Things to do in Eastbourne, UK

Things to do in Eastbourne, UK

If anyone has heard of Eastbourne before, then you may have heard it referred to as knocking on heaven’s door, this is only because it is known for a large population of elderly, yet this isn’t quite how Eastbourne is. Eastbourne is a seaside town in the south-east of England, just west of the town is Beachy Head which leads to the Seven Sisters. Eastbourne has a variety of things to do, from a relaxing day by the beach, to take a hike over the Seven Sister. 

Things to do in Eastbourne, UK

History

It is believed that there where small settlements in Eastbourne prior to the Roman era as stone age artefacts have been found in the surrounding countryside. There are Roman remains buried beneath the town such as a Roman bath between Eastbourne Pier and Redoubt Fortress. There have been skeletal remains of a woman found buried near Beachy Head. It is believed her genetic origins where from below the Saharan regions of Africa, this is a surprise when during the Roman Empire it only extended as far as North Africa.

The Seven Sisters, in Eastbourne, UK

Eastbourne became more popular during the Victorian era, as a seaside town. This was a place for many Londoners to get out of the smoke, and visit the seaside. This can be seen in many of the architectural building seen in the town. Sadly during world war two many of the Victorian buildings were damaged due to the bombing. The more notable Victorian creation is Eastbourne Pier and the hotels along the seafront.

Things to do

There are a few things to do in Eastbourne, which is budget friendly. It is also a very family friendly orientated location. So here are some of the things to do here:

Seven Sisters

Cost: Free

The name derives from the seven cliff peaks and dips. The Seven Sisters fall under the South Downs and South Downs National Park which runs from Eastbourne to Seaford. The cliffs were formed when the tectonic plates met in the same way as the creation of the Alps, and over the years, they have formed to what they are now due to erosion from the sea. This is a perfect place for hiking, and walking trails. When I was in colleague I hiked the Seven Sisters, and from memory, it was tiresome but well worth it. If you are planning on walking/hiking the Seven Sisters, then wear the appropriate clothing and shoes. The English weather is so unpredictable you will need to make sure you wear waterproofs and warm weather gear, as well as cooler clothing in case it is hot, and most importantly sunscreen. Make sure you have worn in your shoes. When I hiked the Seven Sisters, I had the appropriate hiking shoes, but not worn them in as much which resulted in getting horrible and painful blisters, so make sure you bring plenty of plasters with you. If you are hiking it alone or as a family/friends, make sure you take a map of the area, so as not to get lost. It may be worth considering going with a reputable tour/hiking group. The views from the Seven Sisters are amazing from across the ocean to inland.

Cuckmere, in Eastbourne, UK

The Cuckmere flows from the base of the Seven Sisters, which is a water inlet from the sea. We walked from the Cuckmere pub to the beach at the base of the Seven Sisters, and what a view to be seen. This is one lovely place to come and soak in the atmosphere, the views, and one way to stay fit and healthy with a walk/hike.

Beachy Head

Price: Free

Beachy Head is the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain rising to approximately 162 metres above sea level. Beachy Head formed during the end of the last ice age. The cliffs including the Seven Sisters where below sea level until the cliffs uplifted, and the sea levels eroded the cliffs. The cliffs often experience these erosions in which parts of the cliff falls into the sea waters below. When visiting here, please ensure that you do not get too close to the edge for the risk of the cliff edge falling in. Yes the view on the edge maybe a great one, but falling from the cliff edge when it does erode will not seem so fun in the end. Due to the erosion, the Belle Tout Lighthouse has had to be moved back from the cliff edge. The last time it was moved was back in 1999.

Things to do in Eastbourne, UK

This is one of our favourite spots to visit when we come to Eastbourne. We love the views from above, looking down into the town of Eastbourne, and then looking over at the views of the Seven Sisters. Due to the elevation of the cliffs, it is windy and can be cold, so we would highly recommend bringing warm clothing.

We don’t live too far away from Eastbourne, so at least once a year if not more, we venture down to Eastbourne including Beachy Head. Once you have been here, you will see why we love it so much too, and maybe why so many people come to retire here.

Eastbourne

Price: Free

This beautiful seaside town of Eastbourne is our favourite spot to visit. When the sun is out and beaming down, then relaxing on the beach is the place to be. Eastbourne is a pebble beach run from Sovereign Harbour to Beachy Head. Further west of the town in an area called Holywell Retreat there are brick built chalets, these where built in approximately 1935, and further where built later in the century. These are not like the standard beach hut, but a more luxury beach hut. One was even reserved for King George V and Queen Mary for when they visited the town. These are privately owned and an incredible period feature on the beachside, yet very secluded. As you head east along the seafront, the Victorian features really stand out in the buildings and the amazing Eastbourne Pier. Eastbourne Pier was built in the late 1800, and due to bad weather part of the pier was swept away, which lead to the pier being reconstructed. The pier is approximately 300 metres long, with a bar, and theatre. It is always worth taking a walk along the pier to the end just taking in the incredible creation which still stands,  and then looking back at the town that travels along the seafront. It is possible to walk further west to sovereign harbour, to see the luxury boats, houses and apartments. The views from some of the apartments are amazing. If you feel hungry, or just fancy a relaxing drink, then stopping at the few bars and restaurants in Sovereign Harbour is a must.

Cliff Edge on Beachy Head in Eastbourne, UK

Places to eat

We first stopped up on Beachy Head, to take in the views and have some lunch, we had stopped at the Beachy Head Hotel. The food and drinks here are reasonable, We had two main orders with two sides with it, and two soft drinks. Shams ordered Fishcakes, which was served with new potatoes, onions and peppers. I order a vegetarian wrap. We are not vegetarians but I just fancied something different, which came with fries. The sides we ordered where mushrooms with cheese, and sweet potato fries. Whilst eating and drinking, the views of Beachy Head, are amazing and would highly recommend stopping here on your trip. They also have a beer garden so should the weather be lovely and sunny then make the most of it.

We stopped at Cuckmere Inn which is located in Cuckmere, further west at the end of the Seven Sisters for a cup of tea. We ordered a pot of tea along with a treacle tart which cost approximately £4.95. This is on the dessert menu, and when the tart finally arrived, it was a very small piece. It also seems they have the same menu as the Beachy Head Hotel. The views from the garden are not as lovely as the Beachy Head Hotel but is a much larger garden.

The evening meal has to consist of fish and chips. Fish and Chips is a must when travelling to the seaside. We like Harry Ramsdens fish and chips, which is found along the seafront just west of the pier. They have a sit in or take away. We would highly recommend having a takeaway and sitting on the beach front, eating the fish and chips whilst watching the views of the ocean. For a Small fish and chips this cost approximately £7.40, it does seem a little expensive, yet the fish portion was of a good size, the chips portion looks a little small, but then we can never seem to eat all. There are other fish and chip shops in Eastbourne but we have never found any which are as good as Harry Ramsdens.

The view of Eastbourne from Beachy Head, UK

Transport

Car

We drove to Eastbourne which took us about 1 hour to get there from where we live. We stopped at Beachy Head in which parking is quite easy and very cheap, we spent about £2 in total for parking. It is £1 for 1 hour, £2 for 2 hours etc, for the whole day it costs £5. There is a large car park at the Beachy Head Hotel, and free to park. Parking in the town, on the other hand, is sparse and more expensive.  There are time restrictions, and when we got into Eastbourne we managed to find a spot at the side of the road on the seafront. After 6 pm it is free, so parked here and ventured into the town for a stroll along the seafront and pier.

Train

There is a train service which is run by Southern regularly from London Victoria, Gatwick Airport, Hastings, and Ashford International, with a commuter train to Brighton. If you have caught a train to Eastbourne, then you will need to catch a bus from Eastbourne up to Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters.

The food to eat in Eastbourne, UK

Bus

There is a bus service which runs regular buses from Eastbourne to Brighton which takes you via Seaford. This bus takes you over Beachy Head and is a scenic route. If you don’t fancy walking/hiking Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters, then catching a bus from Eastbourne to Seaford sitting on the top deck watching the views are a must. There are further buses from Eastbourne to Polegate, Hailsham, Tunbridge Wells, Uckfield,  East Grinstead and Hastings via Bexhill.

Events

Eastbourne has an annual air show called Eastbourne Airshow, in which planes fly over Eastbourne and Beachy Head over a 4 day period. Everyone who comes here is looking out for the infamous Red Arrows, but other aircrafts such as RAF Typhoon, RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Aerobatics Wing walkers, Chinook, Spitfire, the Belgian F-16 and many more. Please note, not all aircraft fly every day. This is a free event with activities down on the seafront.  We love this event and have experienced this from the seafront and from Beachy Head. We would highly recommend watching it from the seafront as the displays here are much better, and the atmosphere is incredible.

Eastbourne Airshow, Eastbourne, UK

Sadly it is not possible to a fly our drone on Beachy Head, and signs to advise no drone flying is displayed on the parking meters.

Should you require any help or assistance with visiting Eastbourne, then please do not hesitate to leave a comment, or contact us here.

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