Top 5 FREE Things to Do with the kids, East Preston, West Sussex

1. Treasure (seaglass) collecting

This was one of our kids favourite activities to do when they were younger.  We still collect sea glass now and you can see evidence of this in our holiday cottages – in Driftwood Haven you can see the custom “sea glass” lamp in the lounge and a large glass jar full to the brim in the downstairs cloakroom.  We used to find that if we gave our dog walk a “purpose” as such, even the most reluctant child is suddenly quite keen to come!

sea glass lamp

The best place to look is along the lower stones – where the tide comes up but not where they are big at the top of the beach.  You can find all sorts of colours – blue, white, green turquoise and you can even make it a competition to see who can bring back the most treasure!

2. Crabbing at the river in Littlehampton

You will find buckets, nets and crabbing lines in both our holiday cottages.  Help yourself – we just ask that you put them back as you found them and free of tangles!  Get yourselves some bacon – crabbies love bacon! and then head to the river. 

You can go from either side and it needs to be a couple of hours either side of high tide.  You will know where to go as there will be plenty of local children enjoying this fun activity too.  Once you’ve collected as many crabs as you can you could then head to the slipway by the RNLI station (this could be an add on activity to go and see this too!) and have a crab race as you tip them gently out and let them run back down into the water.

3. Rock pooling

Low tide on our beach throws up some nice little rock pools – particularly to the east and around the groynes. Take the nets and buckets and go see what you find. rock pooling and crabs on East Preston beach

Hours of entertainment right there – anenomes, crabs, shrimp, small fish, hermit crabs, sea slugs etc.  The beach is very safe too at this state of tide so you can easily set yourselves up with a glass of wine if its in the evening and watch the kids be happily entertained whilst you take in the sunset – very civilised!

4. Feed the ducks at Swanbourne Lake

Swanbourne Lake is in Arundel.  There are boats and a cafe there but if you want to make it a free activity day just take some breadcrumbs and head off down there.  You can walk down past the castle – it’s free to walk past it if you are not going in and you get a good view.  Once you get to the lake its flat to walk around with buggies and small children, there are lots of different ducks to look at and there are some rope swings too for the more adventurous.

5. Visit the Waterwise playground in Worthing

The Waterwise playground was built from Worthing Council’s lottery funding allocation.  It has a seaside theme with a pirate ship and a mix of rubber and sand surfaces.  It’s right on the seafront our end of Worthing so only  10-15 mins from our holiday homes by car.  It was a firm favourite with our children and whenever we drive past  these days, there are still tons of kids there – an easy way to while away a morning or an afternoon – plus there’s a pretty good coffee truck for the parents – happy days!  

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If you would like to find out more about our family friendly self catering holiday cottages check out Driftwood Stays.