Due to its strategic location on the south coast, Sussex has always played an essential part in both international communications and the defence of England. The county was divided in to East and West Sussex following the Local Government Act of 1972.
Beachy Head © GSP
Spanning nearly 1500 sq miles, East and West Sussex boast over 100 miles of spectacular coastline, flanking the English Channel. Used as a point of invasion since Roman times, the coastline flourished during the Victorian era with the creation of many popular seaside resorts, such as Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings.
Inland, the area has varying countryside, from the clay valleys of the weald to the stunning chalk escarpments of the South Downs. The South Downs National Park provides some of the UK's most glorious waking terrain. Including the South Downs Way, a public bridleway that runs for over 80 miles from Eastbourne to the Hampshire border.
East Sussex is host to some of England's most iconic landscapes, not least of which is the spectacular white cliffs at Beachy Head. This area is also home to many historic towns such as Battle and Hastings, including the ancient Saxon county town of Lewes, famous for one of the best preserved castle barbicans in England.
Sussex is also the birthplace of the game of cricket, which started some 1500 years ago as a game played by local children. However, it was not until 1611 that adults were first recorded as playing the game.
'No breeze so fresh and invigorating as that of the Sussex Downs; no turf so springy to the feet as the soft greensward.'
|West Sussex: Chichester - distance from London: 66 miles (106 km)
East Sussex: Lewes - distance from London: 58 miles (93 km)
Brighton and Hove - distance from London: 53 miles (85 km)
|Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Greater London, Hampshire, Kent|
|A23, M23, A27|
|Leith Hill, 965 feet|
|Eden, Mole, Thames, Wey|
|Sussex Gingerbread - made with
treacle. A specialty of Horsham.
Sussex pudding - steamed suet pastry which encases a whole lemon
Sussex smokery - a dish of haddock, lemon juice and garlic.
First recorded in 722 as Suth Seaxe. From the Old English, the 'territory of the South Saxons'. Although invaded by the Normans in 1066, many Sussex towns and villages still retain their original Anglo Saxon names.