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The Muddy Guide, What’s On 26 Aug – 2 Sept

Festival fun in Arundel and Shoreham, a vintage brocante at Wisborough Green, a chance to find a real-life Dory, try the trapeze and – eek – meet Johnny Depp (…sort of) all on in Sussex and in the Muddy Guide. There’s more stuff still for kids too in my Bumper School Holidays Guide.

Arundel Festival, 20-29 Aug  


Bands and Northern Soul dancing in Jubilee Gardens; dragon boat racing at the Lido; Alan Bennett’s The History Boys at the Playhouse; magic in the streets and stand-up comedy in the jailhouse. It’s Arundel festival and it has plenty to keep you and yours occupied through the  bank holiday and beyond.

Love Lane Vintage Brocante, Wisborough Green, 27 Aug

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If you missed out on Firle vintage fair the other week and live the opposite end of the county then fear not, for the Love Lane Vintage Brocante is coming up at Wisborough Green. There will be over 65 pretty stands, with antiques, home furnishing and produce. It runs 10.00am – 4.00pm and entrance is £5 for adults, children free. You can even bring your dog if you have one – it’s welcome on a lead.

Food and Drink Festival / MOD weekender, Brighton & Hove, 27 to 29 August 


Hove Lawns is the setting for  Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival’s second major outing of 2016, with the three-day Sussex & The World Weekender. Meanwhile, the same weekend, you can check out retro Vespas as they decend on Brighton seafront for the annual MOD Weekender. Most action revolves around Volks Tavern 200 yards east of the Palace Pier where the scooters arrive in the iconic film Quadrophenia. There will be live bands on Saturday afternoon and scooter judging on Sunday afternoon. Both days will feature DJ sessions and a market selling records, vintage and bespoke clothes, art and memorabilia.

Shoreham Riverfest, 27 – 29 Aug

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Shoreham Riverfest is back for a long weekend of fun with dragon Boat racing, flash mob fitness, music, a pirate treasure hunt, pirate picnic,  a bake off and – gasp! – even a Johnny Depp lookalike.

Gorilla Circus trapeze classes, Lancing Green, Worthing, 27 Aug – 4 Sept 


Gulp! The UK’s only outdoor flying trapeze school, Gorilla Circus will be setting up its rig and safety nets on Lancing Green with lessons for the over eights with a head for heights running daily till 4 Sept. The oldest student to date has been 78, so no there’s no excuses…. but if you can’t stomach it you can watch the masters at work every evening. Classes cost £30 and last 105 minutes/ They take place at 10.00am and 2.00pm and on some days also 4.00pm. The shows run on selected days at 8.00pm (or 5.00pm on 4 Sept) and they’re free to watch.

Le Cirque Du Platzak free show and workshop, The Stade, Hastings, 27 Aug,


There’s more circus fun at Hastings’ outdoor event space The Stade, which is hosting eccentric circus troupe Le Cirque Du Platzak in Kermitz – a quirky free show, backed by rousing folk music, with acrobatics, balancing feats, juggling and more. The performances are at 1.00pm and 6.oopm and you can have a go yourself with workshops in basic circus skills at 11am.

Dory and Friends trail, Sea Life Brighton, until 11 Sept


Learn all about blue tangs and clownfish like Dory and Nemo at the Sealife centre which has a special interactive trail to help children find real life versions of their favourite Disney Pixar characters.  There’s even a reward.

David Hockney RA: 82 Portraits and 1 Still-life, Royal Academy, London, until 2 Oct

david hockney RA

You’ll definitely have to book in advance if you fancy checking out this huge new show from David Hockney. After his last landscape exhibition, which was massive, he’s turned to portraits — and the subjects are all family, friends, acquaintances from his life in LA.  Catch it while you can.

Wind in the Willows, Ropetackle, Shoreham, 27 Aug


The Ropetackle is screening the 1995 cartoon film of Wind in the Willows following the adventures of Mole, Ratty and Mr Toad, with favourites like Alan Bennett, Michael Gambon, Rik Mayall and Michael Palin doing the voices and Vanessa Redgrave narrating. It starts 11.00 am and tickets are just £3.50.

Milk Fest, The Milk House, Sissinghurst, Fri 26 Aug – Mon 29 Aug


The Milk House in Kent is putting on  a free ‘full fat festival of food and music for all the family’. The four day event running from Friday evening and throughout the August bank holiday will showcase the best food and drink from Kent producers with entertainment from talented local musicians thrown in for good measure. There’ll be cocktails, BBQ, face painting, bouncy castle and theatre. The Milk House will also be selling their popular Kentish bitter the Full Fat Festival Top on tap for £3 a pint.

Notting Hill Carnival, London, 28-29 Aug


To my shame I lived over ten years in London and somehow never got to Notting Hill Carnival, always figuring I’d go next year, yet in the same time I got to Trinidad carnival, on which it is based – go figure!  Anyway as I’m sure you know it’s Europe’s biggest street party with an amazing array of sights and sounds and a cracking atmosphere.  It’s on all weekend with Children’s Day on Saturday, and the Grand Finale on Sunday.


Summer of 66, 1066 Battle of Hastings Abbey & Battlefield, all Aug


Throughout August there are Summer of 66 events, commemorating the centenary of the battle of Hastings with kids’ battles, craft sessions, have-a-go archery and much more. (entry £10.10 for adults, £6.00 for children 5-15).

Vivien Leigh: Public faces, Private Lives, Nymans, until 4 Sept

Vivien Leigh Archive material;

Vivien Leigh as Cleopatra

The iconic star of Gone With the Wind and many more classics is celebrated in this exhibition in National Trust property Nymans – one-time home of her favourite costume designer Oliver Messel. His sets and costume designs for the star have been lent by the V&A, which recently acquired Leigh’s personal archive. The exhibition includes over 100 pieces from headresses and sketches to photographs and scripts, even letters from her husband Laurence Olivier and telegrams from a host of famous names. The standard admission charge (£11.50 adults) applies. See my review here.

Peter Pan All-day Spectacle, Groombridge Place, near Tunbridge Wells, until 31 Aug


photo by Matt Salmon photography

Meet the boy who never grow up, Captain Hook and Tinkerbell at these themed events with 15 and 45 minute performances throughout the day, musical workshops, boat rides and the chance for youngsters to get their faces painted. There’s heaps more too do besides with an enchanted forest, zip wires and more. Entry to Groombridge Place is £14.95 for adults, £10.95 for children and £45 for families.

Summer Camps, Bewl Water, until 2 Sept


With rounders, cricket, cheerleading, mountain biking, pedalos and much more, these holiday camps look like a good option for keeping the nippers off their screens and out of your hair. Open to all children aged 5+, a Full Day (9am-4pm) costs £39.99 and Half Day (9am-1.30pm) costs £24.99. Booking in advance essential.

Winnie-the-Pooh trail, Chartwell House, Westerham, until 1 Sept


Chartwell House just over in Kent has a special family trail featuring characters from the well-loved children’s story. Help Winnie-the-Pooh find all the bees that are hiding the honey on an adventure through the woodland and gardens . It runs daily until 1 Sept so plenty of chances to dive in when the weather’s good. Normal admission charges apply. The trial is a suggested £1 donation.

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