Things to do in East Sussex and the surrounding area
From the coast to the country, seaside resorts to sleepy towns steeped in history and picture-perfect villages, Sussex is full of things to do and places to see. Sample the classic English seaside resorts, hunt out hidden beaches and secluded sand dunes, or visit busy ports and marinas. Experience fresh air and beautiful country sights while walking on the South Downs, visit the beautiful gardens and ancient royal forests, or be inspired by traditional roses in the glorious gardens of the Sussex Weald. Enjoy beautiful architecture and sculpture or visit galleries full of stunning art works. Sussex is a gem in the British crown and needs to be experienced.
The High Weald
The High Weald is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A medieval landscape of wooded, rolling hills studded with sandstone outcrops; small, irregular-shaped fields; scattered farmsteads; and ancient routeways.
It is a great place to see bluebells in the spring and to enjoy walking and cycling any time of year. Explore beautiful nature reserves and ancient woodlands.
Originally a deer hunting forest in Norman times, Ashdown Forest is now one of the largest free public access spaces in the South East. It is a great place for walking and enjoying spectacular views over the Sussex countryside and is known the world over as the ‘home’ of Winnie-the-Pooh.
The Forest is at the heart of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has national and international protection because of its wildlife.
Batemans Jacobean House with walks and gardens.
Rudyard Kipling loved this place; it was his personal paradise and somewhere he could enjoy family life. Surrounded by the wooded landscape of the Sussex Weald, this 17th-century house, with mullioned windows, pretty secluded garden and acres of countryside, provided a tranquil sanctuary for Rudyard Kipling.
There are numerous country pubs and other eating places. A few examples:
Blackboys Inn is just down the road from us and a lovely place for lunch.
The Michelin starred Curlew restaurant is just off the A21 between Tunbridge Wells and Hastings
Middle House is a very highly regarded gastro pub in a beautiful village half way between our shop and Tunbridge Wells.
Sheffield Park – 250 acres of wide open spaces.
Four lakes form the heart of the garden, with paths circulating through the glades and wooded areas surrounding them. Each owner has left their impression, which can still be seen today in the layout of the lakes, the construction of Pulham Falls, the planting of Palm Walk and the many different tree and shrub species from around the world. A wonderful day for all the family
Bodiam Castle a 14th-century castle near Robertsbridge in East Sussex.
Set in the heart of an historic landscape, with spiral staircases, battlements and portcullis, 14th century Bodiam Castle is one of Britain’s most picturesque and romantic ancient monuments. Windows where arrows were once shot, a tower that was once a look out and ruins that were once walked upon by knights; this is a place where you can relive childhood memories and let your imagination run riot.
Medieval England meets the romance of renaissance Europe.
The Gardens and Grounds of Herstmonceux Castle is a 300 acre estate including woodland, formal themed gardens and of course a 15th century moated castle.
Walking, cycling and watersports not far from Tunbridge Wells.
Bewl Water is the largest stretch of open water in the South East. The 800 acre site is set in an area of outstanding natural beauty, in the heart of the High Weald. Open all year, a visit to this stunning lake is fantastic family fun and great value.
South Downs National Park
From the white cliffs to the soft rolling hills, the South Downs contain some hidden gems.
The South Downs National Park has it all – rolling hills, glorious heathland, river valleys, ancient woodland, thriving villages and market towns, and the iconic white cliffs of the Heritage Coast.
Iconic sights. Seven Sisters. Beach Head. Cuckmere Valley.
Seven Sisters and the Cuckmere Valley
These are two icons of Sussex and two of the most famous views in the county. From the Cuckmere Valley visitors centre you can wander along the river to the sea to the western end of the Seven Sisters where you can follow the footpath to Birling Gap.
Beachy Head attracts thousands of visitors throughout the year. Drawn to the magnificent scenery, the dramatic views and the wealth of activities offered in the area, visitors of all ages find relaxation and excitement here.
Beachy Head is famous for its white cliffs and the dramatic, undulating coastline created by the Seven Sisters but there is much more to explore.
View more information about Beachy Head by visiting www.beachyhead.org.uk
One of Britain’s liveliest cities, where a bohemian atmosphere meets elegant Regency architecture and beautiful galleries meet with glittering nightlife. Plus all the fun of the seaside.
Its broad shingle beach is backed by amusement arcades and the famous Palace Pier has rides and food kiosks a plenty.
Eastbourne – from the Victorian pier to a world-class marina and vibrant watersports centre, Eastbourne is both a classic and modern English seaside town.
A stretch of 4 miles of shingle beach stretches from Sovereign Harbour in the east to Beachy Head in the west. Visitors can enjoy traditional seaside activities such as crazy golf, alongside a water park perfect for younger family members and a miniture seafront train for all the family.
Hastings – this cosmopolitan town is home to the largest beach-launched fishing fleet in Europe, the remains of the first castle in England to be built by William the Conqueror, a preserved Old Town and a strong local arts community.
Hastings is also home to the Jerwood Gallery, a stunning new art gallery housing a collection of 20th and 21st century British art that has never before been seen by the public.
Chartwell the much-loved Churchill family home.The rooms remain much as they were when he lived there, with pictures, books and personal mementoes evoking the career and wide-ranging interests of a great statesman, writer, painter and family man.
The hillside gardens reflect Sir Winston’s love of the landscape and nature. They include the lakes he created, the kitchen garden and the Marycot, a playhouse designed for his youngest daughter Mary.
Enjoy a great family day out at one of the top tourist attractions in East Sussex.
Drusillas is widely regarded as the best small zoo in the country and they have created an animal and child friendly, family environment where the focus is always on involvement.
As well as the zoo there are play areas and rides for the children.