Things to do in East Sussex

East Sussex, a county located in South East England, is renowned for its stunning landscapes, historic towns, and vibrant cultural scene. Bordered by the English Channel to the south, this picturesque area offers a diverse range of attractions from the rolling hills of the South Downs National Park to the iconic cliffs of Beachy Head. East Sussex is steeped in history, with ancient battlefields, historic castles, and centuries-old pubs dotting its countryside. The county’s rich heritage is complemented by its lively contemporary arts scene, making it a captivating destination for both history buffs and modern culture enthusiasts.

The county seat, Lewes, is known for its well-preserved medieval streets, while the bustling city of Brighton and Hove on the coast serves as a hub for arts and entertainment. East Sussex also boasts charming market towns like Rye and Battle, each with their own unique character and stories to tell. From exploring ancient ruins and enjoying seaside amusements to indulging in local culinary delights and attending vibrant festivals, East Sussex offers an array of experiences that cater to all ages and interests.

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  • Bodiam Castle: Explore one of Britain’s most picturesque moated castles. Bodiam Castle offers visitors a glimpse into medieval life with its imposing towers, battlements, and moat set amidst the beautiful East Sussex countryside.
  • Royal Pavilion: Visit this exotic palace in the heart of Brighton with its distinctive Indian architecture and opulent Chinese interior decor. The Royal Pavilion is a testament to Regency era extravagance.
  • Seven Sisters Country Park: Enjoy breathtaking views at this renowned spot along the English Channel coastline. Ideal for walking, bird watching or simply taking in the scenic beauty of the chalk cliffs known as the Seven Sisters.
  • Bluebell Railway: Step back in time on this historic steam train that travels through 11 miles of scenic countryside between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead.
  • Drusillas Park: Perfect for families looking for fun days out. Drusillas Park combines a zoo with amusement rides and interactive animal encounters.
  • Charleston Farmhouse: Discover the Bloomsbury Group’s country retreat where artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant lived. Charleston Farmhouse is celebrated for its decorated interiors and gardens that inspired their work.
  • Hastings Pier: Experience this award-winning pier in Hastings for leisurely walks with stunning sea views or enjoy various events hosted throughout the year.
  • De La Warr Pavilion: A pioneering example of modernist architecture on Bexhill seafront offering exhibitions, performances, and film screenings.
  • Batemans: This 17th-century house was once home to Rudyard Kipling. Set in beautiful gardens in Burwash, it provides insight into his life and works.
  • Eastbourne Pier: Take a stroll along this Victorian pier which features an array of shops, cafes, and amusements against the backdrop of Eastbourne’s stunning beachfront.
  • Lewes Castle & Barbican House Museum: Climb to the top of this Norman castle for panoramic views across Lewes town center or explore artifacts from Lewes’ past within Barbican House Museum.
  • Rye Harbour Nature Reserve: A haven for wildlife enthusiasts offering miles of footpaths alongside wetlands teeming with birds and plant life unique to this coastal habitat.