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Things to do in East Sussex

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East Sussex is situated in the south east of England on the Channel coast. It stretches from Brighton in the west to Rye in the east. The spectacular coastline includes the beauty spots Seven Sisters and the cliffs of Beachy Head.

There are many historic towns and scenic fishing villages to explore in East Sussex. The county offers theatres, arts festivals, golf courses, horse racing, many ancient churches and buildings.

East Sussex has large Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Ashdown Forest and the South Downs walkers can follow the South Downs Way from Eastbourne, to Winchester in Hampshire. East Sussex Tourist Information centres in major towns throughout the county can help with information on walks, activities and attractions in the County.

East Sussex Tourist Information is available in the High Street in Lewes, the county town, which is dominated by the imposing Norman castle and barbican, built shortly after the Norman invasion of 1066. Visit the museum with touch-screen history of the area and 'The Story of Lewes Town'.

Nearby in Southover is Anne of Cleves House, a lovely Wealden hall-house given to Anne as part of the divorce settlement made by Henry VIII. Seven miles to the east is Charlston, the country meeting place for the group of artists, writers and intellectuals known as the Bloomsbury Group. This delightful area of East Sussex has Country Parks such as Paradise Park, Seven Sisters Country Park and Sheffield Park Garden, all worth a visit.

Days out in East Sussex

  • 1066 Battle of Hastings, Abbey and Battlefield
    1066 is the one date in English history which stands out above all others. Visit the site of the Battle of Hastings, where the course of England's history changed forever on October 14th, 1066.
    1066 Battle of Hastings, Abbey and Battlefield
  • Batemans
    The homely sandstone house of Bateman's was the former home of Rudyard Kipling from 1902 to 1936. Literary fans will recognize the house which is mentioned in his autobiography.
  • Battle Abbey
    One of the most well-known battles in English history is the Battle of Hastings which took place between Harold I and William the Conqueror in 1066.
    Battle Abbey
  • Battle Museum
    The town of Battle grew up around the Abbey founded by King William after his victory at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. This museum offers a glimpse of Battle's rich history.
    Battle Museum
  • Bentley Wildfowl & Motor Museum
    The renowned waterfowl collection was started by the late Gerald Askew in the 1960's and soon became the largest private collection in the UK.
    Bentley Wildfowl & Motor Museum
  • Bexhill Costume Museum
    Bexhill Museum is situated in the attractive setting of the Manor Gardens, Old Town. Exhibits include costumes, accessories and memorabilia from the 18th century to the 1970's.
    Bexhill Costume Museum
  • Bexhill Museum
    Newly refurbished and extended, the displays and exhibitions have something for everyone to enjoy.
    Bexhill Museum
  • Bluebell Railway
    The Bluebell Railway was the first preserved standard gauge passenger line in the UK. In 1960 it reopened part of the Lewes to East Grinstead line of the old London Brighton and South Coast Railway.
    Bluebell Railway
  • Bodiam Castle
    A castle always makes an exciting day out, and Bodiam Castle in East Sussex is no exception.
    Bodiam Castle
  • Booth Museum of Natural History
    The Booth Museum is the creation of the Victorian ornithologist Edward Booth. It was built in 1874 to house his collection of stuffed British birds.
    Booth Museum of Natural History
  • Brighton Museum & Art Gallery
    The museum features state-of-the-art visitor facilities, a series of innovative redesigned galleries and wide-ranging collections brought to life using the latest interpretative techniques.
    Brighton Museum & Art Gallery
  • Brighton Pier
    Brighton Pier is a seaside landmark which harks back to the Victorian age. The pier is filled with amusement arcades and fairground attractions, but you can also enjoy a gentle stroll more than 500 metres out to sea.
    Brighton Pier
  • Brighton Sea Life Centre
    The Brighton Sea Life centre offers a fun and educational day out whatever the weather. With over 1,500 creatures and 50 displays, you will be hard pressed to find a more enjoyable day for the whole family!
    Brighton Sea Life Centre
  • Charleston
    In 1916 the artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant moved to Sussex with their unconventional household. From the moment they arrived they began to transform the house with decorations.
  • Drusillas Park
    Where else can you get nose to nose with nature and have the most memorable fun-finding-out day out you can imagine?
    Drusillas Park
  • Eastbourne Pier
    Take a stroll along the Victorian boardwalk and take a step back in time. Take in the sights and sounds and you'll be amazed at what you find.
    Eastbourne Pier
  • Firle Place
    Firle Place is the home of the Gage family and has been for over 500 years. This unique Tudor house is set at the foot of the Sussex Downs within its own parkland and boasts a very interesting history.
    Firle Place
  • How We Lived Then Museum of Shops
    In this "late-Regency" town house, built in 1850, you will see 100 years of Shopping and Social History, uniquely captured in many old Shops, Rooms and Displays.
    How We Lived Then Museum of Shops
  • Knockhatch Adventure Park
    Kanockhatch Adventure Park. So much to see and do!
    Knockhatch Adventure Park
  • Pashley Manor Gardens
    'One of the finest Gardens in England' Pashley offers a sumptuous blend of romantic landscaping, imaginative plantings and fine old trees, fountains, springs and large ponds with interest and colour throughout the year.
    Pashley Manor Gardens
  • Seven Sisters Sheep Centre
    A warm welcome awaits you at this family run farm set in the Sussex downland, only one mile from Beachy Head. We have probably the largest collection of sheep in the world with over 40 different breeds of sheep
    Seven Sisters Sheep Centre
  • Sheffield Park and Garden
    Sheffield Park may be one National Trust property that cricket lovers will really want to visit. It was the site of the first England v. Australia cricket match in 1884.
    Sheffield Park and Garden
  • Story of Rye
    700 years of Rye history are brought to life in this fascinating and informative show, centred on the beautifully crafted model created to show Rye as it was in the early 19th century.
    Story of Rye
  • The Royal Pavilion, Brighton
    Experience the magical world of Brighton's Royal Pavilion, home to three British monarchs. Decorated in the Chinese taste with an Indian exterior this Regency Palace is quite breathtaking.
    The Royal Pavilion, Brighton
  • Underwater World
    Underwater World is a marine life experience which is totally unique to Hastings. Enjoy a voyage of discovery to the ocean depths.
    Underwater World

Places to Visit in East Sussex

  • Alfriston
    Alfriston lies in the Cuckmere Valley and is the epitome of an English Village. There are a variety of shops in the village including an authentic Village Shop, several good coffee shops and various pubs.
  • Barcombe Mills Station
    BR made extensive use of the route through Barcombe Mills Station for diversions from the Brighton line right up until closure, with the winter of 1968-69 being particularly busy.
    Barcombe Mills Station
  • Battle
    Battle is a small town in East Sussex, which grew up on the site of the Battle of Hastings in 1066.
  • Brighton and Hove
    The city of Brighton and Hove is a popular seaside resort in Sussex, best known for its pier, shops, beach and Royal Pavilion.
    Brighton and Hove
  • Eastbourne
    Eastbourne is a large town of just under 100,000 residents on the East Sussex coast between Brighton and Hastings.
  • Hastings
    Hastings is located on the south coast of England in East Sussex, overlooking the English Channel. Despite having no natural harbour, it developed a large fishing fleet.
  • Icklesham
    Icklesham is a small village on the main A259 between Hastings and Rye. In earlier times it dominated the river brede in the valley to the north and is believed to have been a prime target to the Normans in 1066 when they landed.
  • Lewes
    Lewes is the county town of East Sussex. The castle overlooks the town and is open to visitors, as is the Barbican Museum opposite it. In such an historic town as Lewes there is obviously much to see.
  • Newhaven
    The coastal port of Newhaven is situated at the mouth of the River Ouse. Newhaven still has a daily ferry service to Dieppe and the harbour is always busy and a fascinating place to visit.
  • Pevensey Bay
    Pevensey Bay is on the coast of East Sussex, about five miles northeast of Eastbourne. The parish of Pevensey includes both the inland village of Pevensey and Pevensey Bay, which are about a mile apart.
    Pevensey Bay
  • Rye
    The historic small town of Rye stands on the edge of Romney Marsh in East Sussex. It is at the confluence of the Brede, Tillingham and Rother rivers.
  • Rye Harbour
    The fishing village Rye Harbour sits near the mouth of the river Rother, in East Sussex and still has small boats moored along the river.
    Rye Harbour
  • Seaford
    Seaford is a seaside town on the south coast situated between Brighton and Eastbourne. The coast and countryside attract many visitors to this area.

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