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May half term, it’s usually the half term when I find myself skint and without ideas on what to do to keep the kids entertained. I was down to my last £10 to be able to use on a day out, so I asked my friends on ideas. As Eastbourne is a large town there are so many things to do there, but I wanted to do something different than go to the beach and have those yummy, salty and vinegary fish and chips (Oops I’m hungry again now). One of my friend’s message back and said that there is a woodland which is only a 20-minute drive away, you can have barbeques and let the kids run riot to let off some much-needed steam. That was it, we booked a date and ventured off to Abbot’s wood.

Abbot’s Wood is situated just outside of Eastbourne in a small suburb called Polegate (Arlington). To get there you drive up the Hailsham Bypass (A22) and turn off just before a sign for Bushy Wood which is a local scout camp. You then take the road straight until you come to a slight fork in the road, which you turn left (Right will take you to Michelham Priory but I will do a write up on that another time). You follow the road down until you see the sign for Abbot’s Wood. Going up a small road you then hit a car park, you do have to pay to park but only £4.60 for the whole day, which on my budget was a godsend.

I met my friends there who had come well equipped with barbeque food, snacks, picnic blankets and Nerf Guns! Nerf Guns if you haven’t seen them are kids toy guns with a foam bullet, they come in all various shapes and sizes and can shoot either one bullet at a time or multiple bullets. The Nerf Guns for the kids meant only one thing, all out war between them and the adults. We charged around the open area having a full-blown Nerf Gun fight, the kids squealing with joy as they attacked the parents, the parents squealing in pain as they fought off the attack. Then once everyone was worn out and hungry we lit the barbeque and ate till our bellies were full. The plan was great, we all helped one another by us all bringing different things, I took a load of cheap drinks for the kids to have, my friends brought the food, or the guns. Doing it this way made it a super cheap day out for all of us.

Once the food had been demolished we then took to discovering the area around us. The kids found a huge swing that they all could sit on and scream to the heavens as their friends pushed them so high. A fallen tree had become a climbing frame, and some other huge upright trees became hiding places and climbing forts. A little while later we decided to explore on a grander scale and set off on one of the wood’s many trail walks. The ground was somewhat muddy and squelchy underfoot but armed with wellies the kids had no cares and took off into the muddy adventure zone, finding sticks so they could become wizards, climbing over small tree trunk bridges over swamps, finding strange huge leaves that became super hero capes and even long wiggly sticks to add to the woven woodland masterpiece.

The day was joyous and once we were home the kids were bathed and put to bed, and as a bonus they even slept all night after being so worn out with all the excitement from being out in the fresh air and exploring the woods. If you have little adventurers I highly recommend Abbot’s Wood. It’s a day out as cheap as you make it and is huge and can take a whole day to fully explore.


A small history on Abbot’s Wood – The name Abbot’s Wood comes from the era of Henry I when the Woodland was gifted to Battle Abbey and was overseen by the Abbot (Which is why it was called Abbot’s Wood).