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We recommend Eastbourne for:
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Places to go and things to see;
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Places to go and things to see;
Eastbourne is special. There aren’t many places that offer so many different types of activities in such a concentrated space, all while retaining a true sense of calm and peace. No wonder visitors love it. From the colourful Carpet Gardens that famously decorate the seafront to the breathtaking views from Beachy Head, Eastbourne is richly endowed with coastal beauty and cultural charm. In fact, this gorgeous spot on the south coast has become something of a national treasure. Visit and you’ll soon see why.
As you’d expect for a famed seaside town, Eastbourne has its fair share of beaches. The main resort beach is Grand Parade, which stretches out across Eastbourne’s seafront offering clean bathing water and plenty of nearby facilities. Like your beaches a little more relaxed? No problem. Try Holywell Retreat. This quaint and quiet beach is a great place to enjoy a little freedom. Eastbourne Pier, meanwhile, is a great place for an afternoon stroll. You’ll find shops and cafés as well as a restaurant that rustles up particularly tasty fish and chips.
But no visit to Eastbourne is complete without taking in somewhere extra special. Just to the west is one of the south coast’s most famous landmarks, Beachy Head. It’s the largest cliff in the UK and marks the point where the Sussex Downs, one of the UK’s largest certified Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, meets the sea. It’s possible to walk from Eastbourne, but if you’d rather save your legs then you can jump on a bus to the top of Beachy Head. They leave Eastbourne every thirty minutes or so.
As you can imagine, the views from Beachy Head are spectacular. You can see right along the south coast and out across the English Channel. And what’s really great is that there’s a local pub where you can stop to take in the scenery with a bite to eat and a tasty ale. It doesn’t get much better than that. But if you really want to take in the size of the cliffs around Beachy Head, take a boat trip with Sussex Voyages out around the famous red and white-striped Beachy Head lighthouse. From sea level you can really see the sheer scale and beauty of these magnificent chalk cliffs.
So we’ve had the beaches, and we’ve had the stunning scenery, what else does Eastbourne have to offer? Art galleries galore, that’s what! There’s a diverse range of art and craft at Henry Paddon Contemporary Art. Or take a look at the contemporary landscape and seascape art at the Nigel Greaves Gallery. You can also take stock of the local talent in Ginger. But for the ultimate arty treat, a visit to Towner is an absolute must. This chic new contemporary art museum and gallery houses over 4,000 works of art from renowned artists. Past exhibitions have included work from the likes of Henry Moore and Pablo Picasso. Towner’s art exhibitions are constantly changing. But one thing’s for sure: they’re of international significance in the art world. Not to be missed.
There’s more to Eastbourne too. Try visiting Hampden Park. The northern part of the park has a large lake, shady lawns and an extensive area of semi-natural woodland. It’s a great place to while away a summer’s day. Or spend a couple of lazy hours exploring the ancient streets of the old town. You’ll find independent shops and a pub that dates right back to the twelfth century.
Just outside Eastbourne is the village of Polegate, home to Alfriston Clergy House. This rare fourteenth century hall-house was the first building to be acquired by the National Trust, back in 1896. It’s a delightful cottage with beautiful gardens on a beautiful spot by the Cuckmere River. Head a little further north and you’ll be in the pretty village of Hailsham, renowned for the magnificent Herstmonceux Castle, a moated marvel set in pristine parkland with superb Elizabethan gardens. Wrap up the day back in Eastbourne with a visit to Anne of Cleaves House. It formed part of the divorce settlement from Henry VIII in 1541. You’ll find a selection of fascinating artefacts and a beautiful pottery collection.
Looking for a special way to spend the evening? How about a night of opera at Glyndebourne Opera House? A diverse programme of performances is available. And if you’re looking for an evening meal, Meze and Mo Mambo both come highly recommended.