Located under the shelter of the cliffs of Beachy Head, Eastbourne is rated as one of the sunniest resorts in Britain. This popular south coast town has retained much of its 19th century elegance. In addition to wide sandy beaches, it has a good selection of green open spaces, gardens, museums, art galleries and theatres.
Eastbourne's Colourful Gold and White Pier © Travel About Britain
The resort was discovered in 1780, when four of George Ill's children spent their summer holidays there. It was later developed by local landowners the 7th Duke of Devonshire and John Davies Gilbert, becoming very popular during the Victorian era.
Eastbourne Bandstand © TAB
The resort comes with all the usual seaside attractions. Its long promenade (the Royal Parade) is backed by magnificent Victorian hotels and top bands perform all summer long at the grand seafront bandstand. Among its outstanding parks and gardens are the Italian Gardens at the foot of the cliffs to the west, Motcombe Gardens in the old town and the colourful Carpet Gardens near the pier.
The original town, just a mile or so inland, consists
of a few streets of old houses surrounding a medieval
parish church. The 12th-c Pilgrims house is one of
Eastbourne's oldest buildings. It has ties with Charles
Dickens and underground passages link it to the
late 12th-c parish church of St Mary's, and also to
the Lamb Inn (circa 1240).
Several 18th-c Napoleonic fortifications can be seen along the sea front, built to defend against invasion from the French. To the west is the Wish Tower, originally a Martello Tower, and to the east is the Redoubt Fort, a squat circular fortification with casements and gun platforms.
Seven Sisters (by Nerivill (CC0))
Many pleasant walks extend our from Eastbourne along the coastline, particularly westwards, where several miles of towering cliffs protect the town from the brisk sea winds. The Seven Sisters, a group of seven white chalk cliffs, is a particularly well visited beauty spot.
Eastbourne's central location makes it a good touring base for the rest of East Sussex and the south coast.
An 18th-c circular artillery fort that houses a small museum, covering the military history of Sussex. Displays illustrate the history of the fortifications and their garrisons, together with exhibits of 18/19th-c weapons and uniforms. Dioramas show what life was like during these times.
Opening times: March
to Nov, daily from 10am to 5pm - Admission
Location: Royal Parade, Eastbourne BN22 7AQ
Tel: 01323 410300
Image Credit: kevinbowles (CC0)
Permanent and temporary exhibits, featuring the works of 19th & 20th century British painters, plus prints by contemporary local artists.
Opening times: Tue
to Sun & BHM, 10am to 5pm - Free Entry
Location: Devonshire Park College Road, Eastbourne BN21 4JJ
Tel: 01323 434670
A restored Martello tower - one of 74 defensive bastions built along the Kent and Sussex coastlines to defend against the French during the napoleonic Wars. Guided tours and special events run during the spring/summer season (see website for details). Next to the tower is cafe and sun lounge affording fine views over the coast.