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Why you should pack your bags and head to East Sussex. Now!

Updated on May 12, 2014

You haven’t lived if you haven’t spent some time in country England...

While I absolutely love London and could spend a life-time there, getting out of the city and into the country is a must.


1) It’s beautiful. London does a good job of its inner city parks and gardens, but there is nothing like the endless hills and greenery of the countryside.

2) There are enough people that:

  1. There is a reasonably decent public transport system going round (realistically you want a car, or enough cash to pay for taxis still though);
  2. A good range of pubs exist, which accommodate well to different tastes, price-ranges and often have a good local brew to sample;
  3. It’s not unsafe to wander around after it gets dark and
  4. There are amazing festival, fairs, shows and shops to go around to.

3) There are few enough people that:

  1. There is rarely severe congestion on roads;
  2. Chances are you’ll get to meet and know the people who own and work at the places you go out and eat within the week and
  3. It'll feel like a genuine break!

Herstmonceux Castle, East Sussex
Herstmonceux Castle, East Sussex

Why East Sussex?

In a nutshell, East Sussex is one of the most varied and beautiful places to spend time in. It’s a meeting point for history, arts, nature and still has bustling areas to crash in if that’s your preference. It also has the most sunshine out of the whole of the UK, so you get your daily dose of Vitamin D on top of things!

The 'grass' is purple on the other side

Bluebells - Herstmonceux Castle Gardens
Bluebells - Herstmonceux Castle Gardens

Pevensey Castle


History, Castles and Battle Grounds

East Sussex is the home to several amazing sites. From the medieval Pevensey Castle, built around 290 AD to being the home of Sussex's oldest independent brewery, Harvey's this is the place to be. Highlights of the area include:

  • Battle Abbey; Where the historic Battle of Hastings in 1066 took place. Search for this in Battle, not Hastings and enjoy the Abbey, the incredible grounds, a small museum outlining historical elements and a tour of the actual battlegrounds!
  • Herstmonceux Castle is now being used as an international college for Queen's University, but also includes an Observatory Science Centre, amazing grounds and gardens and possibly the largest Canadian population within England!
  • Pevensey Castle: This former Roman fort was used for defence first by the Romans and later by the Normans and, more recently, had machine-gun posts built into it during World War II. Explore the ruins of this incredible piece of history.

But it's not just for history lovers...

  • If you are after a bigger town, check out Brighton. This town has all the perks of a big city - good food, good shopping, awesome tourist attractions and the beach (for me, the pier is more exciting than the 'beach' - but we're super spoiled in Perth!). While it may have a Royal Pavilion, it's one of the most fun, down-to-earth and vibrant places to visit.
  • Or, to be alternative go to Eastbourne. Like Brighton it has a pier, however theirs is famous for their slightly less than classy nightclub, Atlantis.
  • Go anywhere and enjoy a fantastic 'cream tea'. There is nothing like scones, jam, cream and a fantastic pot of tea, and nowhere delivers this quite like Country England!


Best Travel Conditions

Who should go?
Great to explore for families, couples or groups of friends. Not an area I'd particularly recommend for solo travellers, unless you're based in Brighton for a bit and take the opportunity to wander around.

When to go?
Towards the end of Spring to Summer is the best time to spend in East Sussex, but also the busiest. Expect in particular Brighton and Eastbourne to be packed around bank holidays.

How to get there?
The easiest way to get into the area is either through flying into Gatwick airport and catching the National Rail to one of the towns in the area. Trains come and leave major towns like Brighton and Eastbourne every couple of hours. Alternatively, it is under a 2 hour drive from London to East Sussex, and having a car is great for navigating around the area.

Where to stay?
While Brighton will have hostels available, most of the other areas won't have this, and realistically you'll be looking at B & B's, Inns and some hotels.

Check out where they came from

For Keane Lovers:

East Sussex has plenty to offer for a lover of the British rock band Keane. If you haven't heard them check them out, but they make regular references to places in East Sussex in their music and they actually have a walking tour in Bexhill (as well as places in Battle and Hastings) which is dedicated to various lyrics in their songs. Check it out here!


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