Things to do in Eastbourne, East Sussex
History of Eastbourne
Eastbourne's history can be traced back to Stone Age settlements with archaeological artifacts and flint mines.
Back in 963 AD the area was recorded as having a landing stage and stream at "Bourne".
There are several Roman sites which were uncovered in 1717 including a pavement and baths.
The remains of a Roman villa lie close to the Queens Hotel.
After the Norman conquest, the area was given to Robert, Count of Mortain who was a half-brother of William the Conqueror and the Domesday Book listed it as having a church, watermill, salt pans and ploughlands.
By the 19th century the town had formed from four small hamlets which gradually merged together.
King George's III's children enjoyed a visit to Eastbourne in 1780.
Shortly afterwards Martello Towers were built for defence from France along the coast and in 1805 the Eastbourne Redoubt was built with 10 cannons.
World War II temporarily changed Eastbourne's fortunes as it was badly damaged in air raids.
Most of the locals were evacuated and buildings were taken over by the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force.
Present Day Eastbourne
Eastbourne's shingle beach and 3-mile long promenade draw many tourists.
It has a reputation as being one of the sunniest places in the UK.
The well-kept gardens and pebble beaches attract many retirees who enjoy the fresh sea air and arcade-free promenade.
The seafront is lined with guest houses and small hotels which cater to its tourist-driven local economy. The modern marina is a good source of revenue for the town.
The town has an excellent range of amenities including four theatres, museums, a bandstand which hosts music concerts and several parks.
The excellent retail area in the town centre includes the Arndale Shopping Centre.
The Grade I listed manor house is now owned by the Duke of Devonshire and is now known as Compton Place.
Other historic buildings in Eastbourne include the Wish Tower.
Famous residents include explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, Charles Dickens, Lewis Carroll and artist Mabel Lucie Attwell who lived at Ocklynge Manor under her married name of Mrs Earnshaw.
Things to do in Eastbourne
Eastbourne has several sites of Special Scientific Interest include the Neolithic burial ground at Willingdon Down and Beachy Head with its famous lighthouse.
The area is ideal for pleasant walks to local chalk landmarks known as "Gibraltar" and the "Sugar Loaf" or along the South Downs Way.
The pier and bandstand continue to offer timeless entertainment along with the amenities at Hampden Park.
Shinewater Park has a fishing lake, railway, skateboard park and sports pitches.
With a summer circus, tennis tournaments, festivals and an air show there is always something happening in the town.