Discover East Sussex. After exhausting the many delights of Brighton and Eastbourne head for Drusillas Park with its gentle rids, zoo, softplay, water play and mazes. Paradise Park is also a popular choice, with its Planet Earth Museum, Heritage Trail and gardens, and dino-themed playzone.
Head for Bewl Water, the largest lake in the south-east, for cycling and summer aqua-park fun. Local animal farms and centres include the Ashdown Forest Llama Park, where you can walk lllamas as well as enjoy facilities such as a bouncy castle.
Spend a relaxed day at Groombridge Place, with a moated manor, a deer park, a canal-boat trip, teepees, a pirate-themed play area and an enchanted forest. It's also home to the UK Owl and Raptor Centre and a Sherlock Holmes Museum and has a fantastic array of family events throughout the year. Other good gardens to visit are the National Trust's Nymans and Wakehurst Place, along with High Beeches and Highdown.
Let your imaginations run wild and enjoy the dizzying heights from the ramparts of the National Trust's Bodiam Castle, a great example of a fortified and moated fortress. Newhaven Fort is also worth a visit; set in 10 acres, the museum shows you what life in a castle was really like. The Kent and East Sussex Railway is also a popular day out.
Amble through West Sussex. Chichester, with its beautiful Georgian houses and streets, is a great place to while away some time – if your family are walkers, Chichester Canal is an attractive way to explore the countryside as far as pretty Chichester Harbour, which you can tour by boat trip (very busy in summer). Vast Arundel Castle is one of the most striking of all English castles, while Fishbourne Roman Palace and Bignor Roman Villa show you how the Romans lived. Or head to Weald and Downland Living Museum for a history lesson that’s slightly closer to home, with villages from the 13th to 19th centuries recreated in 40 acres of countryside.
Animal lovers might venture to Huxleys Birds of Prey Centre or Tulleys Farm, but don’t forget about the most popular four-legged variety at Goodwood Racecourse, which can make for a great, surprisingly child-friendly day out.