The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Sussex Edition

Category: Days Out

Yarn bombing on Hastings Pier

26 Mar 2017

If you live around Hastings, or are heading there over Easter, be sure to catch the yarn bombing fun on the pier.

Schools, community groups, clever knitters and artists have produced a brilliant temporary exhibition of seaside-themed art with pirates, mermaids, gulls, crabs, even fish and chips rendered in wool.

It’s up until just after Easter but it’s bound to look better the earlier you go, before it gets too rained on.

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New city spa and afternoon tea hangout

8 Mar 2017

Brighton’s lovely seafront Harbour Hotel and its Jetty Restaurant have been open a few months now but a couple of new additions have just made it a top place to hang out and enjoy a bit of pampering, even if you’re not staying – namely a spa in a grotto and a colourful afternoon tea.

Unusually, the hotel burrowed into its heritage basement to create its new spa which has some fun, quirky styling.

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The Muddy Guide: What’s On 17 – 23 Feb

14 Feb 2017

Art, eats, beats and other treats and some fun things to book ahead in this week’s Muddy Guide. There’s theatre, exhibitions, a quiz night, dragon dancing and a chance to eat four puddings in one sitting! Don’t forget there are more family-friendly ideas – over 25 in fact – in my Half Term Guide.

Transferences: Sidney Nolan in Britain, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, Sat 18 Feb – 4 Jun

This is a major exhibition marking the centenary of the birth of Australian-born artist Sir Sidney Nolan (1917 – 1992), a leading figure of international 20th century art who experimented with a wide range of materials.

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London days out with kids

14 Feb 2017

Planning a trip to London this half term or soon after? Check out what some of the big museums and attractions in the capital (and just outside) have running at the moment. In fact some of these are on into Easter and beyond.

Robot Zoo, Horniman’s Museum, London SE23, Sat 11 Feb – Sun 29 Oct

It doesn’t get much cooler than a robotic zoo. Let’s be fair it needs to be impressive to schlep deep into south east London.

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Who won the wine & vineyard tour?

13 Feb 2017

Well you were certainly keen to get your mits on some Oxney organic wine in time for Valentine’s Day and passes to tour the vineyard near Rye and I can’t say I blame you!

One of Sussex’s youngest vineyards, Oxney Organic Estate at Beckley near lovely Rye, has just produced its first sparkling wine and, to celebrate gave one lucky Muddy reader:

  • A bottle of their organic English sparkling wine plus one of their still whites.
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Running a half? Race day tips

8 Feb 2017

Buy me a drink some time and I’ll tell you my tales as a marathon veteran. The nights training in the snow with a head torch… the black toenails… the grim need for Canestan cream and Imodium… hitting the wall. Oh yes, I’ve been there.

It wasn’t actually me doing the running of course. Despite years living within walking distance of the start of the London Marathon and always hankering after soaking in that amazing atmosphere while running to glory, I never actually did.

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WIN! Valentine’s wine and a vineyard tour

1 Feb 2017

Here’s something that could earn you serious Valentine’s Day brownie points. I’ve a lovely comp courtesy of Oxney Organic Estate to win some of their hot of the press – or rather – chilled off the press – new organic sparkling wine, plus a vineyard tour and tasting for up to four people, a prize worth over £100!


One of Sussex’s youngest vineyards, Oxney, at Beckley near lovely Rye, has just produced its first sparkling wine and, to celebrate, the good people there will give one lucky Muddy reader:

  • A bottle of their organic English sparkling wine plus one of their Beccanleah white  – sent in time for Valentine’s Day so you can celebrate in style with your other half (or indeed toast your singleness with a friend).
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Early Bird Muddy Summer Festival Guide – Book now!

12 Jan 2017

The festival season feels a long, long way off right now (although we wouldn’t say no to a pear cider if you’re offering) but these days you’ve got to book mega early if you want to be happy campers come summer. Many of the biggies sell out in a flash – has anyone managed to score Glastonbury tickets in years? But the good news is lots of the local events still have availability, plus most of them are family friendly.

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Chic sleeps and Sunday roasts at Rathfinny Wine Estate

3 Jan 2017

Ever keeled over on a settee hugging a bottle of Pinot Noir? No, me neither <cough>. Anyway, here’s a much more sophisticated way to sleep with wine. Rathfinny vineyard perched in the South Downs has some gorgeous cosy-yet-stylish accommodation in the Flint Barns on site. It’s perfect for either a house party, or a rejuvinating break with country walks. You can simply make a day of it if you prefer, building a visit round the regular Sunday roast on offer.

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My Favourite Places: Dog-friendly eateries

7 Dec 2016

Dr John Mason MBE is one of the founders of The South Downs Planetarium at Chichester, which has some great family-friendly shows (see end of post).

Strangely I met him not here in Sussex but on board a ship in Norway. We were off across the Arctic Circle to see the fabulous Northern Lights (of which more in another post) and John was the very enthusiastic lecturer guiding the way.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Sussex Edition