East Sussex


England - East Sussex

East Sussex is perhaps the less well known of the two Sussex counties though is home to the always popular sea-side town (now more city) of “Brighton” (technically, it's own geographic region) on the south-west corner of the county.


On the Pier

Brighton has long been the Riviera of England on the south coast. In the past Brighton was a high-class destination but is now a shadow of it's former self though a good day out can be had for many here. The Palace Pier is still the main attraction of the city, a pier stretching quite a distance over the ocean crammed with video games, fast food outlets and, at the far end, amusement rides. Access to the pier is free (as is the use of their deck chairs).

Brighton - The Palace Pier

Along the coast, in the summer, there are also a large number of other similar attractions and it is not unusual to find various buskers and other entrepreneurs. The beach is all stones and the water is quite…cool…but people still do manage to get into the water.

Crowded Beach Area

Be aware that parking can be an issue particularly with the narrow streets in the middle of the city. It does get very busy in the city on holidays and weekends in the summer. The rather hilly central area of the city, with the central train station on the top of the hill, is all easily walkable.

See Visit Brighton for additional information.

The Lanes

The Lanes

Away from the ocean, there are other attractions including 'The Lanes' which are a series of narrow pedestrian-only (in many cases) streets lined with nicer stores and restaurants (NOT a place to be alone at night, it should be noted).

Royal Pavilion

The rather quirky looking Royal Pavilion is home to various events throughout the year including certain programmes during the Brighton Festival held in early summer which is composed of various cultural events including literary readings, classical music and theatre. It is also now home to a museum which is well worth a visit.


Rye Castle (Ypres Tower)

Rye is an medieval walled city on top of a small hill located a short distance from the coast midway between Hastings and Folkstone. The old walled part of the city has cobbled streets lined with small, local shops (mostly art galleries, cafes and ice cream shops) and residences. Well worth a wonder around, the town can be crowded with tourists and with limited dining options finding somewhere to eat might be problematic.

Mermaid Street

The 14th century Rye castle (“Ypres”) tower has public toilets and a small museum providing access to the tower itself. The The Ypres Castle Inn (pub) is around the base of the tower and provides great views out to the coast.

View of the Coast from Ypres Castle Inn

Parking can be difficult but there are several car parks around the outside of the city walls. The lot near the train station is the largest and cheapest but, of course, can get quite busy.


Considered by many to be a retirement town, Eastbourne on the south coast is getting to be a bit pricier and they do have a pier.


The primary claim to fame for Hastings is that nearby was the famous “Battle of Hastings” in 1066 between the Norman-French army of William, the Duke of Normandy, and an English army under the Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson, which began the Norman conquest of England.


Lewes is a small town only a few miles east of Brighton along the A27 on the south coast set in the tremendous south downs countryside. Lewes is also well known for it's hugely popular yearly Bonfire Night Celebrations (November 5th) that involve several competing “Lewes Bonfire Society”s in various parts of the town. Tickets are required and parking is not available during the celebrations though there is a train station…


The House

Glyndebourne is a manor house set in the Sussex countryside a few miles outside of Lewes whose owners a 100 years ago became obsessed with opera hosting performances for family and friends. Eventually these became so popular the house was not suitable so they built a world-class modern opera house on the site with seating for 300. Tickets for the summer season are extremely hard to come by (and quite expensive) though the whole experience is absolutely amazing with first class artists and orchestra. The beautiful grounds are well worth a look in as well with opera performances featuring a “long interval” of 2 hours when you can have a picnic in the gardens or dine in their wonderful restaurant (there is also a small, rather expensive, souvenir shop). This is truly a classy place in every sense of the word.

Side View Near Auditorium Entrance

In 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic the grounds were opened up for visitors to simply picnic (for an entrance fee) or attend a music concert in the gardens. With this it is easy to practice social distancing yet take in the beauty of the site though, sadly, not the interior of the auditorium.

View from Far Side of the Lake

If you are visiting, you really need a car (there is a free car park) though bus shuttles from the Lewes train station are provided during performances.

Further Information

For further information, please see: