If you’re looking for a social distancing-friendly Sussex day out, I want to recommend our most recent family day trip: the Weald & Downland Living Museum.
This independent outdoor museum rescues and conserves historic buildings. It also preserves local crafts to tell the story of life in the South East of England across the last 1,000 years.
It’s a 40 acre site where you can walk around and explore over 50 historic buildings dating from 950AD to the 19th century. There’s everything from an Ango-Saxon hall house to an Edwardian tin church.
The museum has adapted well to Covid-related restrictions. Visitors are limited to pre-booking only and there’s a one way system in place. If you go into a building for a shufty, a museum representative will sanitise the place before and after your visit.
It’s all very clean and well spaced out. So even if there are plenty of other vistors on site (as there were when we visited), you can easily keep your distance and indulge in fantasies of going back in time to when things were simpler (say, in 2019).
Obviously the more history nerds you have in your party the more you will enjoy it. Luckily, in my family, we have plenty of history nerds to spare so we loved it.
And if you have a history buff who enjoys a good walk and a picnic, they will be in ye olde heaven.
The other thing that this museum is currently known for is that it’s the filming location for BBC TV’s The Repair Shop.
Where is The Repair Shop filmed?
The Repair Shop is filmed in a specially adapted barn in the Weald & Downland Living Museum. The Court Barn is near the Crafts & Industries part of the site. When filming is taking place, as it was when we visited, you will not be able to get nearer than as shown below. Even so, the experts were quite happy to come out and talk to people in between filming.
The museum has also been a location for many other TV and film productions including: Good Omens; The Hollow Crown; Countryfile; Most Haunted and many more.
How to get there
The Weald & Downland Living Museum is located 7 miles north of Chichester. Full travel details can be found here.
Due to current restrictions, entry is via pre-booked ticket only. You can do this via the booking page here. Tickets are from £14 per adult. It’s £6.50 for children/full time students and free for under 5’s.
The museum is both family and dog friendly. Since it’s an outdoor site there is a reasonable amount of walking involved so bear that in mind if you have mobility issues. There are plenty of places to sit down and rest, and the going is generally quite flat.