With three young boys in tow, Lucy Denyer found that a weekend at a grand Sussex estate provided just the right mix of fun-filled activity and a taste of the good life

Ask any parent and they’ll tell you that holidaying with children is… different. Once they arrive, you can wave goodbye to the days of lounging around on a beach reading a good book, or setting off on a long, brisk, satisfying walk followed by a boozy lunch that spills into the evening. Adventuring with little ones in tow carries an added risk and often doesn’t seem worth the stress – especially flying. Once you’ve got kids at school, with trips suddenly confined to the school holidays, going away becomes almost prohibitively expensive.

My boys are eight, five and three. Adorable little bundles of energy and joy, and we love spending time with them. But holidaying, right now, is a tricky one to get right. The eight- year-old is adventurous, but he’s pretty good company these days and will happily keep himself entertained with a book and can stay up for an adult meal in a pub, comporting himself with decorum in most situations.

Our middle son copies his brother, only with rather less decorum and a much shorter attention span. The three-year-old needs a booster seat to reach the table, and is still rather partial to an afternoon nap. Camping, we’ve found, works fairly well – but it’s not exactly a rest for us. Sandy beaches are lovely, but Britain’s aren’t too predictable at this time of year.

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