Village Playgrounds (and Pubs) for Easy Christmas Jaunts from Lewes with Kids


This is so obvious it’s actually daft to write it, but I won’t be posting much over the coming couple of weeks due to being hungover and half-dead from the battle of putting boundaries back in place following the overload of presents and sugar that’s ahead of us.

The period between Christmas and New Year induces cabin fever, but none of us really wants to spend any money, having spent enough (thank you very much) on presents and food, even when doing a simple Christmas. So ‘attractions’ are out (anyway who has the energy to mount a day trip?) and yet the kids need to get out – and (nag, nag, *waggles finger*) fresh air is good for you, too.

Walks are wonderful, but the weather can be prohibitive for the ups of the Downs, exposed and elevated as they are. And there’s also the fact it gets dark so early.

I was searching through some pictures on my machine recently and the above one reminded me that when my older son was around two, we used to give each other a break for a couple of hours by taking him on a short and simple excursion to one of the playgrounds in the surrounding villages.

It was usually my husband who did this, so I’ll be transparent and say this was as much for the diversity of the equipment found outside Lewes as for proximity to pubs.

Here are the ones we like (please use Comments below to add to them for me if you will!):


Pretty small but different still, and leading right on to Firle Estate. Also, rather conveniently, it’s practically attached to The Ram Inn for an easy retreat (go on, you know you want another mulled cider). The pub also has its own playground with pirate ship.


Spacious and green, with lots of variety. A tall, tall slide, and a kind of spider’s web roundabout thing that we all squabble over who’s going to ride on and who’s going to push. The Trevor Arms is nearby (yesssss), and you can even get the train between Lewes and Glynde, which means no arguing over whose going to be DD.


Colourful and varied, my children always spot this from the road when we drive past and ALWAYS beg to go. We’ve done it probably three times, so it still holds novelty for them as a wished-for place to go. It’s easy to park and all nicely fenced in. Downside? No pub nearby.


So wee and sooooo cute – and good for a little scoot. Right by the beautiful little church, the tiny village school, and near Monk’s House too. Lovely Downs views, and you can use it as a stop off as you walk the pretty loop of the village that begins and ends at… The Abergavenny Arms (hurrah!).

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I’m Kate, a copywriter, brand consultant and editor who creates messages that are clear and clean. I create these for brands and agencies both big and boutique, in areas including design, homes and interiors, travel, fashion, lifestyle, beauty, food, and kids and families. I believe clear, clean messages bolster brands and businesses. They evoke emotion and ignite inspiration, and when written well, they’re easier to absorb – and respond to. I live in Copenhagen and am half-English, half-Danish. I write as comfortably in American English as in British, and behind the scenes I'm also studying Danish. Need help getting your message out? Contact me.

4 thoughts on “Village Playgrounds (and Pubs) for Easy Christmas Jaunts from Lewes with Kids

  1. Can I add Cooksbridge – turn left towards East Chiltington. Lovely playground with beautiful view of the Downs & includes a zip wire plus not too far from the pub at East Chiltington if required! Also the playground at the Stanley Turner rugby pitch. In Lewes but not used much so usually empty – best for the under 6’s x

  2. Our kids love the East Dean playground. It’s pretty exposed so gloves and hats come in useful even if you don’t need them in more sheltered places, but the bonus of being on the side of a hill is seeing lots of sheep wandering around nearby 🙂 and it is rarely very busy. The Tiger pub is a short walk away, as are a few cafes near to the East Dean Green. Lots of parking near the pub (opposite East Dean town hall) or you can usually park on the verge just by the car park. And the Seven Sisters Sheep Centre is just across the road, if you want to get a bit more up close and personal with the slightly stinky wooly things.

    1. Thank you so much for your recommendation Monika! We have been to East Dean many times to the Tiger and then on to Birling Gap, but never to the playground or sheep centre there, so that’s one for next time! I’ll update this post with your recommendation in the meantime. Hope you’re enjoying Little Lewes! Warmest, Kate x

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