can play on the stepping stones while you admire the flowers. It’s a hidden gem. Tired and really need a culpa? Stop in at Highdown Tea Rooms.

Next stop: A castle!

You can’t come down to West Sussex and miss Arundel. Arundel Castle (open from 1 April to 29 October) is easily spotted from the main road, and is worth exploring (we recommend the Keep in particular). You can also attend a summer event, relax in the beautiful gardens and visit the museum for a bit more history.

There’s much more to the town than just the castle. It also boasts a cathedral, plenty of antiques shops (though perhaps best avoided with children in tow…), Swanbourne Lake (with rowing boats for hire), and Arundel Wetland Centre. It even has a pub by the river, in case you get thirsty.

Last top: The playground!

Want to burn off some energy before your trip home? Take the kids to one of Worthing’s many playgrounds. Here are two places where I often take my little ones:

  1. Brooklands Park has some awesome spots; from the lake area, to the train ride, the playground, splash pool and a green area for kids to run free. It can get busy so best to go earlier in the day. (It’s also just across the road from the beach, which is handy.)
  2. Gull Island (next to Splashpoint swimming pool and gym) is smaller than Brooklands but it has the advantage of being right on the seafront. Also in the summer they open the taps on the splash pad area where kids can dare themselves to run between the fountains, so much fun (bring spare clothes and a towel).

After all that playing how about a little refreshment? Around the corner is Coast Café des Artists. Their bacon sandwiches are the best in town.

Looking for more ideas of place to take your children in West Sussex? Check out the National Open Garden Scheme, where you’ll find secret gardens to visit and fab events.

Anna Bohane is a a Worthing-based photographer covering West Sussex, Surrey and London. She specialises in family portraiture and events.