Childrens’ Birthday Parties across the Forest

Bluebell Railway Steam 3 - closeup  nuts4climbing - children  Nutley Windmill 4  Blackland Farm 3  Llama Park - Llamas in Head Collars

The Forest is a fantastic place to host a fun birthday party for children (and adults) of all ages.  Whether you are looking for a DIY party with games on the Forest or or an organised event, there really is something for everyone!

  • Steam Train Rides  Enjoy a ride on steam trains at Bluebell Railway ( or Spa Valley Railway (   On the Bluebell Railway enjoy afternoon tea or splash out for a Pulman Service and include a trip round the engine sheds at Sheffield Park
  • Climbing and Bouldering at Evolution Climbing ( or Nuts4Climbing (   Introductory courses or have a go sessions available as well as party tea.
  • Nutley Windmill  is a popular childrens party venue.  Explore the windmill, watch milling and enjoy a BBQ in this enclosed site.
  • Blackland Farm has a wide range of exciting activities including archery, canoeing, climbing and the crate challenge.  Choose your activities and use qualified instructors to keep safe.  Then enjoy a birthday tea
  • Llama Park is an ideal venue with Llama walks, Donkey rides, bouncy castle and lots of space to run around.  Order birthday tea or bring a picnic to complete the day.

For further details of great party locations on the Forest visit or call me for help to plan your next party!


T : 01435 863091    E :

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What to do over the School Holidays!

Ashdown Forest is a fantastic location for summer holiday activities.  There are so many exciting things to do and many of them needn’t cost a lot of money!

Visitors enjoying the daffodils at Polesden Lacey, Surrey. Polesden Lacey has glorious views across the rolling Surrey Hills.  Bluebell Railway Steam 3 - closeup  Bridge Cottage - Summer Activities  Blackland Farm 6

  • The Bluebell Railway is always an exciting place to explore.  If you are a local person you can get discounted rail tickets and during the week of 1st August kids travel for a quid – just £1 per child.  Why not pack a picnic and explore the engine sheds or do some train spotting and drawing then the cost is only platform tickets!
  • If you are already a National Trust member then a visit to Standen or Sheffield Park can be a great low cost day out.  Look out for their activity days on their website.  Why not try out a few of the 50 Things to do before 113/4
  • Bridge Cottage have a week of activities starting on 25th July at Bridge Cottage.
  • Blackland Farm have some amazing activities including archery, sailing, the crate challenge, trampolining and so much more.  These activities are now open to the public and can be booked with an instructor for safety.  A great venue for a party!
  • Evolution Climbing has a fantastic new indoor climbing wall which is great for all ages – and ideal for wet days.
  • The Forest Centre has a wide range of activities on site.  There is always an exhibition to view, the outdoor timeline and the play area.  Why not take a picnic and then have a walk on the Forest as well!

For more information and other ideas visit our website


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A Busy Start to May

5th May

May is always a busy month in the AFTA Office.  Batches of new events listings are now arriving for the second half of the year and they have to be added to the database.  Its also the time of year when I am chasing the last renewal payments and also confirming new members before the main holiday season starts.

We have had exciting news from Wealden – AFTA has been awarded a grant which will enable us to put the Bus Map back onto the AFTA map for next year.  The combination of the AFTA map with the Bus Map beside it creates a clear and easy to use facility for both local people and the many visitors to the area.

Check out the exciting new events listings in our ‘Whats On’ guide for the coming months!

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The April Members Meeting

26th April 2016

Sackville College 2

The next member’s meeting takes place tomorrow – Wednesday 27th April, at Sackville College in East Grinstead.  As always, I am looking forward to meeting up with the members and hearing what they are doing to develop their businesses.

The meeting will include a tour of the site – a great opportunity to see this lovely site which is steeped in history.  Not only was it the location for the creation of the Christmas Carol Good King Wenceslas, it is still used as an Almes House for local people.  Last year the Mcindoe Statue, which is located just outside the building, was unveiled by Princess Anne.

During the meeting we will be discussing

  • the new AFTA competition which is due to start from May
  • events across the area
  • advertising promotion with Uckfield FM

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The AFTA Year starts with a Flourish of Activity!


Draft 6 - Front Cover copy

The end of February is always a busy time for me.  Membership renewals which start in November are nearing completion and the last few new memberships  are being finalised in time for inclusion in the map.  After a frantic few weeks the updates to the map are complete,  new adverts are being set in place before the final checks are made.  As usual Kelly from Baker Wilcox has done an amazing job and the artwork looks vibrant and interesting.  Then the map is handed over to Paul at Eden River Press and the race is on to get it printed in time for the AGM and tourism fairs.

The first time I get to see the finished  map is a few minutes before the members arrive for the AGM – always a tense moment!  However, as usual, the map looks lovely!  Look out for our new map which is now available right across the Forest.  If you are having trouble finding a copy of our new map, please email me ( and I would be very happy to send maps out to you.

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