Coast’s Choice: Sussex

To offer you some inspiration for the caravanning season ahead, the Coast team will be sharing some of our favourite tourist attractions and hidden gems from around the country in our new ‘Coast’s Choice’ feature.

As the saying goes, there’s no place like home, so we thought the ideal starting point for our caravanning journey would be Sussex: the home of Coast headquarters. Here are a few of our favourite day out destinations – all of which are located conveniently close to some of the county’s best caravan sites.

Battle Abbey

This beautiful abbey is the site of the famous Battle of Hastings and paying a visit will certainly take you back to 1066! Interactive displays and a CGI film will guide you through the Norman conquest, whilst a guided audio tour of the battlefield brings the great fight itself to life. Entry to this English Heritage site costs from £7.30 for adults and £4.40 for children. For more information visit the Battle Abbey website.

Nearest caravan site: 2.8 miles

Bentley Wildfowl and Motor Museum

Feathers and engines might not seem like a conventional combination, but Bentley Wildfowl and Motor Museum provides a day out that will entertain every member of the family. Set in a sprawling estate, the grounds include a 23-acre reserve that houses 125 species of wildfowl, beautifully kept gardens and access to Glyndebourne Woods. Those of you who prefer to be indoors can view the unique collection of vintage cars dating as far back as the Edwardian era or take a tour round the stately home. The museum is open full time in the summer and weekends only during the off season, with entry priced from £8.00 for adults and £6.00 for children. For more information visit the Bentley Wildfowl website.

Nearest caravan site: 5.3 miles

Bluebell Railway

For the past half-century, the Bluebell Railway has preserved the spirit of steam train travel with heritage trips through the glorious Sussex countryside. Based on the restored Lewes to East Grinstead section of the old London Brighton & South Coast Railway, the Bluebell line runs several steam locomotive services each day between Sheffield Park in Uckfield and Kingscote station in Turner’s Hill. In addition to standard travel, there are catered passages including afternoon tea trips, fish ‘n’ chip specials and rail ale evenings with live jazz music, while Horsted Keynes Station hosts the Sussex Food Festival every June. Fares cost from £8.40 for adults, with family tickets available. The Bluebell Railways also runs ‘kids for a quid’ promotions during selected school holidays. Visit the Bluebell Railway website to find out more.

Nearest caravan site: 0.4 miles (Sheffield Park station), 1.6 miles (Horsted Keynes station)

Chichester Cathedral

Located in the heart of Chichester, this 900-year-old cathedral is both imposing and impressive, combining architecture from its Norman origins right up to the Victorian period. Open all year round and free to enter, many visitors are attracted by the cathedral’s art collection, which includes medieval carvings. Free guided tours are offered at 11.15am and 2.30pm from Monday-Saturday, while the venue regularly holds exhibitions. The cathedral also features a gift shop and café, full information on its services is available through the Chichester Cathedral website.

Nearest caravan site: 6.3 miles

Drusilla’s Zoo Park

Awarded South East England ‘Visitor Attraction of the Year’ in 2010/2011, Drusilla’s Park is regarded by many as Europe’s best small zoo. From monkeys to meerkats, this family-friendly venue showcases hundreds of small to medium size exotic animals, including interactive attractions such as Lemurland – a walkthrough Lemur enclosure. Your little animals can also burn off some energy in Drusilla’s indoor and outdoor activity play areas, take part in a game of adventure golf or hop on the Thomas the Tank Engine train ride. Tickets cost from £9.00 with family discounts also available – visit the Drusilla’s Park website to find out more. 

Nearest caravan site: 1.4 miles

Fishbourne Roman Palace

Visitors to Sussex should not pass up the opportunity to view the UK’s largest collection of Roman mosaic floors in their original location. Fishbourne Palace dates back to the 1st Century AD and, in addition to the magnificent flooring, many Roman artefacts are on show in the Palace Gallery. Guided tours are available each day, while the venue also features a gift shop, café and Roman Garden Museum. Fishbourne Roman Palace is open seven days a week, tickets cost from £8.20 for adults and £4.20 for children. For more information visit the Fishbourne Roman Palace website.

Nearest caravan site: 4.2 miles

If you’re starting to plan your summer break, don’t forget to check when your caravan insurance is due for renewal. Coast can offer you a competitive rate on your touring caravan insurance or motorhome insurance: for more information call our sales team on Freephone 0800 614 849 or click here to obtain a quotation online.