By Kingfisher Visitor Guides
There are many reasons to visit East Sussex, but here are the top 10.
Thanks to its warm, dry climate, south-facing slopes near the coast and chalk soil, which is similar to the Champagne region of France, East Sussex is the perfect place for producing quality still and sparkling wines. As a result there are a number of vineyards selling award-winning wines, which you have to try while you’re here.
Stunning medieval villages
Thanks to its incredible history, East Sussex is home to some beautiful, very old villages, with narrow cobbled streets, medieval cottages and fairytale castles. One of the most popular is Alfriston, which is one of the oldest villages in the UK. It was founded in the Saxon period and became a market town in the Middle Ages and has a plethora of historic buildings in a quaint village setting.
East Sussex’s glorious countryside and coastline has been a source of inspiration for many artists over the years, so there is no shortage of art galleries where you can view their work. The most famous are the award winning Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne, De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill and Hastings Contemporary, but there are many more showcasing local talent.
From traditional, country inns that serve a pie and pint, to trendy gastropubs – you never have to venture too far in East Sussex to find a drink and a decent dinner.
East Sussex has miles of South Downs countryside, woodland, downland and dramatic cliffs for you to enjoy. The county covers part of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), which is one of the best surviving medieval landscapes in northern Europe – and the most stunning.
It’s easy to waste a few hours – or even a few days – exploring the numerous antique shops and markets in East Sussex. Rye, Hastings, and Lewes are vintage heaven, with an elective mix of antiques, furniture, collectables, bric-a-brac, vintage clothes and more.
Whether you’re gazing out at the seafront from a cafe on a sunny day, walking across the South Downs or enjoying the bracing sea breeze from its chalk cliffs, East Sussex is not short of stunning views. The views from Seven Sisters are incredible, and nothing beats a brisk hike across the peaks and dips towards Birling Gap and Beachy Head.
East Sussex food scene has never been better. There is a real emphasis on local, seasonal produce and a pride in how it’s prepared. So, whether you’re looking for fine dining, pub grub, authentic Asian or a dirty burger, this county has it all.
East Sussex has a rich cultural heritage, with the likes of Virginia Woolf, Rudyard Kipling, Henry James and the Bloomsbury Set all having homes there – which you can visit. There are also some great independent books shops where you can find second-hand classics and contemporary titles.
From the pebbles of Eastbourne to the stunning sands at Camber Sands, East Sussex has a great variety of beaches. Many are award-winning, and have long promenades, fantastic piers and fabulous places to eat, making them ideal for family fun.
Read more about East Sussex