Weald & Downland Living Museum

Discover over 1,000 years of rural history, see what daily life was like for people living in these landscapes and experience Sussex through the seasons at this open-air, living museum in the heart of the South Downs.

As an independent museum, The Weald & Downland Living Museum rescues and conserve historic buildings, teaches traditional trades and crafts to ensure their preservation and shares the untold stories of rural life and those who lived in south-east England. Across 40 beautiful acres, visitors can explore more than 50 historic buildings that have been relocated from all across the Weald and Downland area of Sussex and its neighbouring counties, furnished as they would have been in the past and brought together in a village-like setting.

Every day at the Museum is different, much like life would have been in the past, with every aspect of life – from food to clothing and daily activities – tied in with the changing seasons. There’s plenty to see and do throughout the year for visitors of all ages – from immersive historical activities to walking trails and theatre shows to exhibitions.

Don’t miss

  • A year-round programme of cultural events, family activities and informative workshops. Visit the website to see what’s on.
  • Lunch at the waterside cafe, with a menu of fresh, seasonal meals. The cafe is open to everybody, not just museum visitors.
  • The chance to get a sneak peek inside BBC’s The Repair Shop, which is filmed at the museum’s Court Barn. Whilst the area around the barn is closed to the public during filming, on selected dates you can pop your head inside and take a look at the production set. Find out more about The Repair Shop at Weald & Downland Living Museum.

When to visit Weald & Downland Living Museum 

The museum is a wonderful place to vsit in any season, and is open daily from the 2 January to the 23 December.

From 1 March to 31 October, the Museum is open from 10am to 5pm, and 10am to 4pm for the rest of the year.

You can also visit the onsite café which is open in line with the Museum opening hours, and you don’t have to purchase a museum ticket to visit the café.


The Weald & Downland Living Museum is a large 40 acre site that showcases its historic buildings in keeping with the time periods they represent. Some of the historic buildings are not fully accessible to all visitors, but there are volunteers on hand to talk about the collection.

To create an authentic atmosphere at the Museum, the paths around the site vary in materials and are uneven by nature. The centre of the Museum site is mainly flat with parts set on sloping ground, which is steep in places. Access around the site is on rural surfaces; mainly rolled or loose chippings, which are in keeping with the nature of the site and buildings. Some paths are cobbled and their surfaces may cause difficulty for visitors who use a wheelchair or have impaired mobility. The Museum offers a discounted ticket for disabled visitors.

Things to do near Weald & Downland Living Museum



More often heard than seen, Nightingales are a welcome springtime presence, holding their own in the coppiced ancient woodlands of the High Weald. Their beautifully evocative song is the stuff of legend.



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