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Southeast England suggestions (6 year old in tow)

1st trip to the UK in late July!
We will be arriving Heathrow with a stay at Hever Castle in Edenbridge 2 days later. I'm hoping to make a loop through Kent/Sussex/Surrey beforehand with our 6 year old. We will have a car and want to see a bit of coast and off the beaten path countryside. There are so many options, just wondering if anyone can help me narrow them with a 6 year old in mind?

Posted by
5695 posts

You don’t want to be driving far if jet lagged off a long flight, so I would suggest that you stay in Brighton, on the coast or nearby. Your arrival date could be spent walking round the town and if weather permits, some time on the (pebble) beach or taking a ride on the Volks railway along the seafront.

The following day, there are many pretty traditional villages that you could explore between Brighton and Eastbourne, such as Rottingdean, Alfriston, Jevington or East Dean and then head to either Treasure Island adventure park or Eastbourne miniature steam railway or Drusilla’s mini zoo to amuse your 6 year old.

En route to Hever, take visit either Sheffield Park (National Trust) or take a ride on the Bluebell heritage steam railway then have a walk in Ashdown Forest between Nutley and Forest Row.

You are travelling in peak school holidays, so places, particularly the coast will be busy if the weather is good and much of the accommodation will have been taken, so don’t delay booking.

Posted by
28087 posts

Does your 6-year-old like Winnie-the-Pooh?

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you Jennifer, Brighton is on the short list of options. I was hoping for more Southeastern and low key suggestions as I understand Brighton to be a carnival atmosphere. Perhaps, I have that wrong?
Nigel, Winnie-the-Pooh has somehow been overlooked in our household! We will have to remedy that immediately.

Posted by
28087 posts

Ah well then, if you or your progeny fall in love with Pooh, Christopher Robin, Eeyore, Piglet, Owl, or any of the rest of the gang, you won't be a million miles away from the real Hundred Acre Wood, and all the other Pooh locations. That's because Pooh and Christopher Robin are real, and really came from a real place.

Posted by
28087 posts

Brighton can be, and usually isn't. Depends on the weather, what the weather has done recently, who is around, and most importantly what day of the week it is.

Brighton is by every possible measure different. That's almost always different in a good way. But most definitely different.

If you are there for a Bank Holiday, especially if it is hot sunny weather after cold and nasty - like this week - you can't get near the front much less stake out any beach because the world will be there before you.

If it is the weekend all bets are off, especially if it decent out - most of London will be there before you.

If the weather is a bit meh and it is midweek you will have the place to yourself.

Having a ride on the Volks beach railway is great fun for 6 year olds - both real 6 year olds and those who are young at heart.

Have a stroll around The Lanes. Go to India - or what a King thought of India - by catching a glimpse of the Brighton Royal Pavilion and perhaps, just perhaps going inside.

There are probably as many ways to enjoy Brighton as there are people who visit it.

Just don't be surprised by anything.

Posted by
5695 posts

There are no Bank Holidays at the end of July, so that won’t be an issue. Brighton can be busy if the weather is good at the weekend, but it’s only a carnival atmosphere when the Gay Pride parade is on, which is 3-4 August this year.

Quieter alternatives would be Lewes or any of the villages around here or Rye. Eastbourne is a good location which, being a traditional seaside resort has plenty of entertainment for children, but late July isn’t peak school holiday season, so it will be busy, as will any coastal location. Hythe would also be a good base, with a possible visit to the local steam railway and Port Lympne (pronounced Lim) Zoo, but it is further from Heathrow.

Avoid the coast at Peacehaven and Newhaven, as these aren’t the prettiest areas.