Summer Times

Summer Times

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Summer Times
Your essential guide to family days out across Kent & East Sussex
CALENDAR OF EVENTS: JULY

>> Wednesday July 20
PENSHURST PLACE: Every day until September 4 children can enjoy the fun Maize Maze that forms part of the house’s glorious gardens. Hunt out the clues hidden in the tricky maize and see if you can solve the various riddles strewn about. Gardens and grounds tickets cost £6 per child. www.penshurstplace.com

>> Thursday July 21
CHARTWELL: Winnie The Pooh’s Trail is open every day during the holidays right until September 4 at the former home of Winston Churchill near Westerham. Encourage your children to follow the trail to spot the bees and help locate Winnie’s missing honey pot. Tickets cost £1 in addition to usual admission price of £6.70. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/chartwell

>> Friday July 22
TONBRIDGE CASTLE: Treat the family to a night at the cinema – with a difference. For the next three nights the Luna Open Air Cinema is showing three classic films. Tonight it’s Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, tomorrow you can enjoy Grease, and on Sunday you can settle down to the classic Back To The Future. Tickets cost £9 for children and £13.50 for adults. www.thelunacinema.com

>> Saturday July 23
LAMBERHURST: Go along to the picturesque reservoir at Bewl, near Lamberhurst and have a go at attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the ‘Largest Parade of Paddle Boarders.’ Organised by active holiday experts Neilson, visitors will also have the opportunity to try out Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) and SUP Yoga. For more information visit www.bewlwater.co.uk

>> Sunday July 24
SCOTNEY CASTLE: As part of National Dragonfly Week, Scotney Castle will be participating in a day of related activities. So if you, or any children you know, are into these intriguing insects then go along and enjoy the info on offer and learn some fascinating facts. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/scotney-castle

Bewl Water

>> Monday July 25
BEWL WATER: Kicking off today and running from Monday to Friday every week until Friday August 26 there will be a raft of children’s activities happening at the beautiful Bewl Reservoir. These include camps which can be enjoyed as a full day from 9am – 4pm for £39.99, or a half day from 9am – 1.30pm for £24.99. Activities include rounders, cricket, natural walks, pedalos and bike trails. Booking and advance payment is essential. www.bewlwater.co.uk

>> Tuesday July 26
BEDGEBURY PINETUM: Starting today and running until August 5 is the Crafty Pictures event. No need to book, just turn up to the visitor’s centre between 10am and 2pm, pick up a collecting bag and follow the outdoor exhibition trail which highlights the vital conservation work carried out around the pinetum. Hunt out natural finds such as cones and leaves in order to make a fantastic picture collage. Costs £2 per child and usual car fee applies. www.bedgeburypinetum.org.uk

>> Wednesday July 27
HAYSDEN COUNTRY PARK: Today is National Play Day, but apart from going to your local park or having a get together with friends, why not pop along to the pond at Haysden and discover what lies beneath – in terms of local wild life and fish. The event runs from 10am – 2pm and is free to all. www.tmbc.gov.uk

Batemans Garden

>> Thursday July 28
BURWASH: Recreate the magic of Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book by visiting his childhood home at Batemans. Simply follow the special trail that’s been created for this summer in order to find Baloo, Akela and other characters from the book who are hiding in the garden. On August 3 there will also be a special Jungle Book story book day from 10am – 4pm. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/batemans

>> Friday July 29
PADDOCK WOOD: The Chilled in a Field popular family festival takes place over the weekend at the Hop Farm in Paddock Wood and is geared towards both parents and their children having fun. Expect lots of cool music from the likes of Secret Sessions and The Egg, plus glitter wrestling, glamping, free family theatre shows and hot showers! To book tickets visit www.chilledinafieldfestival.co.uk

>> Saturday July 30
HEVER CASTLE: Bring your children’s history lessons alive by taking them along to one of the jousting days at King Henry VIII’s former home in Hever. The Knights of Royal England will be running these energetic and entertaining events most weekends throughout the summer. Entry is included with a standard admission ticket, £9.30 for children, £16.50 for adults. www.hevercastle.co.uk

>> Sunday July 31
HICKSTEAD: It’s the final day of the UK’s most esteemed equine event. So if your children like horses, then make sure you head to Hayward’s Heath for the Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead, where you can see some spectacular showjumping as well as enjoy a spot of shopping thanks to the 250 specialist retailers that will be present. Entry ticket prices vary, so for more information visit www.hickstead.co.uk

Chilled in a Field

CALENDAR OF EVENTS: AUGUST

>> Monday August 1
GROOMBRIDGE PLACE: This summer you can experience the beauty of this stunning stately home and also benefit from a little theatrical entertainment at the same time. Theatre troupe Brymark is putting on two shows a day throughout the summer based on the life of Peter Pan entitled The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up. They will also be holding drama workshops. Tickets cost £10.95 per child and £14.95 per adult.

>> Tuesday August 2
PEMBURY: If you’re mad about horses then try out the Pony day happening at Wellgrove Farm stables just outside Tunbridge Wells. A full day costs £40, and includes two rides or you can do a half day for £32 and enjoy one. For more details visit www.wellgrovestables.co.uk

>> Wednesday August 3
SEVENOAKS WILDLIFE RESERVE: From 10am til 1pm there will be a Family Bushcraft event at this stunning reserve which forms part of the Kent Wildlife Trust. So if you want to learn all manner of forest skills including den building and fire making out in the great outdoors, this is the course for you! Registration fee costs £15 per person. To book visit: www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk

Riverhill Himalyan Gardens Face Painting and Nail Art

>> Thursday August 4
RIVERHILL HIMALAYAN GARDENS: Until August 7 there will be face painting and nail art events for children to enjoy while they roam around these stunning grounds. Running from 11am until 4pm, a team of talented artists will be on hand until the weekend to etch all manner of woodland creatures on your little ones’ hands and faces. This event is free once you have paid the usual entry fee of £5.75 per child. www.riverhillgardens.co.uk

>> Friday August 5
ALFRISTON: Two of PAW Patrol’s finest – Chase and Marshall – are making their debut at Drusillas today. The policing pups from the Nickleodeon TV series will be patrolling around the grounds, meeting and greeting visitors. Entrance to the zoo, which boasts over 190 different species, costs from £11 per child.
www.drusillas.co.uk

Royal International Horse Show

>> Saturday August 6
BRIGHTON: Throughout the summer you can dive in and learn all types of fascinating fishy facts at one of the area’s most popular family attractions, Brighton Sealife Centre. During August you can also follow the Disney Pixar interactive trail, where you can discover lots about the real life versions of Dory and Nemo. Entry costs from £10.50. To book tickets go to www.visitsealife.com

>> Sunday August 7
ARUNDEL WETLANDS: Be a nature explorer this summer and pay a visit to the beautiful Wildfowl and Wetland Trust (WWT) in Arundel, Sussex. This conservation area gives visitors close up access to certain protected species and areas of environmental importance. There’s also a great café so you can make a day or weekend of it. Tickets cost £5.45 per child and £11.95 per adult. www.wwt.org.uk

>> Monday August 8
KNOLE: If the weather’s not playing ball then how about heading to Knole in Sevenoaks and participating in its Hidden Animals trail which runs every day throughout the summer holidays. Lots of soft toy leopards will be spending the summer holiday in the house’s grand showrooms and it’s up to you to find them! Usual admission of £5.50 per child and £11 per adult applies. National Trust members go free.

>> Tuesday August 9
SPA VALLEY RAILWAY LINE: Every Tuesday throughout the summer holidays children can ride on this picturesque train line for just £1 when travelling with an adult (who pays £11 each). Hang out at the High Rocks or explore Groombridge Place en route. www.spavalleyrailway.co.uk

>> Wednesday August 10
TONBRIDGE SWIMMING POOL: If you can’t get away this summer then fear not as the heated outdoor pool located behind Tonbridge’s castle will make you feel like you’re on your holidays. There’s also an appealing al fresco dining area where you can enjoy light snacks or lunch. Tickets cost from £3.80 for non-members. For more information visit www.tmactive.co.uk

>> Thursday August 11
IGHTHAM MOTE: Enjoy a day of Victorian Fun with a special house quiz, watercolour painting, dressing up and period games and activities. This is a good opportunity to look back to the time of the house’s Victorian owners, the Colyer-Fergusson family. Usual admission of £5.50 per child and £11 per adult applies. National Trust members go free.

>> Friday August 12
BOWLES OUTDOOR CENTRE: This popular outdoor activity centre will be hosting a wealth of interesting activities over the summer holidays. Today it’s centred around Low Ropes and the Leap of Faith. Children aged over 8 can enjoy participating in these balance challenges, which also promote good teamwork. All course prices vary, so to find out more visit www.bowles.ac

>> Saturday August 13
ASHDOWN FOREST: Not only is it a wonderful area for walks and to explore in general, its connection with AA Milne’s Winnie The Pooh makes this corner of East Sussex a must visit for children of all ages. When you’re there, make sure you pop into Pooh Corner.
www.ashdownforest.org

>> Sunday August 14
TUNBRIDGE WELLS BORDERS: If you’ve never been for a walk around the glorious grounds of Salomons, a beautiful former country estate in Tunbridge Wells, then make sure you go this summer, as you’ll see plenty of wildlife in their natural habitat and various plant and tree species. Visiting on a Sunday is perfect as you can enjoy a delicious cream tea on the terrace afterwards! If you want a guided walk, it costs £3 per child and £5 per adult. www.salomons-estate.com

>> Monday August 15
CROWBOROUGH: If you’re a fan of the film Hunger Games and aged 10 or over then this camp which recreates the drama and action of the film of the same name is the ideal day out for you. Running from 10 until approximately 3pm this survival camp is packed full of fun and thrilling adventure and will teach you a lot of survival skills too. For ticket information and prices, visit www.buzzadventures.co.uk

Go Ape

>> Tuesday August 16
CRANBROOK: If you really want to have a go at swinging through the trees and navigating wobbly wooden bridges, but are too small for the Go Ape at Bedgebury then try out this excellent Go Ape junior version in Cranbrook. Tickets are priced from £18. www.goape.co.uk

>> Wednesday August 17
SEVENOAKS: Buzy Bees Playbarn is the perfect place to take shelter from the rain and offers tiny tots and under 12’s a wealth of fun indoor activities to enjoy. The perfect place to let off steam there are three areas – under 2’s, under 5’s and over 5’s – plus a garden with Go Kart, Trikes and Cozy Coupe Cars. Entrance costs from £3.50. For more information visit www.buzybees.co.uk

>> Thursday August 18
WEALD OF KENT: If the weather’s not playing ball or your family members are feeling too tired to take on yet another activity then how about bringing them on a wonderful scenic drive? Taking in all the picturesque countryside that our region is renowned for, you can also stop off here and there en route and enjoy an ice cream at Bewl Water reservoir or an amble around the ruins of Bayham Abbey for example. Download a map of the route that takes you through some of the wonderful Wealden countryside by clicking onto: www.visittunbridgewells.com

>> Friday August 19
HAWKHURST: The Fish Farm includes planted gardens, scenic waterfalls and hosts a variety of wildfowl from across the world. There are three junior coarse ponds, with rods and nets available for hire and no fishing license is required. All day fishing permits start from £7 www.hawkhurstfishfarm.co.uk

>> Saturday August 20
UCKFIELD: There’s nothing children enjoy more than a day spent out in the woods, foraging, exploring and having fun. Wander over to Wilderness Wood where they can do all this and more – while you join in or let them do a specific day’s course while you relax in the cool rustic café. Entrance is free, but donations are most welcome. www.wildernesswood.org

>> Sunday August 21
ROBERTSBRIDGE: Bodiam Castle. If you’ve got some wannabe knights and princesses-in-waiting in your family then take them to this stunning 14th century castle which has plenty to amuse children of all ages including stocks, battlements and arrow slit windows. Entrance costs £4.10 for children and £8.20 per adult. www.nationaltrust.org/bodiam-castle

>> Monday August 22
FOREST ROW: If you just love a little something unusual then head to the Ashdown Llama Farm at Whych Cross this summer and see all this specialist centre has to offer. As well as being able to take a llama for a walk and learn all about them, there are also donkeys, alpacas and reindeers to see too. Entrance costs £5 per child and £6 per adult, and tickets can be booked from www.llamapark.co.uk

Camping

>> Tuesday August 23
SISSINGHURST: Walking around the library housed in the former home – and castle – of famous writer Vita Sackville-West, scaling the narrow staircase up to the property’s impressive look-out tower or wandering around the maze-like gardens will provide people of all ages with a most enjoyable day out. Over the summer holidays there’s also farmers’ markets and camping sessions. Normal National Trust prices apply. For further information visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sissinghurst-castle

>> Wednesday August 24
TUNBRIDGE WELLS COMMON: There is a short circular walk you can do which is buggy friendly and not too challenging, but will take in the Wellington Rocks, the town’s cricket ground and also give you access to various wildlife and flora and fauna. To find out more visit Explore Kent’s website www.explorekent.org

>> Thursday August 25
EDENBRIDGE: As any parent, grandparent, or carer will know the summer holidays are long – and often wet! If you’ve exhausted the numerous soft play centres in our area, then try Manic Monsters for a rainy day. Entrance costs from £5.95 per child – babies go free. Visit www.manicmonsters.co.uk for more information.

>> Friday August 26
LEWES: Blackberry Farm is a fantastic day out for all the family, thanks to the variety of activities on offer. Set in 18 acres of breath-taking Sussex countryside you can go along and enjoy petting rare breed animals and riding ponies to being a young farmer for the day and helping to feed, muck out and exercise animals which range from pigs to goats. Ticket prices are £8 per person. www.blackberry-farm.co.uk

>> Saturday August 27
CAMBER SANDS: Make the most of the weekend by taking a trip to the seaside. One of the nearest to us is Camber, which also has the added bonus of being sandy and having plenty of sand dunes in which the children can play. www.visitkent.co.uk

>> Sunday August 28
BLUEBELL RAILWAY: Running from Sheffield Park to East Grinstead every day throughout the summer this is a great way to see some stunning scenic countryside. A collection of vintage carriages is housed in the museum and there are also lots of contemporary interactive games to keep younger ones amused. Tickets and train journeys vary so for more details visit www.bluebell-railway.co.uk

>> Monday August 29
ASHFORD: Pig racing, discovering edible eats in the garden or marvelling at the majesty of eagles and owls swooping around, the Rare Breeds Centre has it all if you’re after a day out with a difference. In fact there’s actually so much to do at this brilliant facility located just a short drive from the gorgeous village of Woodchurch, you’ll have to make time for another visit to fit everything else in. Tickets cost from £9.50. Go to www.rarebreeds.org.uk

>> Tuesday August 30th
CHIDDINGSTONE CASTLE: Explore the stunning Ancient Egyptian garden located in the grounds of this picturesque castle. Named The Fields of Eternity it was created in 2014 by expert Egyptologists and encourages visitors to think about the landscape of Ancient Egypt through its planting schemes, which represent the Nile and the castle’s own unique collection of antiques from this era.

>> Wednesday August 31
LINGFIELD: If you’ve never been, then now is the time to visit the British Wildlife Centre. With over 40 different native species which range from voles, otters and weasels to fallow deer and pole cats this really has the best variety of British wildlife on offer anywhere in the country. Tickets cost £8.50 for children over 3 and £11.50 for adults. www.britishwildlifecentre.co.uk

>> Thursday September 1
HASSOCKS: Washbrook Family Farm. This offers a wonderful day out for little ones under the age of ten. Not only can they meet their favourite animals, get them bouncing on the inflatable pillows and taking a tractor ride to ensure a great day packed full of merriment and memories. If it’s raining, get them playing in the indoor centre. Tickets cost £6.50 for children and £7.50 for adults. www.washbrooks.co.uk

CALENDAR OF EVENTS: SEPTEMBER

>> Friday September 2
HASTINGS: Want one last historical hit for the holidays? Then head to Hastings and experience the amazing Smugglers Adventure Experience. Part of the 1066 experience, which also includes Hastings Castle, it’s an exciting and educational review of life in the 11th century. Just prepare younger ones for a little dose of ghoulish and ghastly history! Tickets start at £5 per child. www.smugglersadventure.co.uk

>> Saturday September 3
NUTLEY: Today and tomorrow Pippingford Park will be hosting Into The Trees. The event runs from 10am to 6pm and is a fascinating family day out which takes you into the amazing world of woodland and forests and shows you how you can work and play within them as well as ways to help their conservation

>> Sunday September 4
TUNBRIDGE WELLS: Bright Young Things is putting on a one-day saxophone workshop to give children the chance to learn all about this wind instrument. Running from 10am – 4pm it’s the perfect way for your children to gain a hands-on approach to music. The day’s fee is £50. To book a place visit: www.brightyoungthings.co.uk

SCHOOL’S OUT FOR SUMMER

With seven weeks of freedom now ahead let the Kids On The Go comprehensive guide steer you through the summer holidays to ensure you’re always guaranteed a fun day out and about. As well as listings for holiday clubs and courses, their Days Out section will tell you all you need to know about what’s on where. www.tunbridgewellskidsonthego.co.uk