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Sussex – The 1066 country and county by the sea

Hastings, UK

Sussex on the south coast of Britain is the county of the South Downs and the sea. The coastal strip of Sussex squeezed between the South Downs and the English Channel. Here are a long string of beach resorts: Bognor, Worthing, Hove and of course Brighton, the most famous of them all. Past Beachy Head lie Eastbourne, Bexhill-on-Sea and Hastings.

Sussex is full of history and culture, with the Battle of Hastings taking place in the county in 1066. The county even has its own anthem ‘Sussex by the sea’ which is sung during celebrations and sporting events.

Map Of Sussex

Map of Sussex

Map of Sussex © Alwyn Ladell

Here at Discover Britain’s Delightful Towns we have bought together a selection of towns in Sussex that offer an array of unique attractions and  stunning scenery.

Brighton

The Royal Pavilion Brighton

The Royal Pavilion Brighton © Fenliokao

The seaside resort of Brighton is home to the Palace Pier which opened in 1899 and today continues to attract people for its arcades and seaside activities. The glory of the town is the Royal Pavilion. The distinctive onion domes and style were influenced from Indian to Oriental designs. The buildings are part of the Brighton’s group of museums and galleries which make the town a focus for cultural visits. The Pavilion also has beautiful gardens and is only a stone’s throw from the town or the beach.

Brighton has a unique shopping experience. The North Lanes and the South Lanes offer plenty of independent shops, cafes and vintage clothing stores, and jewellery shops. The lanes are a must visit when exploring the city.

The British Airways i360, is Brighton’s newest attraction. It even has splendid views to the Isle of Wight. In the i360 designed by Marks Barfield Architects, you glide skyward in the pod, and can enjoy the bar and views of Sussex.

Hastings 

This cosmopolitan town is home to the largest beach-launched fishing fleet in Europe. Also home to the remains of the first castle in England to be built by William the Conqueror. Boasting a preserved Old Town and a strong local arts community. Hastings is also home to Hastings Contemporary. A stunning new art gallery that champions modern and contemporary art in an international context.

Eastbourne

Eastbourne Seafront

Eastbourne Seafront © ChiralJon

The town is a fine example of a Victorian seaside resort with Pier, Bandstand, three tier promenade and even a Dotto Train. Eastbourne boasts child friendly beaches, Fort Fun aquasplash park and a miniature railway. Also visitors can partake in water-sports, secluded cliffside walks and explore hidden Italian Gardens at the foot of Beachy Head. There are plenty of ways to explore and end your day by chilling out at Sovereign Harbour amongst the bustling restaurants and shops.

Chichester 

Chichester Cathedral

Chichester Cathedral © epodkopaev

The historical cathedral city of Chichester is located in West Sussex,  Chichester Cathedral is unique in Britain for three different reasons. It is the only medieval building with: a hospital attached that was originally used by the poor and the sick to live (St Mary’s is still used today). The cathedral also has a free-standing bell-tower, and it is one of few churches that has a Marc Chagall stained-glass window.

Lewes

Lewes Castle © Eigenes Werk

At the heart of Sussex lies the beautiful county town of Lewes. The town holds a annual bonfire and is also home to Anne of Cleves house.

Set in the surroundings of the white chalk cliffs the town has beautiful views from the top of Lewes Castle. Visitors can explore the medieval cobbled streets lined with C15th building. Discover the bookshop located on the corner of the High Street that dates back to the C15th.

Harveys Brewery also produces ales on the river that runs through the town. Although you can not tour the brewery visitors can visit the shop and enjoy the local beer.

Rye

The small ancient town of Rye is bursting with charm and history. One of the most photographed streets is Mermaid street. Perched on a hill the lane seems as though it is suspended in time.

Be sure to visit St Mary’s church and climb the stairs to the roof where you can see stunning 360 degree views of the town and surrounding land.

The town also has plenty of shops and cafes along the cobbled streets with many independent stores. Visitors can also find art and photography galleries.

Worthing

© aka

© aka

Worthing is a large seaside town in WestSussex. The town boats a pier, huge promenade and   one of the oldest working cinemas in the UK.

The elegant Pavilion Theatre, one of the south coast’s premier theatres, is at the entrance to the 1920’s pier. As well as performances there are also craft markets, fairs and other events. The dome cinema built in the Edwardian era is now grade II listed and still used today.

East Beach studios are situated along the promenade in the artist quarter of the town, here you can find a variety of different paintings, sculptures and jewellery, along with stunning views of the coast.

Tarring High Street is a historic gem with beautiful flint or cobbled cottages. With three pubs with beer gardens, it’s a good place to aim for at lunch time.

Arundel

Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle © Max Pixel

The town of Arundel combines thousands of years of history with contemporary shops, art galleries and cultural events. Arundel Castle is the main focus of the town, its huge exterior overlooks the small townscape. The castle presents splendid gardens and is one of the few castles in the UK that is still occupied by a family.

Arundel Cathedral is another impressive building in the town. The French gothic revival style is one of the finest examples in the country.

Visit Arundel website offers a complete guide to the quirky town!

Battle

Battle Abbey

Battle Abbey © Tony Hisgett

This market town of Battle is on the site of the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066 between William Duke of Normandy and the Saxon King Harold. The Battle of Hastings was so significant it completely changed the course of English history.

Later, King William, The Conqueror, built Battle Abbey as penance for the slaughter in the conflict. Today you can visit the site of the 1066 battle, the Abbey and battlefield which is all managed by English Heritage.

Bexhill-On-Sea

Bexhill sunset © Yvette

Bexhill sunset © Yvette

Bexhill was a village of about 100 houses on top of a hill about a mile inland until the mid C19th. The area became fashionable when the Earl, drawn by the healthy sea air, moved in to the Manor House.

The railway followed and the town’s potential as a holiday resort was clear. The Earl de la Warr (pronounced De la Ware – not war!) had shares in Dunlop. So the Earl built a Bicycle Boulevard on the seafront, now called East Parade. A generation later his son, the 8th Earl, hosted the first international motor car race on British soil, using the same stretch of road. Motor cars used more rubber than bicycles.

Those interested in the Napoleonic wars should visit Bexhill Old Town, the original village. Here about 5,000 exiled Hanoverian infantry lived from 1803 -1814. They were King George III’s King’s German Legion. Lord Wellington inspected their parades in what is now Barrack Hall Park. Their commander, Colonel Halkett lived in Hanover House which is opposite the Manor. The KGL fought bravely at Waterloo but the graves of those that died in Bexhill are in the burial ground in Barrack Road.

Bexhill, like other coastal towns, was strategically important in C20th conflicts. Canadian forces gathered and trained at Cooden, Bexhill in WWI. In WW2, Spike Milligan played his part in defending the coast from a bunker on the seafront at Galley Hill. Anyone wanting to raise a glass to Spike can do it in Milligan’s just round the corner from East Parade in Wilton Road.

Egerton Park has a sensory garden, boating lake and a modern children’s play area. The popular De La Warr Pavilion is a modernist building with galleries and theatre.

Sussex – The 1066 country and county by the sea

Hastings, UK

Sussex on the south coast of Britain is the county of the South Downs and the sea. The coastal strip of Sussex squeezed between the South Downs and the English Channel. Here are a long string of beach resorts: Bognor, Worthing, Hove and of course Brighton, the most famous of them all. Past Beachy Head […]

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