The Science Centre and Planetarium buildings with blue sky behind
A young girl enjoying a piggy back from her older sister while outside
A young girl walking through woodland towards the camera, holding a flower
A young boy running through a wooded area towards the camera

Let's explore the great outdoors

The South Downs National Park is full of nature and fantastic places to explore with fun things to do everywhere. Take a rest under the acoustic tree and look at the view from up in the Science Centre or take a picnic outside on a sunny day. Feeling active? Head over to Bio:Space and do some nature activities.

If you really want to have a nature adventure, follow the spotters trail to the Butterfly Conservation Reserve or Magdalen Hill Down. The big question is where do you want to explore first?

Ancient woodland, awesome wildlife

The South Downs National Park is more than 1,600 square kilometres – that's really big! It has rolling hills, historic woodland and rare wildlife species for you to spot. An ancient fair used to be on one of the chalk hillsides. It's now the Magdalen Hill Down Butterfly Conservation Reserve. Ready to go spotting butterflies?

Read more about the South Downs National Park here

Which butterfly's which?

Butterflies are amazing. They come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and fantastic colours. This handy Butterfly Conservation guide will help you find out which butterfly you've seen. Ready to learn all the names?

Visit the Butterfly Conservation website to learn how to spot butterflies

Wildlife watching top tips

There's lots of wildlife in the South Downs National Park. We've got some expert tips to help you spot some of the rare beasties. Find out what to wear, what not to touch and why you shouldn't be too smelly. Let's go wildlife spotting!

Get top tips for your wildlife search from the South Downs National Park website

The Countryside Code

The Countryside Code is a guide that's full of tips to help you enjoy your trip into the countryside. It shows you how to find your way around, care for the environment and lots more. We all want to have fun outdoors – here's how to do it kindly.

Download the national Countryside Code

Accessibility info

Accessibility information for the South Downs National Park

The path from the Science Centre to Magdalen Hill Down Butterfly Conservation reserve or to the South Downs National Park isn't accessible to wheelchairs or mobility scooters yet.

If there's anything we can do to make your visit easier, just ask us. We're here to help.

Read more about accessibility here
A girl hold a magnifying glass over her eye and smiles
Join the Curiosity Club

Spend the next 12 months making new discoveries with an annual membership. Get free entry, discounted tickets to The Planetarium and lots of special extras!

Join us with an annual membership
What's on After Dark this summer?

Did you know we also have evening events? Sit back and relax at Starlight Cinema as Cool Runnings plays out under the stars of the Planetarium. Watch as breath-taking Planetarium visuals bring to life the sounds of the legendary Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.

Find out what's going on
Two girls run through a finish line that says Bug Olympics
Fiesta fun this summer

Olympic and Paralympic fever is taking over both inside and out! Beat the bugs in the Bug Olympics. Create an epic opening ceremony inspired by nature. Find out about the science of us. And discover what happens to our bodies during exercise. 

Join in the fun