East Sussex has a history dating back to The Norman Conquest. Visit the site of The Battle of Hastings, skygaze at the Observatory or spend a day at Druscilla’s Zoo.
East Sussex has a host of things for all the family. From the seaside resorts of Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings these are just a few of the attractions within easy reach:
1066 Battle Of Hastings, Abbey & Battlefield
In 1066 William of Normandy invaded England and fought the forces of King Harold just outside Hastings. The battlefield now hosts an award winning exhibition dedicated to the Norman Conquest and the changes it brought to the English way of life.
Charleston was the home of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. The house contains examples of their works together with other items they collected by artists such as Picasso, Derain, Sickert and Renior.
Druscilla’s Park at Alfriston is a zoo and amusement park rolled into one. Druscilla’s awards include a listing in the Sunday Times Best 50 Days Out. The zoo specialises in keeping small to medium sized animals such as monkeys, meerkats and penguins and there is a host of other attractions for younger visitors including Amazon Adventure and Thomas the Tank Engine.
Herstmonceux Castle was built in the 15th century. Cross the moat and explore the castle, explore the walled and Elizabethan gardens or follow one of two signed woodland trails.
Lewes Castle & Anne of Cleves House
Lewes Castle dates back to 1087, standing high above the town it dominates the skyline and offers unrivalled views of the town and the Sussex countryside. Opposite the castle, the Barbican House Museum recalls the history of the Lewes area from the Norman Conquest to the present day.
In the town centre, visit the 15th century timber framed house that Henry VIII gave to Anne of Cleves as part of their divorce settlement.
Michelham Priory, near Hailsham, was built in the 13th century. Standing in seven acres of grounds and protected by longest water filled moat in the country, the priory holds a collection of historic wall hangings and furniture. Outside there are beautifully kept gardens, wildlife and a working water wheel.
The Observatory Science Centre
Explore the heavens from The Observatory Science Centre near Herstmonceux. This working observatory, standing at the foot of the South Downs, provides hands on facilities to make astronomical discoveries using domes and telescopes.
Pashley Manor Gardens
Pashley Manor near Ticehurst has been labelled “One of the finest gardens in England”. This traditional garden intertwines trees, fountains, springs and ponds with a wide range of flowers including tulips, roses ,lilies and dahlias.
Redoubt Fortress & Military Museum
The Redoubt Fortress at Eastbourne was built over 200 years ago to help defend the South Coast against Napoleon. It was used again by the forces in World War II. Now it is a military museum with collection showing the work of The Royal Sussex Regiment, The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars Regiment and The Sussex Combined Services.
Spa Valley Railway
The Spa Valley Railway is a standard gauge steam railway running through the Kent countryside between Tunbridge Wells and Eridge via Groomsbridge. Trains connect with the National Rail network at Eridge; the hourly London Bridge to Uckfield service provides direct links to London (1 hour 5 minutes) and East Croydon (45 minutes).