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Updated by The Star Alfriston on Jul 22, 2013
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10 Things to do in Alfriston during the Summer

Alfriston, East Sussex is the perfect place to spend your summer holidays. Whether you're looking for an activity-filled family holiday or a romantic getaway for two, there's plenty for everyone to do.

This list offers some great ideas for things to do during your stay...

The Clergy House

Alfriston is known for its heritage and ‘chocolate box’ beauty. One of the village’s most famous attractions is the Clergy House - the first property bought by the National Trust. It was purchased in 1896 for the princely sum of £10. This pretty thatched cottage dates back to medieval times and is surrounded by a picturesque garden. The property is a classic Sussex Tudor construction and although located next to the village church it is thought to have been built originally as a farmer’s house.

The Tudor House Restaurant

The Tudor House Restaurant is a sixty cover venue run by the current owners Roger and Louise Wallwork. They have been serving lunches and dinners for over ten years to the local and wide ranging communities. The venue offers a tasteful and traditional place to relax and watch the passing tourists in the village, whilst enjoying a veritable array of homemade delights. Using locally sourced ingredients from the abundance of local Sussex producers, they have carved a reputation for quality food at an affordable price. The Wallworks and their team balance a busy working life with the upbringing of their two vivacious daughters – a workplace and home under the one roof.

Much Ado Books

Shopping in the village takes the form of a variety of specialist shops – a pleasant and nostalgic wander around the various boutiques and stores, reveals a treasure trove of delights. Much Ado Books, is an award-winning independent book retailer. Browsing the shelves in this shop is a must for any literary enthusiast as it is stocked with a mixture of classical and unusual books. The venue also has a large workshop for conducting courses, book readings and other pursuits.

Ye Olde Smugglers Inne

The Smugglers Inn, as the name suggests is a pub once famous for housing the local smuggling community. In Alfriston’s murkier past, the village was a popular meeting place for doing contraband deals. The booty was floated up the Cuckmere River to the village, before dispersing into the county and up London to meet the growing demand for cheap ale and luxury goods. Today the pub serves the local community, with quizzes, a venue for meetings, good ‘pub-grub’ and a warm welcome from the Bar staff.

Alfriston Festival

Every year the village holds its annual Alfriston Festival, taking place around the August Bank Holiday. The event celebrates classical music, literature, arts and crafts and culminates in a fair on the village Tye on the holiday Monday. During the week there is an art exhibition, where visitors can purchase artworks by local painters. The festival features historical walks conducted by the local Historical Society, the Royal British Legion Concert Band held in St Andrew’s Church and blend of family and children’s activities and a popular Festival Supper. Each year new acts and events are added ensuring that the festival programme is continuously vibrant each year.

Rathfinny Estate

Rathfinny Estate is a bold new venture in Alfriston. On the south facing slopes of the Cuckmere Valley, an ambitious ex-hedge fund manager has bought over 400 acres of light chalky soils to plant up a new vineyard. The venture began in 2012 and this year the owners are hoping for a late but bountiful harvest. Focusing on sparkling wines many of the seedling grapes have come from Germany and include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grape varietals, specific for this purpose. The land has been carefully chosen for its above average sunshine, well draining soils and maritime climate that keeps it relatively frost free.

Drusillas Zoo Park

If you have children a great day out in East Sussex would be a day trip to the renowned Drusillas Zoo Park. It has a wide variety of exotic animals which allow a ‘close up’ experience with an emphasis on education. There are interactive displays and a free ‘animal spotter’ book to complete as you tour around. In the middle of the park is a children’s play area with lots of climbing, swinging and jumping fun! A highlight of the zoo is the Thomas the Tank Engine exhibition, all overseen by The Fat Controller. The park makes for a great day out for all the family.

South Downs National Park

Alfriston is famous for being in the heart of prime walking territory. A visit to this area of the South Downs National Park would not be complete without a country walk. There are numerous routes and durations, depending upon how long or intensively you wish to walk – from 1 hour to 6 days! The most popular routes include a visit to the Seven Sisters County Park and chalk cliffs, the Llama Park, The South Downs Way and The Longman of Willmington. The area is accessible in all weathers and the rolling downs combined with coastal inlets and rivers makes the Alfriston surrounds a beautiful place to walk in any season.

Charleston House

Delve into Alfriston’s local cultural history, with a visit to Charleston House just a ten minute drive from the village. It is the home of the Bloomsbury Group and is a museum to the creative talents of Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell. Their unusual creative style in a domestic context reflects sixty years of work and influences from Europe. The house also boasts a charming artist’s garden mixing Mediterranean influences with English cottage planting. There is an art gallery in the house containing a mix of contemporary and historical art. For light refreshments and tasty treats visit the Outer Studio Cafe.

The Coach House Gallery

For art lovers, Alfriston offers two galleries on the village High Street. Owner Paul Evans hails from Brighton and has been running an established gallery and shop for many years. He represents featured artists from the local area to offer a mix of paintings, ceramics and carvings. Further along the High Street is the Coach House Gallery – a showcase for the contemporary arts. A mixture of paintings, sculpture, jewellery and ceramics combine in an attractive open gallery, with beautiful views across the village Tye. The venue offers a changing scene of Sussex artists.