What’s on over Easter across the county

Horsham's Piazza Italia.
Horsham's Piazza Italia.

We have compiled a few suggestions for our readers looking for something to do over the Easter holiday period.

If you have an event you think might be of interest then you are welcome to add it using our commenting section.

We advise anyone travelling to any of the events to check they are still on/open before setting out.

One of the major events in the county will be Horsham Piazza Italia, organised by Horsham District Council.

It takes place for the seventh time this Friday and weekend in the town centre.

For more details about the event view this separate story.

The sight of horses under harness pulling old vehicles awaits visitors to Ardingly’s South of England Showground on Easter Monday. The famous London Harness Horse Parade is now an established occasion in Sussex and a chance to experience the sights and sounds of old England. More than 100 carriages that once transported everything from eggs to beer before the invention of the motor vehicle will be taking part. There will also be a parade of vintage cars and farm machinery plus plaiting, harnessing and blacksmith demonstrations and the Fullers Brewery Dray pulled by two Shires giving visitors rides.

Gates open at 9am with the Grand Finale Parade at 1pm. For further information visit www.lhhp.co.uk visit www.lhhp.co.uk.

Come rain, snow or sunshine, Easter Monday also sees the annual madcap Bolney Pram Race with the children’s race starting from the Eight Bells pub at 12noon and the adults’ race at 1pm.

Expect people lining the streets plus bouncy castle, barbecue and all-day music also.

Go to www.bolneypramrace.co.uk for more details. The community event raised £10,000 for charity last year.

Arundel Castle will be kicking off its 2013 open season with a Norman and Crusaders themed celebration over the Easter bank holiday weekend.

Set within a historical tented encampment, Raven Tor Living History Group will be creating an authentic representation of 12th Century England through a series of events, displays and activities from the period. With pin point accuracy, from the sounds and smells of a medieval encampment to the materials used for costumes, this is the perfect way to experience how Norman Knights changed the course of history.

Visitors on the day will be able to: Participate in falconry demonstrations, Listen to storytelling with the Yarnsmith of Norwich, See archery demonstrations, Witness incredible weapons and battle tactic displays, Try on armour of the period and smell the sumptuous aroma of 12th century cooking demonstrations.

Tickets are priced from £8. Further information on Arundel Castle and its 2013 event calendar can be found at www.arundelcastle.org.

Several gardens have opened ready for Easter. Here are the major ones.

Nymans house and gardens - Handcross.

Set in the High Weald with splendid views, the garden is a series of experimental designs with spectacular planting and beauty all year. The house, transformed into a Gothic mansion in the 1920s, burnt down shortly after, leaving romantic ruins. The remaining rooms are unexpectedly charming, filled with flowers from the garden as Anne Messel, Countess of Rosse had them. Ancient woods beyond the garden dip into the valley, with walks among avenues, wild flowers, the lake and cascades.

High Beeches Garden - Handcross.

27 acres of magnificent woodland and water gardens, full of rare, exotic and unusual plants; RHS award winning plants, a botanical treasure trove, and one of the great gardens of Sussex.

Borde Hill - Ardingly.

Borde Hill Garden is nestled in 200 acres of English Heritage listed Sussex parkland and woodland, with wonderful views across the Sussex Weald and the magnificent Ouse Valley. Borde Hill Garden is home to a nationally important collection of rare shrubs, champion trees and exotic plants.

Wakehurst Place - Ardingly

Visit Wakehurst in West Sussex and explore 465 acres of country estate with ornamental gardens, temperate woodlands and an Elizabethan Mansion. Join in our seasonal walks and themed tours to discover more.

How about a nostalgic trip on a steam train?

Bluebell Railway Railway - Sheffield Park

The Bluebell Railway is a heritage line running for 11 mi along the border between East and West Sussex, England. It uses steam trains which operate between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead, with intermediate stations at Horsted Keynes & Kingscote.

Easter horse racing fixtures:

Plumpton Race Meeting: totepool Easter Sunday Family Raceday. Gates Open: 11am. First Race: 2.30pm, last Race: 5.35pm.

Plumpton Race day

Fancy a a long walk? Here are some being held over Easter.

Discovering Sussex (Inquiries 01903 813381/01342 315786).

Monday April 1, 10.30am: Meet at Whiteways car park on A29 just west of Houghton (TQ 002102). “In search of lost Erehwon”. Sussex has lost villages but none so strange as Erehwon. First mentioned in the Domesday Book, it last appears in the late 1800s as a village of “strange folk and happenings” - attributed to its apparent position at the meeting of several ley lines. We’ll search for clues as to its lost whereabouts. 6½ miles. Dogs on leads welcome. Please bring a snack. Toilets near the start. Leaders Keith McKenna and Sally Dench, Footprints of Sussex.

Ramblers’ Association Mid-Sussex Group (Inquiries 01273 833556)

Saturday March 30, 10.30am: Meet at Tinsley Green, James Watt Way (off Gatwick Road Roundabout) Crawley RH10 9TZ (TQ 283396). Gatwick Airport – Navigate and Rotate. A different kind of walk – Manor Royal – Langley Green – Charlwood (pub lunch stop) – Hookwood – South Terminal – Tinsley Green. No dogs please. Metrobus Fastway Routes 10 and 20 stop nearby. Also Route 400 (Gatwick Road North stop). 10 miles. Leader William, 01444 831098 (mobile on the day 07801 711401).

Sunday March 31, 2pm: Meet at Pyecombe Old A23 (southern end near the Plough pub) (TQ 291124). Pyecombe Circular. Pyecombe – Middle Brow – Lower Standean – Ditchling Beacon – South Downs Way – Pyecombe. 6½ miles. Leader Ann P, 01273 843850. British Summer Time begins!

Ramblers’ Association Arun-Adur Group (Inquiries 01903 695865)

Sunday March 31, 10am: Henfield – 9 miles – (easy). Meet library car park (TQ 215162), picnic.

Holiday Fellowship (For further information contact walk leader as given.)

Saturday March 30, 10am: Meet by the Coach & Horses (now closed - no parking) bus stop on south side of the A259 (two stops before River Adur) (bus 700) for flat pavement walk around Shoreham Beach. Leader 01903 606904.

Horsham District Council Health Walks (Inquiries 01403 215269)

Monday April 1, 10am: Meet at the RSPB Reserve, Wiggonholt, Pulborough on A283. An interesting and varied 5½ mile HDC Health walk, mostly flat with some stiles, through woodland, fields and paths and part of the Bird Reserve. Irene 07790 420752/01403 783637.

Easter Monday: Meet at the RSPB Reserve, Wiggonholt, Pulborough on A283 at 10am. An interesting and varied 5½ mile HDC Health walk, mostly flat with some stiles, through woodland, fields and paths and part of the Bird Reserve. Irene 07790 420752.

The Steyning Scandal Walk takes place on Good Friday from 10am–12.30pm with Dr Janet Pennington.

Come and discover who did what, where and with whom!

Steyning’s attractive timber-framed buildings and flint cottages hide many secrets from the past - come and discover some of them if you dare! We will be exploring the streets and twittens of Steyning on a two and a half hour ramble, with many stops for scandalous stories, all researched through local documentary sources.

This walk is NOT suitable for children.

Meet at the Steyning Centre Car Park - opposite St. Andrew and St Cuthman’s Church, BN44 3YB.

Fee - £2.50. It is not necessary to book in advance, just turn up in good time, come rain or shine. Dogs on leads are welcome, and they particularly enjoy hearing about Dog Lane…

Email: jpsussex@hotmail.com Tel: 01903 815829 Mobile: 07703 133952.

Other events taking place across the county include:


Worthing Food and Drink Festival. Live acoustic music all day. It’s all free and family friendly. Come and enjoy a day of live music, great food, delicious local produce and real ales. 11am - 10pm - St Pauls Arts Centre, Chapel Road, Worthing.


Steyning Horticultural Society will be holding a Spring Flower Show on 30th March at 2.30 pm in the Steyning Centre.

Southwater Horticultural Society: Spring Show on Easter Saturday in the Village Hall and opening to the public at 2pm. This show’s major classes are for daffodils but there are also plenty of other spring flower classes, plus Floral Art, Cookery, Crafts, Beverages (wines, beers, etc), Photography and children’s classes.

Lindfield Horticultural Society Spring Show of Flowers and Produce, from 2pm at King Edward Hall, Lindfield. Call 01444 451363.

Haywards Heath: Soul of the City Choir Easter Concert, The Hub Theatre at the Central Sussex College, 2 shows, 6pm (doors at 5.30pm) and 8pm (doors at 7.30pm). Tickets can be bought at Orion News Hassocks. Tickets may also be available on the door on the evening. Full price £5/Concs £4. Email soulofthecitychoir@live.com or visit www.soulofthecitychoir.com

Car Boot: Burgess Hill and District Rotary Club has a Car Boot Fair booked for Bank Holiday at Oakmeeds College, Station Road, Burgess Hill, from 9am to 1pm. £10 per car. Pre-booked guaranteed pitch 01273 844314. For information call 01444 871776 or visit www.therotaryclub.co.uk.

Easter Catstravaganza, North Heath Hall, St. Marks Lane, Horsham, 2pm to 4pm. Home-made cakes, bric-a-brac, books and toys, CP gifts and goodies, plus a special Easter raffle with prizes donated by local Sussex companies Choccywoccydoodah, Cocoaloco, Kates Cakes and Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe. Free entry but donations (including cat food and litter) are welcome. Visit www.horsham.cats.org.uk.


Storrington Rotary Car Boot Sale: Lots of bric-a-brac, plants, books, clothes and curios will be on sale at Storrington Rotary Club’s next Car Boot Sale in Storrington Library car park from 8am until 12 noon on Easter Bank Holiday Monday.