Your September social life sorted, courtesy of Muddy’s curated guide to the most unmissable things to see, do, eat and drink in Sussex this month.
Into The Trees, Pippingford Park, 8-10 Sept
Let the summer’s festival vibe live on at this gorgeous gathering set in the stunning surrounds of the Ashdown Forest. With the ethos of encouraging families to spend more time together outdoors, this is a winner of an event. Day guests are welcome to discover a host of sports, arts and nature activities. Every member of the family from toddlers to grandparents is included with the full focus on everyone connecting with nature.
Woodland Adventure, Brambletye School, East Grinstead, 30 Sept
This is the dream day out for little ones! It’s been specifically designed for kids aged 3-4 years and involves an exploration into the beautiful woods of this West Sussex boarding school. There promises to be a morning of adventure, activities and discovery culminating in a BBQ – sweet relief for parents. Hurry though, you’ll need to pre book your place.
Family Raceday, Plumpton Racecourse, Lewes, 24 Sept
Quit horsing around, (sorry) there’s something for every member of your brood, as well as horse racing (obvs) and there’s even a dog competition too! There are seven races on the day to mark the Season Opener and best of all: everything to keep the little blighters busy. Think trampolines, an inflatable playground, a fairground, face painting and a whole lot more!
Buggy tours of Rooted, Wakehurst, Haywards Heath, until 17 Sept
This is your last chance to enjoy a special guided route around this outdoor art exhibition. To raise awareness of a deadly fungus that is threatening to kill up to 75% of ash trees, Brighton-based graffiti artist SinnaOne has transformed the trunks of diseased trees into striking artwork. And now those on four wheels can enjoy it too!
Dogtember dog swims, Saltdean Lido, 10-30 Sept
The next few weeks are all about our furry friends at this seafront lido just down from Brighton. There are various session in the schedule offering 90 minutes of swimming fun for dogs and the session are grouped by breed so your pooch can splash around with dogs just like them! There are also hour-long quieter sessions for more mild mannered pups.
Heritage Craft & Skills Weekend, Weald & Downland Living Museum, Chichester, 16-17 Sept
Take their eyes off the screens with this: old school crafts. Experts from the Heritage Craft Association will engage young (and older) minds as they pay tribute to a range of skills from paper marbling to hat making. Up for more active stuff? There’s also brick making, wheelwrighting and even hurdle making. It may even inspire a new hobby.
National Racehorse Week, various UK locations, 9-17 Sept
Riding crops, jodhpurs and your, ahem, well-worn copy of Jilly Cooper’s Ridersat the ready – National Racecourse Week is back on 9-17 Sep, giving you the chance to snoop around the five star stables of more than 100 yards across the country and pat a future racing champ. It’s a rare chance for the public to experience the love and care that goes into looking after the most elite horses across the UK – and cheaper than a pony for Christmas. (Find your local participating stables here).
Star gazing, Sheffield House and Gardens, 23 Sept
Take to the autumn skies well not literally, but you can have a proper peak at the action up above with the help of the Seven Sisters Astronomical Society. They’ll take you around the stunning setting of the lakes and gardens to star spot. Tickets include a warming jacket potato and filling of your choice. Just remember to wrap up warm!
Goodwood Revival, Goodwood, Chichester, 8-10 Sept
The ultimate vintage fashion experience. Revival is an immersive event staged entirely in period theme – recreating the glory days of Goodwood motor racing from 1948-1966 – bringing back to life treasured cars, vintage fashion and, most significantly, the concept of a less disposable world. You can of course watch vintage cars race around the infamous track but the event is so much more that that. Revival is a metaphorical catwalk for creative ways to live stylishly and sustainably.
Comedy Club, Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens, Horsham, 15 Sept
Fancy a laugh? Course you do. See the best in stand up with Paul Cox returning as host and MC with Tania Edwards, Louie Green and Ninia Benjamin taking to the stage. The intimate event takes place in the wine garden and you won’t want to miss a wander around the incredible Grade II listed gardens before the event. Oh, and pizza and nachos will be available so you can snack through the sniggering.
Bottle Shock outdoor cinema screening, Tinwood Estate, Chichester, 1 Sept
Make the most of the lighter, brighter and longer evenings before autumn sets in with one of the last opportunities to watch a film outdoors. Seating is provided in the form of the vineyard’s terrace furniture and you can of course enjoy some Tinwood sparkling wine and dishes prepared at the Vineyard Kitchen.
Rye Arts Festival, Rye, 30 Sept
Celebrating its, gasp, 52nd year you could say organisers have had plenty of experience at putting on a great show! The schedule includes everything from piano recitals to film screenings, guided walks, comedy, plays – basically everything you’d want from the arts scene.
Ticehurst Literary Festival, The Bell Ticehurst, 9-10 Sept
Attention all book worms, book your tickets to this event immediately. There are two days of talks, workshops and meet the author opportunities. This year taking a starring role will be Alex Preston author of Winchelsea, Jyoti Patel of The Things We Lost fame and Rebecca Stott who wrote Dark Earth. Also on offer will be an poetry workshop with Genevieve Stevens and children’s illustration session with Robyn Wilson Owen.
Artisan Market and Vintage Fair, Market Square, Midhurst, 23 Sept
Shop ‘til you drop at this free outdoor emporium of handmade and vintage items. You’ll find decorative homeware, fashion, antiques and artisan products. You’ll want to bring the car, and parking is available at Grange Road car park nearby.
Wellness Day Retreat, Birchwood, Filmwell Park, near Ticehurst, 23 Sept
Soothe all your stresses away in this stunning studio space set in the canopy of trees in a Birchwood forest. The day is an intimate retreat from reality that will focus on movement, conscious connected breathwork and ice therapy – all led under the expert guidance of Nina Carter. Lunch, a snack and ginger shot are included.
Sound and steam gong bath sauna, Beach Box Spa, Brighton, 12 Sept
A most welcome addition to Brighton beach, this outdoor sauna experience is not to be missed! No only can you enjoy the wood-fired saunas, plunge pool and fire pit right on the beach – and even venture into the sea if you’re that way inclined – this special evening has much more. Wellness guru Pete York hosts a one-hour gong ceremony while you lie in peaceful silence.
Soulful Sunday, Cowdray Estate, Midhurst, 10 Sept
Set sail – metaphorically of course – on a soul soothing journey during this half-day workshop that promises to beautifully blend ancient rituals with Kundalini yoga practices and a soulful somatic journeying. The focus is on finding a new sense of intimacy with yourself, and who you truly are.
Swap ’til You Drop clothes swap, The Hive Bar, Crawley, 7 Sept
Muddy Award Winner 2023, Fine Tuned Wardrobe hosts an evening of fashion and fun. Ticket prices includes a glass of fizz and you can swap up to 10 items on the night. A stylish and sustainable way to shop and spend an evening.
FOOD AND DRINK
Food and drink festival, various venues in Steyning, 2 Sept – 7 Oct
Foodies need apply here – there are four whole weeks focused entirely on the best artisan food and drink producers and venues in and around the South Downs. There will be guided tours, talks and demos as well as exhibitions dedicated to all things food and specialist dishes and cocktails (hooray) served across the village.
Opening party, Bolney Wine Estate, Haywards Heath, 15-16 Sept
To celebrate the opening of the new hospitality area and shop at the vineyard, there’s a special party – and you’re invited. Over the two days, you can enjoy live music, exclusive tastings, and tours with capanes being served. Book your tickets here.
Spanish wine tasting, Safari Pizza, Haywards Heath, 6 Sept
Whether you know your Monastrell from your Moscatel or aren’t even sure how to pronounce them, let only taste them – this evening is still for you. The sommelier at the pizza restaurant will take you through the wines of Spain and as a bonus you can order pizza too. What’s not to love?
Birthday party, Safari Pizza, Haywards Heath, 9 September
Also taking place at Safari Pizza this month is a celebration to mark one year of the restaurant being open. You can enjoy live music from band Sweet Loretta until late into the evening (11.30pm to be specific) and of course they will be serving pizzas the entire time.
Great British Food Festival, Borde Hill, 9-10 Sept
Hit every foodie desire in one place – there will be a variety of street food vendors to snack your way around, before you taste test at the artisan markets. This event is all about British cuisine and celebrating the very best of what we bake and make.
Lulu’s Black Market Burlesque in the Secret Garden, One Garden Brighton, 23 Sept
Relive the very best of the 1940s at this themed evening complete with a three course dinner and cocktails served at the outdoor bar while entertainment is provided in the walled garden with vintage acrobatics, burlesque and cabaret. True glamour awaits.