Do I fancy a trip down to the ‘sunshine coast’? Absolutely!
Earlier on this month my Great Auntie celebrated her 96th birthday so I decided to surprise her by driving down to the East Sussex town.
Eastbourne is a place that I am very familiar with; this would always be the destination of the family Summer holiday so as you can imagine I know the place like the back of my hand!
I set off on the Thursday morning and 4 and a half hours and 250 miles later I had arrived… but not in Eastbourne.
When I travelled down in July i decided to stop off at a beauty spot just 6 miles west of Eastbourne. This particular place is the home of the famous coastguard cottages which can be found at Cuckmere Haven, opposite Friston Forest. The cottages overlook the fantastic view of the Seven Sisters and is the perfect picture postcard setting. The cottages have featured in many TV programmes and films including Luther, the Bill, Atonement and Queen Victoria. There are also a number of walking routes around the area which lead to the cottages; my favourite route starts at Friston Forest, then to Cuckmere Haven which then leads to the English Channel and the view of the cottages and the Seven Sisters. When I was younger my family and I would always hire a bike each from the bike hire shop and cycle through the forest, then out onto the A22 and then through Cuckmere Haven to the English Channel.
So I ended up at the coastguard cottages again. I decided to drive through Seaford to a car park just a 5 minute walk away from the cottages. This route is a lot less time consuming than walking through Cuckmere Haven so is ideal for anyone who would just like to take a few pictures and admire the view.
I then set off to head to the final destination.
When I arrived in Eastbourne the sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in sight! My Great Auntie welcomed me and i surprised her by informing her that I had booked afternoon tea at the Grand Hotel for us both on the Friday.
The Grand hotel is the only 5 star hotel along the coast in England with the average hotel room costing around £200. The hotel is located along the sea front so as you can imagine, the hotel rooms with the view of the sea are a lot more expensive than the ones without that view.
By the time I had arrived at my Great Auntie’s flat it was nearly tea time. In Eastbourne you are spoilt for choice with places to eat including Harry Ramsdens fish and chips, Zizzi, Prezzo and a number of different pubs. Little Italy on Carlisle Road is a personal
favourite of mine, when we were on holiday my family and I would always visit this place for tea as it was just a two minute walk away from the apartment where we were staying. They serve the best Italian food at very reasonable prices and is located right by the seafront. After visiting Little Italy you could always treat yourself to an ice cream at Favoloso which is just further along Carlisle road or alternatively you could go for a drink at the Belgian Cafe on the Grand Parade ( you can’t go wrong with the Belgian hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows!). Other pubs/restaurants that come highly recommended include: The Beachy Head restaurant, The counting house, Tres Amigos, The Lamb inn and dolphin fish and chips restaurant.
In the end we decided to go to Prezzo and each enjoyed a delicious calzone pizza!
On Friday morning I decided to go for a walk along the promenade to the pier. The pier looks completely different following the fire that destroyed a third of it in 2014, with a new gold roof! The shops are still all the same though with the gift shop, sweet shop and chippy all still intact. I then went for a wander into town. Eastbourne has a range of different shops including Primark, Topshop, WH Smith, Boots and M&S so if you are ever in need of anything then i’m sure you’ll be able to find what you are looking for!
In the afternoon we arrived at the Grand Hotel for afternoon tea. I was bowled over the moment that I drove through the gates; concierge greeted us both and arranged to park my car (how nice of them!). We were then escorted to the great hall where we were seated and asked what type of tea or coffee we would like. Half an hour later and our afternoon tea arrived! Sandwiches included coronation chicken, cucumber, smoked salmon and egg mayonnaise and a number of cakes were included as well as two scones each. We both had a fantastic time at the grand and the afternoon tea was superb, I thought the price was very reasonable considering that it is the best hotel in Eastbourne.
The next few days would see me visit Scotney castle in Kent and Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire which were both wonderful days out.
As always I had a fantastic time in Eastbourne. If i was visiting for the first time i would definitely recommend visiting for at least one week because there is so much to see in the town and there are many places to visit nearby too. No doubt I will be visiting again
Places of interest in the town include: Eastbourne marina, Beachy Head, Birling Gap, Treasure Island, The sun centre, Eastbourne Pier and Gildredge Park & Manor gardens.
Places of interest within an hours drive away from Eastbourne include: East Dean, Alfriston, Brighton, Hastings, Battle, Pevensey, Friston Forest, Drusillas zoo, Firle, Middle Farm, Lewes, Rye, Herstmonceux castle, Sheffield Park and gardens, Cuckmere Haven and Bodiam castle.
Hope you all enjoyed the read!
Until next time,