Towering fun, serious speed

It’s off to Portsmouth for the Spinnaker Tower and the historic dockyard. Or maybe a day trip to ticket to Butlin’s for unlimited rides, shows and Splash Waterworld. Potter the cathedral cities of Chichester and Arundel, hop a catamaran to the Isle of Wight, get down to Goodwood for serious speed, or tackle the South Downs Way at your own pace.

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Kids ahoy!

Plenty going on in nearby Portsmouth. Climb the Spinnaker Tower for harbour views, tour the historic dockyard and explore Nelson’s flagship, HMS Victory and king Henry VII’s Marie Rose. Or stay local at the Bognor Museum, with fossils and an Edwardian kitchen. Bonus points for spotting an old photograph of Aldwick Hundred.

There’s weatherproof fun on at the Picturedrome Cinema, a lovely old theatre dating back to 1886, at the Multiplex Cineworld in Chichester or live performances at Chichester Festival Theatre, a flagship regional theatre with an international reputation. Or how about a day ticket to Butlin’s, including unlimited rides, Splash Waterworld, shows and arcade games?

Let off steam at Flying Fortress, with its indoor soft play, mazes and slides, or adventure golf and bowling at Out of Bounds. Get closer to the natural world at Marwell Zoo, home to giraffes, tigers, leopards, meerkats, penguins and more. Or enjoy Hotham Park’s miniature railway, mini golf, boating lake, picnic tables and cafe.

Visit Peppa Pig at Paulton’s Park and over 70 rides and attractions. Pack buckets and spades for beautiful beaches at The Witterings, Littlehampton, Pagham and Aldwick (straight out of the back door). Or see the stars with the planetarium projector and ten-metre dome at the South Downs Planetarium Science Centre.

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For the grown ups

Down in deepest Sussex, you’re close to the cathedral city of Chichester, with its renowned Chichester Festival Theatre and Fishbourne Roman Palace. If you’re a sailor, Chichester Harbour offers clubs such as Itchenor and Bosham. Or hop a catamaran from Portsmouth to see the woodland, sand and surf of the Isle of Wight.

Get down to Goodwood estate for the racing (both cars and horses), including the Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival Festival, or catch a chukka or two at the home of British polo, Cowdray Park. Swing for the pins at scenic Bognor Regis Golf Club or at Chichester, with its 608-yard ninth hole and jungle-themed adventure golf.

Take a magical history tour. Start at Weald and Downland Living Museum, home of BBC’s famous Repair Shop programme, 50 historic buildings dating from 950AD. Then it’s on to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyards Tour on HMS Victory and the Marie Rose, Fishbourne Roman Palace, the largest residential Roman building discovered in England, and Goodwood House. Tour historic Arundel Castle.

Head to Portsmouth for the Spinnaker, with spectacular views over the harbour and beyond, to Chichester for the cathedral and shopping, and to Crows Hall for clay shooting. Walk, cycle or ride the South Downs Way. Fly a Spitfire with Goodwood Aerial Adventures. Or take a Ferrari around the motor racing circuit at Goodwood.

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