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Six Sussex Visits to Make your Bank Holiday Weekend

Getting outside is beautiful whatever the season here in Sussex, but during the summer months it's especially glorious, even if we are a bit biased. While the local towns and villages are usually buzzing with excited tourists, why not take yourself, some friends or your family on one of the amazing walks our local Sussex surroundings have to offer...

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1.) Birling Gap to Beachy Head

Hailed as one of the most beautiful places on earth, beachy head truly is breathtaking. Meander along this cliff top walk and take in the iconic beachy head cliff face along with the equally iconic seven sisters cliffs (just don't stand too close to the edge)

2.) The Devil's Dyke

The 100m deep v-shaped valley in the South Downs, perched between Brighton and Hove, was described by Constable as 'the grandest view in the world'. Local folklore and legend explains the valley as the work of the devil. The legend describes that the devil was digging a trench to allow the sea to flood the many churches in Sussex. The digging disturbed an old woman who lit a candle, and in doing so angered a rooster causing it to crow, making the devil believe that the morning was fast approaching. The devil then fled, leaving his trench unfinished. The last shovel of earth he threw over his shoulder fell into the sea, forming the Isle of Wight. Whether formed by the devil or not this walk is a must see this summer.

3.) Ashdown Forest

This forest is an ancient area of tranquil open heathland occupying the highest sandy ridge-top of the High Weald. Situated just some 30 miles south of London in East Sussex, it's the perfect weekend escape for the family. Ashdown Forest is also the famous setting for the Winnie-the-Pooh stories, written by A. A. Milne, who lived on the northern edge of the forest and took his son, Christopher Robin, walking there- making this the ideal magical experience for children!

(photo: Colin Michaelis)

4.) Lavender Walk 

The glorious lavender fields at Lordington lavender farm in Chichester, West Sussex, are only open for a select few weekends a year, but during the summer months make sure you take yourself there for a visit. The combination of the vivid hues of the bright lavender flowers along with the intoxicating smells of the fresh plants makes for a truly memorable experience. 

5.) Arundel

You would be forgiven for thinking Arundel is some far off fairytale land, or a setting for a fantasy  novel, but this little village tucked away in the deep vale of the South Downs in West Sussex actually is real. The market town is just 49 miles from London and 10 miles from Brighton. Take a walk around the scenic town, peruse the local markets and explore the fairy tale castle looking over the river Arun. 

6.) Stanmer Park & House

Stanmer house and it's surrounding woodland is a great day out for all in East Sussex. The 18th century manor house is nestled in between the South Downs and the sea, just ten minutes from the bustling centre of Brighton- although you'll feel like you've escaped to a different land entirely. 

Go on, get out there and plan your next adventure in the fabulous land of Sussex!

Save the planet with your handbag!

5 things that fit in your bag and can help the planet

We love sharing ways of helping the environment at Maria Allen, so we thought we'd make it simple, what are 5 things you can easily keep in your bag that can help save the planet? Take a look at our chic and sleek guide to saving the planet with your handbag...

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1.) Coffee Flask

Given the current caffeine obsession sweeping the world at the moment, it’s no surprise that disposable coffee cups are a major cause of environmental issues. With 25 billion coffee cups thrown away every year just in America alone, it's an issue that we can all easily play a part to help stop. Why not take a reusable flask out with you next time you need a caffeine top up? We love using our travel mugs when out and about, and as an added bonus, most coffee shops provide a discount for bringing your own mug! 

2.) BYOB

That's right, bring your own bag. Although it might seem super convenient to grab a plastic bag when packing up your weekly shop, it's a really wasteful habit to get into. Not only does the production of plastic have a massive impact on greenhouse gasses, but recently a gigantic mass of plastic was found floating in the Pacific Ocean, causing a major threat to marine life and harming numerous animals.  Make the more eco-friendly choice by popping a reusable tote or canvas bag in your bag and whipping it out on your next shopping trip, not only are they kinder to the planet but they're way trendier than plastic ones, am I right!? 

Baggu Reusable Shopping Bags, £6.80

3.) Hit the bottle

Nope, not that bottle. 2.5 million plastic drinks bottles are thrown away every hour, just by taking your own reusable bottle you can help make a massive impact in reducing this needless waste. Bottled water also costs up to 10,000 times as much per gallon to produce as tap water due to the production of plastic so pop a chic little reusable number in your bag today!

SHO Bottle, £16.99

4.) Easy on the purse! 

I know I know it's easier said than done, but by simply buying less, we can cut down on consumerism and needless production and finally gain control of the cycle of disposability we find ourselves in. Why not check out the charity shops next time you feel the urge to go clothes shopping, or keep a little book of everything you buy so you can see where to cut down and what items aren't completely necessary.

5.) Metal Straws

It sounds crazy, but by being straw free you can help reduce plastic consumption massively. In America alone, over 500 million straws are thrown away every single day. This plastic is not bio degradable and is causing immeasurable harm to our planet, animals and fellow humans (plastic has been found in human breast milk due to absorbing toxins from pollution). This is an easy one to make a difference with, why not grab some of these super sleek reusable stainless steel drinking straws and keep one in your bag for a night out! It's not only environmentally friendly but can also be a great ice breaker and a proactive way to spread the message once it gets people talking! 

 Bunkoza Eco Straws, £7.99 

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Just by doing these 5 simple changes, and all things that will fit in your canvas tote bag next time you head out, we can all make a massive difference to the planet! So why not do less…less consumption, less waste, less plastic straws, it’s a win, win for everyone! 

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