17 October 2014

England: Bexhill and Eastbourne

I hadn’t been to any of England’s south coast seaside towns before but certainly enjoyed dipping my toes in during this trip. I showed you a little of Devon’s Budleigh Salterton and Sidmouth in a recent blog – now here’s a little of what East Sussex has to offer. I didn’t spend much time exploring these places so this blog will be mostly photos. I hope you enjoy your day at the seaside as much as I did.

It wasn’t exactly beach going weather the day we went to Bexhill, with occasional heavy showers of rain and strong gusty winds from the remnants of Hurricane Bertha making walking along the prom a bit of a chore but very exhilarating. We had lunch and saw an exhibition of the work of designer Ivan Chermayeff in the local De La Warr Pavilion, and rounded off the afternoon with a cider at a pub that had been a smugglerss haunt in centuries past. I loved the diversity!

A picturesque row of beach huts along the pebble beach

Love the Victorian bathing machine on the right: it would have been wheeled into the water so that women could step down directly into the water

On the right is the De La Warr Pavilion

Eastbourne has recovered well from the Second World War when it was the most bombed town on the south coast. Sadly though, when I visited it had very recently suffered another piece of bad luck – part of its famous pier had been destroyed by fire so we weren’t able to walk along it.

Eastbourne became a popular seaside resort in Victorian times so the front is lined almost exclusively with hotels and boarding houses with typically Victorian architecture. As well as having its own attractions for holidaymakers, Eastbourne is also one of the gateways for visitors to the South Downs National Park, dedicated walkers can easily access the South Downs Way to enjoy some of England’s finest footpaths and countryside, and it’s a short hop, skip and a jump to the stunning cliffs of Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters – more on those in my next blog.  

Redoubt Fortress Military Museum, built in 1805 as part of Britain's defences against the threat of invasion by the army
of Napoleon Bonaparte

A closer shot of the damage caused by the recent fire on Eastbourne Pier
One of Eastbourne's many attractions is the gorgeous flower display along the front every summer

Eastbourne Bandstand where we enjoyed the annual 1812 Fireworks concert