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Five things to book in Sussex this Autumn

Staring glumly down the barrel of the end of the summer holidays? Don't despair, there's heaps to look forward to! Get that diary out and book in these unmissable events in Sussex this autumn.

From the best family fun in the county to the relaunching of a National Restaurant Awards top 100 restaurant, we’ve got the lowdown on the must-do’s in Sussex this September and October.

Educating Rita, The Capitol, Horsham, 7-11 September

©Nobby Clark nobby@nobbyclark.co.uk

We can’t wait for this production of the great British comedy by Willy Russell. Married hairdresser Rita, played by Jessica Johnson, enrols on a university course to expand her horizons. Tutor Frank (Stephen Tompkinson, of Ballykissangel fame) is a frustrated poet, brilliant academic and legendary boozer. Somehow, the two have a great deal to teach one another. Channel those back to school vibes by catching it at the Capitol this September. Hilarious and heart-warming, Educating Rita won an Olivier award for its West End production by the RSC, and was also made into a film starring Julie Walters and Michael Caine.

Into the Trees, 10-12 September, Pippingford Park, Uckfield

Eke out that summer family festival vibe just a teeny-tiny bit longer, with this lovely, relaxed gathering brought to you by the team behind legendary Sussex festival Elderflower Fields. This is a more laid-back event with a focus on connecting with nature in the stunning surrounds of the Ashdown Forest. Expect a host of nature-based and sports activities from archery, kayaking, raft-building, barefoot walking and tree climbing to pewter casting and lantern making. Relax and tuck into delicious local food and let the kids run free. Glamping and camping tickets available.

Boundary Brighton, Stanmer Park, 25 September

Step AWAY from that dodgy illegal rave up on the Downs (assuming you’re cool enough to be notified about them, unlike, er, me) and take your glo-stick to Stanmer Park instead for the fifth showing of Boundary festival. Local house, electro and drum n bass DJs will have you big fish, little fish-ing the night away, and you can scoff local food and enjoy a vintage fair to boot. And all without being arrested afterwards. This one’s been earmarked by none other than Elle magazine as one of the must-attends of the summer, and who are we to argue?

Sunshine, Sandals and Splash, Beachcroft Hotel, Felpham, through October

Book in a three-day, four-day or week-long mini-break at the Beachcroft Hotel on Felpham Beach. Perfect for a family autumn staycay before the nights start to seriously draw in, or a couples getaway before half term. Think coastal cycling, wildlife spotting, wild swimming, beach combing, and all in a Classic King, Seaview King or uber-luxe Beach Hut Suite.

Relaunch of etch. by Steven Edwards, Hove, from Oct 20

Fresh from a hugely successful residency at South Lodge Hotel, this Hove fine-dining restaurant from Masterchef: The Professionals winner Steven Edwards will relaunch on Oct 20, after a huge refurbishment. You’ll want to get booked in pronto, as openings for the five, seven and nine-course tasting menus fill up pretty darn quickly – even before the news that etch. was just ranked number 75 in the whole UK in the National Restaurant Awards. On that note, bookings for Christmas open on Sept 1.

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