Staying over the holidays

See what your options are if you’re planning to stay on the Sussex campus or nearby over the Easter break, summer vacation or Christmas holidays.

Holiday dates

The main breaks in our academic year dates are:

  • Christmas, listed as the winter vacation
  • Easter, listed as the spring vacation
  • Summer, listed as the summer vacation.


Christmas happens during the winter vacation listed in our academic year dates.


If you’re staying in Sussex over the Christmas vacation, there are lots of events and activities taking place on and off campus to celebrate the festive period – even after term ends.

University events

We put on a range of events over December.

These include Carols by Candlelight and a Christmas Craft Fair.

See full events listings.

Festivities in the Meeting House

If you’re staying with us over Christmas, and want to spend time with other people on campus, we have two events for 2019.

On Friday 20 December there is a Boxing Day-style lunch in the Meeting House. It’s free but tickets are limited and first-come, first-served.

Email Janine Thorogood to reserve a place – – giving any dietary requirements and the names and ages of any young family members joining you.

On Christmas Day, the Meeting House is open from 1pm to 3pm. You can drop in and meet other students on campus. Some food and drink will be provided.

Students’ Union events

The Students’ Union also runs a number of Christmas-themed events, such as:

  • The Brighton and Sussex Winter Ball
  • Sussex Christmas Tree Lights Switch On and Christmas Market
  • Christmas in the Great Hall.

For tickets and more, see all Students’ Union events.

Family events

If you have a young family with you, there are lots of events for children taking place in Brighton.

Free events include Burning the Clocks – Brighton’s unique lantern procession and beach bonfire, which invites the whole community to celebrate the shortest day of the year.

The Magical Wonderland comes to the Marina for a few days just before Christmas.

If children want to meet Father Christmas there are many Santa’s Grotto-style options, such as the popular Christmas at Drusilla’s Park. These are usually paid events but include a gift. Book ahead.

Travelling abroad

Many Sussex students use this time to travel abroad. The winter vacation is usually about three weeks.

If you need a Schengen visa for travelling in Europe, the last date before Christmas to request a Schengen letter from us to support your application will be Tuesday 17 December.

Before you request a letter, check the waiting times for appointments at the embassy of your destination; there can be long waiting times.

Operational hours

Outside of term time some services on campus will run reduced hours. Check Christmas and New Year opening times for 2019/20.

Public transport does not run on Christmas Day (25 December).

Check which services are running around the Christmas and New Year period for:

If you’re travelling around for New Year’s Eve celebrations (especially to London), be aware that public transport home may stop before midnight.

Sending letters and parcels

If you’re planning to send packages or letters home before Christmas, there are last posting dates for Royal Mail.

Staying with us

You’re welcome to stay in your University-managed accommodation over the break.

If you want to do this, fill in a form to let us know.

Your accommodation agreement covers you for the winter vacation.


Easter takes place during the spring vacation listed in our academic year dates.

If you’re staying in University-managed accommodation, your accommodation agreement covers you for the spring vacation.


Our summer vacation period is listed in our academic year dates.

If you’re staying in University-managed accommodation, your accommodation agreement normally ends before the summer vacation starts.

You can find out about staying in University-managed accommodation over the summer.

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