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8 reasons to visit Weald & Downland Living Museum

Summer holidays are looming, and we have just the ticket for a family-friendly day out: the Weald & Download Living Museum! Here are eight reasons why you need to hotfoot it over to Chichester, stat.

It’s a countryside gem

Before you even get into the Museum, you’re onto a winner when the surrounds are this good. Set in the stunning South Downs National Park, between rolling hills and the famous Goodwood Estate, the 40-acre site is ideal for stretching your legs and soaking up a bit of sunshine. Expect woodland, historic gardens and traditionally-worked farmland – all home to farm animals, of course. Top tip: bring a picnic to scoff by Mill Pond, where you can also feed the ducks. You can even bring Rover, because…

It’s dog-friendly

Dog owners rejoice! Your four-legged pals are welcome at the Museum and are allowed in most of the buildings including sections of the cafè. Once you’ve gone for a sniff around the woodland, you can even treat Fido to a doggy ice cream from the café.

It’s home to The Repair Shop

Fan of mega-wholesome show The Repair Shop? Here’s a fun fact for you: the series is filmed in Weald & Downland’s Court Barn! On select weekends, visitors are welcome to take a sneak peek behind the scenes when filming is not in progress and see where the magic happens. You can find a list of available dates to visit Court Barn at

It brings history to life

Onto the good stuff. The Museum is home to over 50 historic buildings from across the Weald and Downland area of Sussex, Hampshire, Surrey and Kent, and it’s designed to really immerse you in history (ideal if you’re trying to spark the kids’ imaginations rather than have them glued to their screens all summer holiday). You can wander down cobbled pathways visiting historic buildings including homes, shops, a medieval market hall, Victorian school, smithy and even a church.

There are daily demonstrations too, from cooking and spinning to making medicines and cosmetics. You can also see the working watermill in action, grinding flour for the Museum’s gift shop and café, and visit the restored 17th century bakehouse to witness first-hand the historic art of baking – Paul Hollywood, eat your heart out.

There’s an outdoor theatre programme

In summer the Museum takes full advantage of its glorious grounds with a varied programme of outdoor theatre – think family-friendly plays like David Walliams’ Awful Auntie and The Wind in the Willows and grown-up classics like Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Pack a picnic blanket and some nibbles and enjoy.

It’s a summer holiday saviour

Speaking of summer, The Weald & Downland Living Museum is a total lifesaver when it comes to the long stretch entertaining the littles. Wonderful Weeks, the Museum’s programme of kid-friendly activities and crafts returns throughout August. There are nature trails, orienteering, singing, puzzles and more – and best of all, it changes weekly, so they’ll never get bored. Sorted.

There’s great food

If you’re not packing your own picnic (although we definitely recommend giving it a try at least once – there are more gorgeous spots than you can shake a bottle of ginger beer at), you can chow down at the Waterside Café. It overlooks the Mill Pond so you can enjoy water views while you snack on light bites like homemade sandwiches and salads as well as burgers, gammon and quiche. Yum.

It’s a Muddy Award winner!

Don’t just take our word for it – you lot voted the museum Best Family Attraction in Sussex at this year’s Muddy Awards, beating out some pretty serious competition (there’s a lot round here, don’t you know). Now if that’s not enough for you to take a gander, what is?

Weald & Downland Living Museum, Town Lane, Singleton, Chichester, West Sussex PO18 0EU. Tel: 01243 811363

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