Summer Events to Enjoy in & Around West Sussex

West Sussex is home to a plethora of annual events like fétes, festivals, fairs, and markets.

Practically every weekend is jam-packed with fun for everyone — whether you’re a family looking for a great day out or a couple in need of a weekend escape.

Take a look at our rundown of the unmissable West Sussex events to experience this summer.

 

 

thakeham family area goodwood festival of speed

 

Goodwood Festival of Speed

When: Thursday 13th July – Sunday 16th July 2023

Where: Goodwood House, Chichester

The Goodwood Festival of Speed is an annual motorsports festival held in the grounds of Goodwood House, West Sussex. The event features modern and historic motor racing up the hillclimb track, drift circuits, rally circuits & more! Described as ‘Motorsports ultimate summer garden party’ and an ‘intoxicating celebration of the worlds most glamorous sport’, this event promises unrivalled access to racing machines and the drivers that made them famous!

This is a popular family event, with many great memories just waiting to be made. Thakeham are the proud sponsors of the FOS family area, offering free activities for children and a rest stop for weary parents! Activities include face-painting, brick-laying and digger-operating fun, as well as buggies for small children, catering vans and a place to sit down and eat.

You can find the Family Area right next to the start line. Tickets to this renowned festival sell out fast every year, with many options offering differing levels of access to the motorsport festivities.

 

The Mundham and District Gala and Flower Show

When: Saturday 15th July 2023

Where: Mundham Village Hall, Mundham

Mundham and District’s Gala and Flower Show is far more than just a flower show — though the flower show itself is set to be epic. 

There’ll be a competition for fruits, vegetables, cookery, flowers, arts and crafts, and photography. You’ll also be able to watch the Dog Show, with themes like “Most Handsome Dog” and “Dog Most Like its Owner”. 

Another big part of the show will be a car display – with a whole host of classic cars to look with longing at!

 

Brighton Pride

A person holding up a Pride flag in front of the sea in Brighton.

When: Friday 4th – Sunday 6th August 2023

Where: Across Brighton

By far one of the most popular Pride events in the South of England, Brighton Pride is always a weekend to remember. While technically in East Sussex (depending on who you ask), we couldn’t not feature this event in our list of recommendations this summer.

Watch the street parade, head to Kemptown for a whole host of performances (from cabaret to DJs), and join the main festival in Preston Park. Expect spoken word, dance tents, political talks, and more.

You can really make Brighton Pride your own — pick and choose from the wide variety of events hosted by local businesses and venues across the city for a weekend that suits you.

 

Loxwood Joust Medieval Festival

When: Saturday 5th – Sunday 6th & Saturday 12th – Sunday 13th August 2023

Where: Loxwood Meadow, Billingshurst

The Loxwood Joust is a fully-immersive medieval festival taking place over two weekends at the start of August. This year, attendees are invited to take sides – either with the hooded rebels or the cruel King Villain – as the story develops. 

The Living History Village offers a chance to interact with the townsfolk and see how they would have lived and worked in the middle ages. You’ll also be kept on your toes by the full-contact jousting battles, falconry, and weaponry displays. Enjoy a beverage at The Tavern and take in the heritage around you!

There’s a lot to see and do at the Loxwood Joust, whether you’re a keen reenactor or a family looking for a fun day out.

 

Arundel Festival of the Arts

When: Friday 18th – Monday 28th August 2023

Where: Arundel Castle, Arundel

Described as ‘an inclusive festival with spectacular community events’, Arundel Festival of the Arts is hosted at Arundel Castle. Now in its 45th year, this family-friendly, volunteer-run festival is well-established and gets rave reviews every year.

Arundel Festival of the Arts showcases the rich cultural heritage and artistic talents of the town and surrounding areas.

Get ready for a diverse range of artistic experiences, including live performances, visual arts, music, theatre, dance, and literary events. The vibrant atmosphere, with various venues throughout the town hosting events, creates a sense of excitement and discovery. You can book your tickets here.

An audience of people at a festival raise their hands to the band members.

Ardingly Summer Fest

When: Saturday 5th August 2023

Where: South of England Showground, Haywards Heath

There’s no West Sussex festival more varied than Ardingly’s Summer Fest. The carnival of delights includes monster truck racing, a Queen tribute band, charity bungee jumping, hot air balloons, and a fireworks show.

Tickets are incredibly reasonable, at £25 for adults and £20 for children if you buy on the door.

 

One Love Festival, Worthing

When: Thursday 10th – Sunday 14th August 2023

Where: Highden Estate, Worthing

One Love has been on the festival circuit for the last 15 years, its founders on a mission to spread the message of Integrity, Quality, Unity, and Love for Africa as Home (IQULAH). 

Immerse yourself in traditional Nyabinghi drumming and chanting that backdrops the Rasta Village, where you’ll get a taste of Rastafarian life and its deep connections to nature. In the Field of Love, you can let go of your troubles via a range of wellbeing and spiritual workshops.

There’s also an incredible musical lineup as per usual, featuring the likes of Freddie McCregor and the Big Ship Family, IQulah Rastafari, and Johnny Osbourne and the Uppercut Band.

 

Eastbourne Airshow

When: Thursday 17th – Sunday 20th August 2023

Where: Eastbourne Seafront

This late-summer event is a true spectacle to enjoy from Eastbourne’s beloved seafront. Watch dramatic displays from the versatile RAF Tutor T1, the world-famous Red Arrows, the RAF Typhoon, and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

If you’re an aviation enthusiast, you’ll want to tune in to 87.7FM for live updates throughout each day.

But the fun isn’t limited to the sky — there’s plenty to occupy you on solid ground, from the military exhibition to dedicated kids’ play zones on the beach!

You can learn more about the Eastbourne Airshow on the Visit Eastbourne website.

 

Goodwood Revival

A close-up of a vintage Bentley at Goodwood Revival festival.

When: Friday 8th – Sunday 10th September 2023

Where: Goodwood Motor Circuit, Chichester

You’ll want to get tickets for this ASAP — they sell out fast.

If you’ve still got your chainmail and tabard on, swap it out for your best vintage pieces (think 40s, 50s, & 60s). Goodwood Revival is an iconic celebration of the classic cars and fashion we all know and love, with this year’s historic race set to be another spectacular, edge-of-your-seat experience.

You can choose from a range of ticket types depending on the experience you’d like to have — from an admission & grandstand package to private guided tours of the Drivers’ Club.

 

Worthing Food & Drink Festival

When: Saturday 9th – 10th September 2023

Where: Steyne Gardens, Worthing

Looking for a food festival this summer? Get the second weekend of September in your calendars!

Steyne Gardens plays host to a huge variety of food stalls (open between 10am and 5pm), plus cooking demonstrations set to ignite your culinary creativity. With more than 60 stalls, you won’t be short of choices – each one as delicious as the last. 

Discover Worthing Food & Drink Festival!

 

Astronomy Night

When: Friday 22nd September 2023

Where: Pagham Harbour, Chichester

Where better to star-watch than from a peaceful nature reserve? This evening, run by the South Downs Astronomical Society promises to ignite your senses — breathe in the last of the summer’s sea air, listen to the reeds rustle gently, and watch as a celestial theatre opens up before you.

You’ll learn about the Cosmos, be taught how to recognise constellations, and view deep space objects through high-quality telescopes. Book your space here.

 

Bluebell Railway Beer Festival

A group of friends bringing their beers together to say "cheers!"

When: Saturday 23rd September 2023

Where: Bluebell Railway, Sheffield Park, Uckfield

There are few settings more glorious than the Bluebell Railway station. Step back in time into the locomotive running shed and sip on the best local breweries have to offer. Then, take the steam train to another station where you can swap tokens for more great beers and ciders!

Previous beer lineups have included the unusual Bee Head from East Hoathly, the Bluebell Best bitter from 360 Degree, and Bedlam’s Phoenix pale ale. But trust us, there’s a whole lot more on offer! Last year’s beer and cider list was no less than 18 pages long.

Your day will be soundtracked by a variety of bands playing originals and covers of funk, soul, folk, rock, and pop tunes.

Find out more about the Bluebell Railway Beer Festival.

 

Southdowns Folk Festival

When: Friday 22nd – Sunday 24th September 2023

Where: Regis Centre, Bognor Regis

Round off your summer in the seaside town of Bognor Regis.

Featuring a ‘real ale’ bar, childrens’ entertainers, dancing and musical performances, and more, there’s something for everyone at the Southdowns Folk Festival.

Learn how to support the festival and get tickets on their website!

 

Enjoy West Sussex

As you can see, West Sussex is more than just a pretty face! It’s a lively, adventure-filled county with community at the heart of its villages, towns, and cities.

If West Sussex has stolen your heart, be sure to pay our Woodgate development a visit — we have a range of new-build homes available in our thriving community!

Discover our available new builds at Pease Pottage in West Sussex!