Posted 10 February 2012 by Andrew Gardner
Half term is here, and our lovely Sussex countryside offers so much to see and do. Walks are always an option, but as it's February we thought you might like something warmer.
The Weald and Downland Open Air Museum at Singleton makes a lovely day out (it occasionally has to close when conditions are too icy, so it's worth phoning ahead if the weather's iffy). You get to stretch your legs strolling around the scenic site and its outdoor attractions, but if the rain or snow descends there's plenty of indoor stuff too. Discover how our ancestors lived, how they built their homes and worked their land as you explore the museum's village which includes farmsteads, a Tudor kitchen and a working watermill. There's also an amazing collection of buildings 'rescued' from the local area – historic structures that would otherwise have been demolished.
At half term (13-17 February, 11am-3pm) it's Cool Crafts Week there: put on your woollies and wellies and have a go at arts and crafts or outdoor trails. The museum also runs courses throughout the year, and one of our Sussex cottages would make an ideal base if you're planning to do one of the day schools in historic building conservation or traditional trades and crafts.
Nearby Chichester has a brilliant planetarium, where the half term shows are Stars on Frosty Winter Nights, All Aboard – A Tour of the Planets and Northern Lights. They last about an hour each and are suitable for ages six and upwards. Do book ahead and arrive in time for your eyes to adapt to the darkness. Or why not visit the Observatory Science Centre at Herstmonceux, near Hailsham? Daily Telescope Tours and Spectacular Science Shows will be happening there alongside the regular interactive displays, plus drop-in activities and half-day workshops.
For steam-train enthusiasts, the Bluebell Railway has a 'kids for a quid' half term offer – which only applies to real kids, by the way, not grown-up ones (sorry!). Buy your tickets at Sheffield Park station and travel in style to Horsted Keynes or Kingscote and back; and if anyone has a birthday this week you could even book a children's party, which includes a train ride and tea in the restaurant. Or for something altogether more fishy, the Blue Reef Aquarium at Hastings has a Fanatical About Fish week going on.
Check out all these and more from the warmth of one of our cosy cottages.