Ditchling Common was chosen for this autumn family shoot so that their 7 year old twins could freely run and play, climb trees and hide in the many dens, in order to create natural portrait photos.
Ditchling Common is a 188 acre country park, and at this time of year the rust colour of the bracken is beautiful. It’s very popular spot for dog walkers and families, but with plenty of space that it’s easy to find empty dens and trees to explore. There’s a small lake, with a tree swing accessible in the summer when the water level is low, and ducks.
Despite living in the area for 6 years I only recently discovered Ditchling Common, and now that I have I look forward to returning in the summer with my young children for picnics and rambling, and before then for the carpet of bluebells in spring.
Another nearby and popular location for an autumn family shoot is Stanmer Park, which is currently undergoing major renovations to old building in the grounds that were going to ruin. Part of the development will include a walled garden area, and new cafe. If you are interested in finding out more about the restoration plans you can find it on the council website here.
If you’re looking for family walks in Sussex suitable for small children (mine two children are aged 4 and 1) there’s a great looped walked along the Cuckmere River through Alfriston to Litlington, where to can stop at The Plough and Harrow for lunch, before returning along the opposite bank of the river. We love this walk, there are usually cows grazing along the banks, and people canoeing along the river to wave too. It’s also very flat and open, so safe and easy on little legs!
Alfriston is also a very pretty little village, with lovely shops and pubs. The first ever National Trust property, Clergy House, is in Alfriston also. Here’s a recommended walk by the National Trust for the area.