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What’s On this week in Sussex

Mon 10 Feb - Sun 16 Feb

Wellness Trail,  Nymans, near Haywards Heath, Sat 1 Feb onwards

Photo by Andrew Butler

In our increasingly busy and connected lives, it’s more important than ever to take time out to just be in the moment with nature. From now into spring National Trust site Nymans has signposts around the garden with inspiring words in suitable places for reflection. You can also join guided ‘forest bathing’ wellness walks. It’s part of a focus on wellbeing this year to tie in with the ongoing exhibition of Quentin Blake drawings as the artist also works with hospitals.


Valentine’s Afternoon Tea at Leonardslee House, Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens, Near Horsham, Wed 12 Feb – Sun 16 Feb

Leonardslee's tea by Michelin starred Jean Delport

Celebrate Valentine’s Day by indulging in afternoon tea at Leonardslee Mansion House. Be tempted by sweet and savoury delights created by Michelin starred executive chef Jean Delport and his team. Afternoon tea is served between 13.00 and 16.00. Book a slot ahead. £40 per person (£50 with wine) including entry to Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens.

Rewilding: A Talk Presented by Sussex Wildlife Trust & Wordfest, Ropetackle Arts Centre 

Dr Tony Whitbread, independent ecologist and President of the Sussex Wildlife Trust will give three talks from February to June 2020 at Ropetackle Arts Centre on key environmental issues. The first was last Wednesday. Book ahead for the next two!


Valentine’s Dinner, Bodiam Castle, Thurs 13 Feb – Sat 15 Feb

Enjoy a glass of bubbly and an exclusive after-hours tour of floodlit Bodiam Castle followed by a candlelit three course dinner in the Wharf Tea Room. Beats your average restaurant V-day date, eh? Tickets are £48.

South Downs Dark Skies festival, various locations, until Feb 23

Wrap up warm and get out for this annual celebration of the South Downs being designated a dark sky site. There are several guided stargazing events and tie-in activities, many of them free or low cost at locations in West Sussex, East Sussex and Hampshire.



Worthing Ice Rink , Steyne Gardens, Worthing, until 23 Feb 

Worthing’s rink is in a giant marquee with regular sessions for over-fours, while toddlers can get on the ice in special quieter weekday slots. There are children’s skating courses and private lessons by arrangement. You can warm up with hot drinks and snacks in the café and even use the venue to host a children’s party.

A Strange and Familiar Sea, Worthing Museum & Art Gallery, until 23 May

In this free exhibition photographer Mandy Williams brings together work from three series about the sea. Sea Level and Frame were shot in Worthing, where Williams lived as a teenager. Sea Level focuses on the beach shelters along the promenade and Frame captures people as they walk by them. In Beyond Land, the photographs were taken at a causeway that reveals itself at low tide.


Reigning Woman season, The Old Market, Hove, various March dates

The Old Market’s fab annual celebration of women in the arts is back, drawing kick-ass female performers of music, comedy, theatre, dance and film to Hove. There’s an ‘oversharing’ look at relationships from comedian Lou Sanders on 13 Feb, then it really kicks off in March and on into April with the likes of wacky hit Fringe show Witch Hunt; a performance based on breast cancer recovery interviews called Rebel Boob; comedian Kiri Pritchard-McLean; campaigner and Invisible Woman author Caroline Criado Perez in conversation and films from female directors over 50. Book ahead, some events have already sold out.

Jane Eyre, Eastbourne/ Horsham/ Worthing early March dates

Gothic masterpiece Jane Eyre is back on stage in Sussex. This spring the innovative Blackeyed Theatre company will be performing the rise of the spirited orphan to adulthood and her relationship with the mysterious Mr Rochester. A good one to book ahead and gift as a Valentine’s Present. Recommended for ages 11+ It’s coming up at Devonshire Park Theatre Eastbourne, 5 – 7 March; Capitol Theatre, Horsham, Tues 10 – Wed 11 March; Connaught Theatre, Worthing 12 – 14 March and also later at Portsmouth.

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