Burgess Hill offers a wide variety of family-friendly attractions. These include water parks, theme parks and playgrounds. The town also has a number of excellent restaurants.
Visitors can enjoy varied local events at the town’s popular summer festival or at Martlets Hall, where comedy, contemporary music and more are staged year-round.
1. Explore the town’s history
Burgess Hill has a rich and varied history. In the 16th and 17th centuries most of the town’s industry was devoted to bricks, tiles and pottery. The town was also a health resort and the buildings that still remain, like the cottages on Keymer Road, High Chimneys in the World’s End district, Chanctonbury Estate and a handsome farmhouse called Woodwards are evidence of this.
After the Second World War strict building controls were lifted and residential expansion in the town began in earnest. Between 1951 and 1961 the population almost doubled. This has continued without major interruption until the present day.
Many of the older buildings in the town centre have been converted into shops and restaurants, while some of the old industrial sites, such as Victoria Business Park and Sheddingdean Industrial Estate have now become thriving commercial districts.
The town has two nature reserves – Batchelors Farm and Bedelands – and a country park – Ditchling Common. In addition to these the town centre has St John’s Park and several other smaller recreation grounds. Sports facilities include the town football club which was founded in 1882 and was a founder member of the Sussex County Football Association. The club has a unique trophy to commemorate winning the Sussex Senior Cup three years in a row. The town is also home to the Mid Sussex Brass Band which has a second section contesting band and a thriving youth band. The band supports fetes and concerts around the local area and also travels to Schmallenberg, Burgess Hill’s twin town in Germany, for the annual Schmallenberger Woche.
2. Take a stroll around the town’s market place
Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll around the traffic-free market place in Burgess Hill, or to relax with some shopping in its large covered Market Place Shopping Centre, the town offers a wide range of shops and services. The town also has a good range of pubs and cafes, many serving delicious locally-sourced food and drink.
The town’s market place is home to a variety of local events, including a popular summer festival and Martlets Hall stages year-round entertainment from comedy and contemporary music to classical music and the theatre. During the winter, there’s a regular farmers market where you can pick up some locally grown produce and freshly made goods.
If you want to see a little of the surrounding countryside, the town is located close to a number of public parks and walks, including St John’s Park, The Green Crescent, Bedelands Nature Reserve and Batchelors Farm. There’s also the opportunity to visit a couple of local National Trust properties – Nymans and Sheffield Park are both within a short drive, or you can climb to the top of Ditchling Beacon for some stunning views.
We’ve found 1335 things to do with the kids in Burgess Hill and the surrounding area, ranging from water parks and theme parks to family attractions and museums. Using our filters, you can find the perfect day out for your family, whatever the weather!
3. Enjoy a family day out
Whether you enjoy a stroll in the town’s traffic free shopping area, relaxing with a cream tea in St John’s Park, splashing around in Aztec Fun Pools or catching a show at Martlets Hall there are plenty of things to do for families. The area also hosts a variety of local events throughout the year and is close to three National Trust properties – Nymans, Sheffield Park and Wakehurst.
The Weald and Downland Museum is great for children, with 40 acres of space to explore it offers something for everyone. You can let off steam on the woodland playground, play in the watermill, learn about Tudor cooking, view traditional farm breed animals and much more. The museum also has a cafe and a visitor centre where you can pick up souvenirs.
Arundel Wetland Centre is another great place to visit with kids, offering a variety of activities. The site is home to a number of habitats including woodland, meadow and scrub, and is home to over 50 different species of wildlife. There are also several walking trails that allow you to spot the wildlife on your way around.
If you are looking for a family day out that is a little bit more special why not visit one of the many race courses in the area. Many put on a range of family friendly events and activities during the summer.
4. Visit one of the local attractions
Whether you’re looking to reconnect with nature, relax over cream teas or get your adrenaline pumping – there’s plenty of family fun to be had in Burgess Hill. With easy access to the South Downs, you can also explore the many other attractions in West Sussex. Whether you want to try out the tree top adventure at Go Ape Crawley, enjoy the ruins of the Grade II listed Nymans Garden or test yourself and your family’s skills on the segways at Tulleys Farm, there’s something for everyone!
As a market town, the area had a thriving brick-making industry until it was surpassed by the development of the London to Brighton railway which catalysed Burgess Hill’s growth. Today, the town’s rich heritage is evident all around, with many buildings dating back to the 17th Century still dotted across the streets of St John’s Park, The Green Crescent and Batchelors Farm.
The traffic-free town centre has a wide range of High Street and local shops, plus a large leisure centre, The Triangle. Martlets Hall hosts year-round events from comedy to music and drama, and the town is well-served by a number of parks and open spaces including the famous Ditchling Beacon at 814 feet (248 m) above sea level which offers fantastic panoramic views. The town is also within a short drive of three National Trust properties: Nymans, Sheffield Park and Wakehurst.