Weald & Downland Living Museum, West Sussex: ‘Helps children imagine rural life centuries ago’ – review

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With its historic cottages, schoolhouse and farms, exploring this interactive family attraction feels like strolling through a real village

Over 50 historic buildings from across the Weald and Downland area of Sussex, Hampshire, Surrey and Kent have been dismantled and then reconstructed across a lovely 40-acre site in the South Downs national park. The collection of buildings represents almost a thousand years of rural life in south-east England: furnished just as they would have been in the past – complete with roaring fires – the homes, farms and public buildings. There’s a sense of exploring a real village as you stroll between them along green paths, stopping to climb the stairs of a 17th-century craftsman’s cottage to lie on the straw bed or sheltering from a shower in a smoky, 14th-century hall.

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