For self-propelled adventures, get bikes delivered to Eastlands from Southwater Cycles and potter the West Sussex bridleways, more plentiful than roads. Take a trip out to Brighton for the Sea Life Centre, for Drusilla’s Park small zoo, or for the Fort Fun water park. Or maybe the beach for paddleboarding, or just paddling.
Just round the corner is Huxley’s Birds of Prey Centre – say hello to hawks and eagles, falcons and owls, vultures and kites. Walk with alpacas at Dunreyth, or meet the raptors at Earnley Butterflies, Birds and Beasts. Or maybe pop over to Ceramic Shack to paint some pots.
Ride the steam-hauled Bluebell Railway or make hundreds of furry friends at the National Cat Centre. Pick up some chicks and try the Squirrel Scramble at Fisher’s Farm Park, or be bamboozled by the mazes and illusions at Tulley’s Farm.
Swim outdoors at Arundel Lido, see a restored, traditional working windmill at Jill Windmill, sit starstruck in the theatre at the South Downs Planetarium Science Centre, and hear the story of buried treasures discovered by accident at Fishbourne Roman Palace.
Stay on site for clay-pigeon shooting, or head out for plenty of outdoor entertainment. There’s quad-biking, go-karting, shooting and archery on offer at Southern Pursuits, and you can swing by Go Ape for a little tree-trekking, knee-knocking fun.
Move on to the wine estates at Bolney and Nyetimber for the finest English bubbles. Or just 18 miles away is cooky, cosmopolitan Brighton for big-brand name shops and loveable independents, jewellers and boutiques in The Lanes, plus varied and vibrant nightlife.
Head along the coast and way back in time at Arundel Castle, one of the longest-inhabited country houses in England with many surviving features. Chichester Cathedral costs £3,000 a day to maintain, but is free to visit. See the ornate windows, soak up the history, drop a penny in the hat.
Pack a picnic and walk round the lake at Tilgate Park, watch them tread the boards at Chichester Festival Theatre, see the Battle of Britain Hall at Tangmere Aviation Museum, or take a boat safari at Arundel Wetlands Centre. At the day’s end, follow the bridleways across the site for posh nosh and a pint in The Half Moon.
If it’s the finest dining and shopping you’re after, as well as unbeatable museums, parks, arts and culture, London city centre sits only an hour’s drive away. Watch a show in the West End; catch some of the biggest football clubs in the country going head to head at Stamford Bridge, White Hart Lane and the Emirates stadiums; shop ’til you drop in designer haven Selfridges; see the view from the London Eye; take a break from the sights in Hyde Park; and let the kids loose in the hauntingly intriguing London Dungeon!