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British Breaks: Go south to meet Kipling and friends

A trip to East Sussex is a bare necessity


The Jungle Book provides the theme for a tour of Rudyard Kipling's Home, Bateman's (national trust.org.uk/batemans) from today to 26 August and 29 August to 2 September. Discover favourite characters hiding in the garden of the 17th-century house to win a prize.

Knights, bowmen and men-at-arms will converge on Herstmonceux Castle for England's Medieval Festival (englandsmedievalfestival.com) from 29 to 31 August. From 11-13 September, check out the Astronomy Festival in the Observatory Science Centre (the-observatory.org) in the castle grounds.

The works of German artist Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) will feature at De La Warr Pavilion (dlwp.com) in Bexhill until 27 September. Explore the artist's socialist ideas through his sculptures, photographs, drawings and watercolours.

The Sussex Guild Craft Show (pashleymanorgardens.com) comes to Pashley Manor Gardens from 29 to 31 August. The moated Tudor manor will be the place to pick up contemporary crafts from jewellery to furniture.

Try the best of Sussex's produce at the Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival (brightonfoodfestival.co.uk) on 12 and 13 September, and head along the coast to Stade Beach for Hastings Seafood and Wine Festival (visit1066country.com/ hastings/events /seafood festival), 19 and 20 September.

Europe's largest extreme sports and music festival moves to Brighton this year, from 18 to 20 September. White Air (whiteair.co.uk) will include displays from the Red Arrows as well as sport sessions and acts including White Lies.

Charleston (charleston.org .uk) near Lewes, the former home of Bloomsbury artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, will host the UK's only festival of the short story from 24 to 27 September.

See the sights

Use pedal power to see the best of the county with a little help from Cycling East Sussex 2009 (eastsussex.gov. uk/leisureandtourism), which offers guided trails taking in sights such as Devil's Dyke.

Take a walk through Rye Harbour Nature Reserve (wildrye.info) on two gentle circular walking routes that take in the rivers Rother and Brede, the harbour and Winchelsea Beach.

Pull on your walking boots and hop on a steam train to enjoy some of the prettiest parts of the High Weald, courtesy of Railtrails, an initiative by Kent & East Sussex Railway (kesr.org.uk). And take a ride on the Bluebell Railway (bluebell-railway.co.uk), which is raising funds for its 50th Anniversary Appeal.

Don't miss the county's world-beating vineyards while you're in the area (eastsussex.gov.uk/leisureandtourism) and snap up a few bottles at source from wineries including Breaky Bottom near Lewes.


Further information

For further information and accommodation ideas contact Visit Sussex (visitsussex.org).