Castles & Medieval Cinque Ports
The East Sussex Coast is a great mix of historic landmarks, fun family seaside resorts, heritage coast and world class arts centres. William the Conqueror first landed in Pevensey, establishing a timber-framed fort here before moving inland to meet King Harold and his English forces for one of the most famous battles on English soil, the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Pevensey and Hastings Castles are essential viewing on the 1066 Trail. In the far east sit the old medieval Cinque Ports of Rye and Winchelsea both containing a great selection of specialist/ independent shops, tearooms, restaurants, old inns and breathtaking heritage landmarks.
Some of England’s most popular family friendly seaside resorts are here on the South East coast including Camber Sands with its award-winning sandy beach and bustling Hastings with its abundance of attractions from aquariums to a restored pier, crazy golf and more along the seafront. Beautiful Eastbourne contains one of Europe’s largest marinas – the visually stunning Sovereign Harbour Marina – offering a wealth of watersports and boat trip opportunities. Eastbourne’s long promenade and Victorian pier are one of the country’s most beautiful seafront stretches with views towards the white chalk cliffs of Beachy Head.
World Class Arts
The combination of scenic coast and world class arts here on the East Sussex Coast is perfect for that weekend culture rich escape. The big three art galleries on this stretch of coastline include the magnificent modernist gem – Bexhill on Sea’s De La Warr Pavilion, the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne and the Jerwood Gallery on the old town Stade seafront in Hastings. Coast and culture getaways don’t come much better than this right here on the East Sussex Coast with changing exhibitions in these galleries featuring the best of international contemporary art.
To the west of Eastbourne, the Sussex Heritage Coast offers some of the South Coast’s most spectacular coastal walking featuring the great coastal icons of the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs and Beachy Head with its distinctive red and white lighthouse. This is where the South Downs National Park meets the coast to great effect.
It’s easy to leave the car behind on a weekend break or holiday on the East Sussex Coast. All the major coastal towns including Eastbourne, Bexhill and Hastings boast railway stations offering fast links between each other and to London. Alternatively by road, the M20, A21 and A22 all filter down from the M25 ring road. Dover Ferry Services, Eurotunnel and Gatwick Airport are all within an easy drive.
Where to Stay
If you’re looking for a beach house or coastal boutique bolthole the East Sussex Coast is where to look. Browse and book your getaway from the choice below featuring luxury beach retreats, family fun holiday parks and classic seaside guest houses.
Michelle is an experienced travel writer with iknow and has travelled extensively across the UK, Spain, Portugal and the USA. When she’s not busy writing for iknow she enjoys spending time touring museums and art galleries and seeking out the best independent shops in Manchester and Leeds.