East Sussex

East Sussex on the south east coast, is easily accessible from London by road and rail and offers a mixture of coastline, chalky hills and rolling downs including the Weald.

East Sussex is bordered by Surrey, Kent, West Sussex and the English Channel where the coast offers panoramic views of the sea, with the famous sheer cliffs of Beachy Head, 162 metres high, part of the rugged cliff formation.

East Sussex’s coast has been the scene of many invasions and the historic castles including Bodiam, Pevensey, Herstmonceux, Lewes reflect the battles of the past. Elsewhere on the coast you will find the defensive Martello towers and the Eastbourne Redoubt.

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East Sussex Overview

Welcome to East Sussex

The county of East Sussex on the south coast of England borders Kent, Surrey, West Sussex and overlooks the English Channel.

East Sussex has a population over 500,000 people, the county town being Lewes, with significant other towns at Eastbourne, Brighton, Bexhill and Hastings.

The county benefits from miles of coast line, an Area of Outstanding Natural beauty, the High Weald, that runs into neighbouring Kent and the chalky white hills of the South Downs.

The town of Hastings is the site of the 1066 Battle of Hastings, where Battle Abbey now stands. The ruins of the Norman built Hastings Castle, once home to William the Conqueror stare out to the English Channel.

The seaside resort of Brighton is popular with day trippers and holidaymakers alike where the Royal Pavilion, beachfront, pier, nightlife and Lanes provide great entertainment.

The East Sussex landscape is popular with walkers and there is plenty to explore along the South Downs Way, the 1066 Country Walk and Saxon Shore Way among a host of local routes. For garden enthusiasts see Great Dixter.

East Sussex’s local food specialities include Rye herring, and the county town of Lewes on the River Ouse is slowly building a reputation for food where you will find plenty of local produce amongst the range of quality restaurants, whilst Harveys brews local beers


History

Although the formation of The Kingdom of Sussex in AD 477 is sometimes referred to as a myth, archaeologists at least agree Saxons did start to settle in the area during the 5th century. Prior to that date, habitation can be traced back to the Old Stone Age or Paleolithic Age when nomadic hunters from Europe arrived in Sussex. Occupation continued through the Bronze and Iron Ages with ruins such as Cissbury Ring in evidence today.

The battle of Hastings was fought in the county in 1066 when Harold met William the Conqueror, who subsequently built Battle Abbey.

East Sussex was formed by the split of the Sussex into east and west divisions under the Reformation Act in 1832. In 1889 the two divisions became two administrative counties.

East Sussex’s coastal position meant a front row seat for World War II activity, with a large build up of military in the county during the run up to the D Day landings.


Getting There

Despite being on the coast, East Sussex is reasonably accessible. The mainline railway from London Victoria reaches Brighton in around 1 hour, whilst road access to the county is mainly via the A21, A22 and A26 from the M25, with cross country routes linking the main towns together.

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What to see and do…

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SEA LIFE Brighton

Marine Parade, Brighton , East Sussex, BN2 1TB

British Airways i360

Lower Kings Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 2LN

Brighton Royal Pavilion

Royal Pavilion, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1EE

Travelodge Eastbourne

Travelodge, A22 Boship Farm Roundabout, Hellingly, East Sussex, BN27 4DP