Monthly Archives: August 2015

Days Out in East Sussex

East Sussex has a history dating back to The Norman Conquest. Visit the site of The Battle of Hastings, skygaze at the Observatory or spend a day at Druscilla’s Zoo.
East Sussex has a host of things for all the family. From the seaside resorts of Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings these are just a few of the attractions within easy reach:

1066 Battle Of Hastings, Abbey & Battlefield

In 1066 William of Normandy invaded England and fought the forces of King Harold just outside Hastings. The battlefield now hosts an award winning exhibition dedicated to the Norman Conquest and the changes it brought to the English way of life.

Charleston

Charleston was the home of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. The house contains examples of their works together with other items they collected by artists such as Picasso, Derain, Sickert and Renior.

Drusilla’s Park

Druscilla’s Park at Alfriston is a zoo and amusement park rolled into one. Druscilla’s awards include a listing in the Sunday Times Best 50 Days Out. The zoo specialises in keeping small to medium sized animals such as monkeys, meerkats and penguins and there is a host of other attractions for younger visitors including Amazon Adventure and Thomas the Tank Engine.

Herstmonceux Castle
Herstmonceux Castle was built in the 15th century. Cross the moat and explore the castle, explore the walled and Elizabethan gardens or follow one of two signed woodland trails.

Lewes Castle & Anne of Cleves House

Pili Palas

Lewes Castle Photo Steve Daniels under a Creative Commons License

Lewes Castle dates back to 1087, standing high above the town it dominates the skyline and offers unrivalled views of the town and the Sussex countryside. Opposite the castle, the Barbican House Museum recalls the history of the Lewes area from the Norman Conquest to the present day.

In the town centre, visit the 15th century timber framed house that Henry VIII gave to Anne of Cleves as part of their divorce settlement.

Michelham Priory

Michelham Priory, near Hailsham, was built in the 13th century. Standing in seven acres of grounds and protected by longest water filled moat in the country, the priory holds a collection of historic wall hangings and furniture. Outside there are beautifully kept gardens, wildlife and a working water wheel.

The Observatory Science Centre

Explore the heavens from The Observatory Science Centre near Herstmonceux. This working observatory, standing at the foot of the South Downs, provides hands on facilities to make astronomical discoveries using domes and telescopes.

Pashley Manor Gardens

Pashley Manor near Ticehurst has been labelled “One of the finest gardens in England”. This traditional garden intertwines trees, fountains, springs and ponds with a wide range of flowers including tulips, roses ,lilies and dahlias.

Redoubt Fortress & Military Museum

The Redoubt Fortress at Eastbourne was built over 200 years ago to help defend the South Coast against Napoleon. It was used again by the forces in World War II. Now it is a military museum with collection showing the work of The Royal Sussex Regiment, The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars Regiment and The Sussex Combined Services.

Spa Valley Railway

Spa Valley Railway

Spa Valley Railway Photo Helmut Zozmann under a Creative Commons License

The Spa Valley Railway is a standard gauge steam railway running through the Kent countryside between Tunbridge Wells and Eridge via Groomsbridge. Trains connect with the National Rail network at Eridge; the hourly London Bridge to Uckfield service provides direct links to London (1 hour 5 minutes) and East Croydon (45 minutes).

For more information Visit Sussex or 100 Days Out in South East England

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The “F Words” Food, Flowers and Festivals!

Shows and Festivals! August and September is festival season along the English/Welsh border. In Shrewsbury , Ludlow and Abergavenny, annual events attract exhibitors and visitors from across the country (and further afield). Flowers or food? The choice is yours.

Shrewsbury Flower Show
14th and 15th August 2015

Shrewsbury Flower Festival

Shrewsbury Flower Show Photo Paul Buckingham under a Creative Commons License

The Shrewsbury Flower Show is in The Guinness Book of World Records, as the longest running horticultural event held in the same location.

The show has been held for 127
years at Quarry Park,on the banks of the River Severn. The park is centrally located and is in easy reach of the town centre and the railway station.

The show, one of the country’s Premier Flower Show events, attracts top exhibitors from all over the country.

As well as the flower displays, T.V. personalities, celebrity Chefs, singers and spectacular arena acts entertain the crowds for 12 hours on each day of the show, ending with a magnificent firework display.

Shrewsbury Flower Show

Ludlow Food Festival
11th to 13th September 2015

Ludlow Food Festival

Ludlow Food Festival Photo Sean Kisby under a Creative Commons License

The medieval town of Ludlow is worth visiting any time of year for its Tudor streets and stunning castle, but for one weekend in September there is an added attraction.The 2015 Ludlow Marches Food and Drink Festival takes place on 11th, 12th and 13th September.

From humble beginnings in 1995, Britain’s first successful food and drink festival now attracts large numbers of visitors from across the UK an overseas.

From Friday to Sunday, over 180 top quality small independent food and drink producers will be inside Ludlow Castle.

As well as the food producers, across Ludlow’s historic town centre there are a number of other of food-related events. Follow the famous Ludlow Sausage trail, Ale trail or the Festival Loaf trail, watch cooking demonstrations, sample pudding tastings, explore markets and much more.

Ludlow Food Festival

Abergavenny Food Festival
18th to 20th September 2015

The Festival

Abergavenny Food Festival Photo Abergavenny Food Festival

The Guardian said “Abergavenny is to food as Cannes is to film – an annual festival for spotting rising stars in Britain’s artisan food firmament”

The festival was founded in 1999, has attracted too many celebrity chefs and critics to name here.

The weekend-long festival of food and drink and has an excellent reputation, with beautifully stocked stalls, demos, talks and fascinating activities such as guided wild food walks.

This year’s programme is full and varied including talks by celebrity chefs Raymond Blanc and Tom Kerridge (though the latter is sold out). On the Friday, limited numbers can tour the Abergavenny Creamery or Chase Distillery, near Hereford. Advance booking for both tours is essential.

Abergavenny Food Festival

Getting There

Like most shows and festivals, all three events are very popular and attract large crowds. So why not take the train to avoid the traffic?

The Arriva Trains of Wales service from Manchester to Cardiff runs hourly and stops at Shrewsbury, Ludlow and Abergavenny. Shrewsbury is also a major railway junction with direct services to Chester, Aberystwyth, Birmingham and Wolverhampton.

For more days out visit 100 Days Out in Wales or 100 Days Out in Shropshire

National Rail provides up to date details of train times and fares.