Festivals

Snowdrop Festival

Pembury House, Ditching Road (New Road) Clayton, Hassocks

February and March

Admission £9/children free. Visitors welcome by arrangement

Around 100 gardens in the National Garden Scheme are opening as part of its Snowdrop Festival and Pembury House is one of them. Its two-acre country garden, with winding paths, has snowdrops and hellebores and visitors can enjoy views of the South Downs National Park.

Phone 01273 842805 or visit pemburyhouse.co.uk.


Rye Bay Scallop Week

Saturday February 24-Sunday March 4

Various venues in Rye and district

It’s shucking time again. More than 30 restaurants in Rye are putting together scallop dishes in preparation for this year’s Rye Bay Scallop Week, an opportunity to indulge in seafood delights. The most popular ingredient this year is chorizo, with garlic, coriander, lemon and chilli also being paired with scallops. Among the events during the week are tasting events, cookery schools and demonstrations, plus live music. Picture: scallops at the Flackley Ash Hotel, Peasmarsh.

Read our feature on Rye Bay Scallop Week.

Visit scallop.org.uk.


Snowdrop Festival

The Old Vicarage, The Street, Washington

Sunday February 25, 10.30am-3pm

Admission £5/children free

Around 100 gardens in the National Garden Scheme are opening as part of its Snowdrop Festival and The Old Vicarage is one of them. The three-and-a-half acre gardens are set around an 1832 Regency house and has a formal front garden with a rear garden featuring mature trees from the 19th century as well as newer trees and a water garden as well as a Japanese garden. There’s a new meadow area that has 10,000 mixed bulbs. Picture: NGS.

Phone 07766 761926 or visit ngs.org.uk.


Hastings International Musical Festival

White Rock Theatre, White Rock, Hastings

Monday February 27-Saturday March 18

Hastings International Musical Festival, in its 109th year, takes place over three weeks at the White Rock Theatre in Hastings and is a charity that focuses on providing performance opportunities for young performers in dancing, singing, speech and instrumental. Young pianists come from all over the world to compete in the prestigious International Piano Concerto Competition.

Phone 01424 462288 or visit whiterocktheatre.org.uk.


The Big Cheese Festival

Hove Lawns, Kingsway, Hove

Saturday March 3, 10am-6pm

Tickets £19.25

In the food court, some of the finest international cheesemakers and mongers showcase their cheeses, ranging from halloumi fries, mozzarella sticks, raclette, fondue and artisan cheeses, plus wine and port pairings, homemade chutney combinations and a range of utensils for sale. There are also bars serving craft beers, liquor and wine, comedy, local bands and cheesy DJs performing a selection of jazz, funk and R’n’Brie.

Email info@thebigcheesefestival.co.uk or visit thebigcheesefestival.co.uk.


Ale & Arty: Bexhill Beer Festival

De La Warr Pavilion, Marina, Bexhill-on-Sea

Friday and Saturday March 16 and 17, 7pm-11pm

Tickets £10

The popular charity Beer & Music Festival returns to the De La Warr Pavilion for two sessions over two days. There will be also be cider and perry, plus musical entertainment with performances from  1066 Rockitmen, The Cavemen, MT Vessels & The Cavaliers and others. Event organiser Perry Puddefoot says, “The festival offers a wide selection of good and tasty ales to please the most discerning drinker at what is always a well supported and extremely popular event”. Last year’s festival raised around £7,500 for charitable causes including Sara Lee Trust.

Phone 01424 229111 or visit dlwp.com.


Sussex CAMRA Beer & Cider Festival

Brighton Racecourse, Freshfield Road, Brighton

Thursday-Saturday March 22-24, 5pm-10pm on Thursday, 11am-3pm and 5pm-10pm on Friday, 11am-7pm and 3.30pm-7pm on Saturday

Tickets £2.50-£8

At the 28th Sussex CAMRA Beer & Cider Festival, the popular Sussex Bar will showcase the county’s 60 breweries. All the beer will be cooled throughout the festival to ensure excellent condition throughout, and there will be food, including vegetarian and vegan options. Picture: Sean Clarke.

Visit sussexbeerfestival.co.uk.


VegfestUK Brighton

Brighton Centre , Kings Road, Brighton

Saturday-Sunday March 24-25, 11am-6pm on Saturday and 10am-5pm on Sunday

At plant-based food and lifestyle festival VegfestUK Brighton, one of Europe’s biggest vegan festivals, there will be around 230 stalls featuring cakes, cheeses, snacks, coconut oil, sauces, superfoods, supplements, chocolates, teas, clothing, skincare, cosmetics, jewellery, magazines and more. Among the brands will be Elspeth’s Kitchen, Good Carma Foods, Vegusto, Creative Nature, Deliciously Honest, Ice Green, Peakz, Park!er Foods, Simply Veg, Superfresh Waffles and The Grand Trunk Road Food Stop.

Email info@vegfest.co.uk or visit brighton.vegfest.co.uk.


Tulip Festival

Arundel Castle, Arundel

April

More than 60,000 tulips will be blooming in Arundel Castle’s gardens with a wide range of varieties of tulips in flower, creating an explosion of colour in its walled gardens. Among the 120 named tulips on display are Olympic Flame, Lilac Time, Swan Wings, Fancy Frills, Apeldoorn’s Elite, Black Parrot and Negrita, plus the peony flowered Angelique. Planted in an array of unique horticultural designs, there are innovative displays around the Collector Earl’s Garden, where 4,000 Pink Impression and Purple Prince tulips will be on show. Nearby, in the Wild Flower Garden, by the Stumpery, there will soon be a display of over 8,000 mixed tulips. Pictures: Julia Claxton.

Phone 01903 882173 or visit arundelcastle.org.


Sovereign Seas Folk Festival

Seaford British Legion, 70 Claremont Road, Seaford; Newhaven Lifeboat House, West Quay, Newhaven; The Ark, Riverside, Newhaven; and The Ship Inn, 6 High Street, Newhaven

Thursday, Saturday and Sunday April 5, 7 and 8

Tickets free-£18

A series of folk music concerts is held in aid of the RNLI Newhaven, with a Saturday afternoon concert on a maritime theme and other performers may also have a maritime theme. Among the performers are local duo Ramekins, who perform stirring sea songs, Charlotte and Spong, with Charlotte singing and playing the concertina and Richard accompanying her on the fiddle and mandolin, John Cave, who performs humorous songs, Lewes-based women’s morris team Knots of May, duos John & Di Cullen, Kevin Barber & Ron Turner, Steve & Diane Nevill, Eclectrix, featuring acoustic and electric guitars, and singers Lizzie Bennett, Jan Creaye, Marilyn Bennett, John Morgan, Mike Nicholson and Derek Seed, and Twagger Quartet, who play guitar, harp, dulcimer, whistles, pipes and concertina to accompany their singing.

Phone 01323 484244, email rnlinewhaven.society@hotmail.co.uk or visit sovereignseasfestival.co.uk.


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