A couple of weeks ago I took my son down to the aptly named sunshine coast, for a ltiile holiday. I visited some of the attractions that Eastbourne has to offer.
Eastbourne Miniature Steam Railway;
Cost (one train journey)
Adults £4.45 (unlimited train journeys £6.00)
Children/ Senior Citizens £3.95 (unlimited train journeys £5.50)
Under 3's FREE (also free for unlimited train journeys)
Family ticket (up to 4 people) £16 (unlimited train journeys £22)
The railway is a family run business located just outside Eastbourne town centre. It offers so much to do for such a little cost. There is a 'shed' where you can sit and have lunch, where you are surrounded by working miniature train sets (each cost 20p to activate, but dont worry if you dont have any change, the staff always have plenty and are alawys happy to change monies for you). There is also a larger version just out side the 'shed' which agin takes 20p to activate.
There is a fairly big adventure playground, with swings and slides a plenty.
Ther is a cafe, which is open during the hours of the attraction being open.
The main attraction is the trains that you can actually sit on and have a ride on. The ride lasts approximatley 4-5 minutes and children love it.
I would reccomend though to go on a sunny day as 95% of the attractions are outdoors!
There is also a reasonably priced gift shop, which children will love (especially if they are Thomas fans!)
The Soverign Centre;
This is an indoor fun pool. Its a walk in pool, so children can safely walk in and out. There is a waterslide for the more adventerous and also a wave machine, which entertains even the smallest of children. Not forgetting the adults, there is also a jaccuzi so you can unwind and relax. For the non swimming parent (or career) there are plenty of seating options availiable along the sides of the pool. There is also a cafe, however it is fairly pricey.
It can be quite expensive to go there, but with seating facilities, and a cafe (though you can take your own) you can make pretty much a day of it, as there are usually no time limits to how long you can stay.
Entrance is free....
take a stroll along the pier, right at the front of the pier is a traditional chip shop, then a new coffee bar. You then get to the arcade (which is all under cover). There is a Victorian tea room followed by an Icecream shop. Finally you get to a warm welcoming family pub, which serves food (during peak season.) with very friendly staff. Just to the left of the pub is Atlantis nightclub, which reguarly promotes cheaop drinks is the place to go out in Eastbourne. Finally at the end of the pier is the fishing hut and deck, why not hire a rod and catch the big one.
Eastbourne has many things to offer, Beachy head, a beautiful cliff top over looking the English channel. The museum of shops, Devonshire theatre with many great shows. And of course, the SEA!
Unfortunatley the day i went to eastbourne, it was raining so we didnt get to do as much as we would of liked, but i would deffinatley go back to explore more!!
Last year, I started dating someone new. Someone who lived in Eastbourne, giving me the first chance in 6 years of being a mum to properly get away and have a break and a bit of sunshine on the beach. Of course, it's not the reason I'm dating him, just a rather nice side effect of the relationship .
Eastbourne is a large town situated in the south coast of England, which enjoys a large amount of sunshine and warm weather, amongst some rather wonderful views . You have the 4 mile stretch of pristine shingled beaches, the magnificent downs, Beachy Head, and all manner of wonderful things provided by nature to marvel at .
I've been to Eastbourne twice - once by train, and once by coach . Naturally, routes will vary depending on where you are travelling from, but on both occasions my journey from Nottingham involved a change at London . And both my journeys terminated at Eastbourne train station, a small station situated on the outskirts of the main shopping stretch of the town, witha taxi rank right outside, and a Subway inside in case you want something to eat .
On both visits, I stayed at my boyfriends house, in the smart Meads Village area of Eastbourne, which is at the Beachy Head end of the beach. And the first thing I did, after taking a rest, was walk along the beach, into the town . The beach is shingle, of various sizes, which does make it a trifle tricky to walk on. It's seperated with windbreaks every so often, and there is a flat path running parallel to the beach with cabins along it, as well as many benches (most dedicated in memory of someone) and some planted up areas .
Along this parallel path runs the Dotto train, a train running hourly from one end of the beach to the other , from the Holywell Retreat end of the beach, right under Beachy Head, along the whole 4 mile stretch of beach right up the the Sovereign Centre . This train has a mixture of enclosed and open carriages, making it a great mode of transport along the beach whatever the weather. I did ride this on a couple of occasions, and really enjoyed it, but not as much as my daughter, who waved through the windows for the whole journey, and laughed whenever the driver rang the bell . Along this path, on sunny days, you'll also see cyclists, rollerbladers, and a whole host of people walking dogs .
But back to the walk along the beach . The beach is stunningly clean . Not a used condom or abandoned dog turd in sight - just miles and miles of pebbled beaches , with lines of seaweed indicating how high the tide has gotten recently . At low tide, it becomes significantly more interesting, with a ring of rocks creating a sheltered calm area, filled with rock pools where we spotted anemones, crabs, limpets, and the occasional canoeist a little further out . At low tide, you can walk right around the bottom of Beachy Head Cliffs, towards the lighthouse, although of course you should only do this if you know how long you have until the tide comes in again .
If you walk along the beach for a good distance, you'll come to the Western Lawns and the Wish Tower, tower number 73 in the martello towers dotted all around the Sussex coastline, and now used a museum. We didn't enter the museum , but just next to the wish tower is a RNLI shop, where we had a little look around at the souvenirs, and purchased a pink fishing net for my daughter at a very reasonable pound .
A little further along is the Bandstand, which during the summer months hosts a variety of performances, a lot of them tribute acts. We heard a brass band play there in passing, and they were really very good - I definitely intend to go and see a performance there sometime, sitting one of the deckchairs laid out and eating an icecream .
A life guard station is the next feature of interest - especially for parents . They sell kidsafe wristbands here, luminous yellow waterproof bracelets where you can right your phone number and other details so that if your kid gets lost, you can be contacted . A brilliant idea . They also provide tide information, which is useful if you want to go investigating rockpools at low tide.
Next up is the Pier, which houses a news agent, a fish and chip shop, a pub (don't bother, there are far better elsewhere), a seafood stall, an old fashioned tea shop, and a couple of souvenir shops. It also has a large amusement arcade, complete with 2p push machines, which I adore. I spent a happy half hour in there getting rid of all my loose change, before continuing on my way.
By now, I was hungry, so off we went to 'The Olde Bakery' a delightful flint building on Seaside Road, running parallel to the seafront which serves a variety of sandwiches and jacket potatoes , alongside home made cakes, and even home made chutneys and jams you can buy in jars . My daughter had a ham and cheese sandwich, generously filled and served with salad and crisps . I had a chorizo and cheese baguette melt, again served with salad and chips, and my boyfriend had a bacon and cheese baguette melt . The service was friendly, the portions generous (in fact, my daughter took half of hers away with her to eat later) , the food tasty, and the prices very reasonable, costing 11 pounds including drinks .
We continued on our way to Treasure Island - an indoor play centre with a small paddling pool and sandpit area outside, as well as a pirate ship activity park and crazy golf. A ticket for both areas of the park costs 5.99 for a child, and 1.00 for adults . I definitely feel the price for adults is fair, since there is really nothing for them to do, apart from supervise their children . Treasure island also has a couple of cafe areas attached, both of which we avoided as they were vastly overpriced. My daughter enjoyed the soft play area immensely, and had a little paddle in the outside pool.
Next on the list was Fort Fun , a few minutes walk away . As my boyfriends mum works for a museum in the area, we were lucky that she could provide us with trade passes, which entitled us to two free entrys with wristbands . There were three of us, one child and two adults, but we were informed that it was not compulsory for adults to purchase either entry or wristband unless they intended going on the rides . We decided that myself and my daughter would use the free passes, as my boyfriend was a larger fella, and not likely to get on any of the rides - especially as they were all designed for young children . That's right, this is a theme park designed entirely for children, with all the rides of an adult theme park, but scaled down . A log flume, a rollercoaster, dodgems, waltzers, merry-go-rounds, as well as a soft play area and those 2p machines . My daughter enjoyed it, and went on several rides , as well as spending hours on the soft play area . Although we got in for free , a wristband costs 10.99 normally, and I feel this is a fair price .
During our week long visit, we also visited the Seven Sisters Sheep Centre . Again, we got in on trade passes, but normal entry is 4.50 per adult, and 3.50 for children . They have a variety of sheep breeds, and are open during lambing season and harvesting season . It was great fun, we got to feed the sheep, and stroke them, and see tiny newborn lambs . We even saw a depressed sheep, that had been fitted into a kind of headbrace so that its lamb could feed safely without the mother harming it . Sheep isn't all they have here though - guinea pigs, rabbits, donkeys, horses, cows, and pigs are all available for petting, and you can even get a ride on an old fashioned tractor.
Another place we visited was Herstmonceaux Science Centre , which used to be an obsevatory . We got to play with some great interactive exhibits, including catapaults, a wind up train, hovering ping pong balls, plasma lamps and many other things . We listened to a presentation on sound and hearing, which was interactive and we all got to join in, playing tunes on bits of plastic piping . We even got to make some stuff, jumping beans, models of working lungs, and a bird feeder .
We also went up to Beachy Head to take in the views, which are stunning. Its a lovely area to walk, to sit and chat, and just to take in the beauty that nature has to offer, and rather conveniently, there is a pub at the top (The Beachy Head Inn), with great beer and decent food, although rather slow service . That might be forgiveable though, as the pub was crowded, making as it does an ideal stopping point for hikers walking the cliff top paths . I had a wonderful smoked haddock, mash, and poached egg meal, while my boyfriend opted for a burger . Both meals were wonderful.
On another night, we ate at the Cricketers Inn , Berwick - which involved a scenic drive past rolling downlands and the Long Man of Wilmington. The pub is a traditional flint cottage covered in climbing plants, in a wonderful floral garden complete with outside seating . Serving the local 'Harveys of Lewes' beers directly from the barrel, and with a great food menu, it was a wonderful place to eat.
I had a steak, stilton and mushroom warm salad, a huge portion with flavours balanced just right . The steak was perhaps a little tough . My daughter had ham egg and chips, and although the pub has no childrens menu, they were happy to do a smaller portion . My boyfriend had the fresh swordfish, my boyfriends dad had a homemade burger, and my boyfriends mum had the same meal as me. All the portions were huge, and apart from the slight toughness of the steak, delicious .
In the evenings, my boyfriend and I would escape to his local pub, the ship - an excellent pub selling some pretty decent beer . Leffe, Hoegaarden, and Staropramen on tap , as well as numerous real ales (Including Harveys) and a decent food menu (we ordered some cheese and ham topped chips as a snack) and a lovely beer garden . The seating inside is a comfortable array of sofas, and the music is varied.
I did do a little shopping in Eastbourne - its great for people like me that enjoy charity shops, and there was also a wonderful little polish deli that sold some amazing cherry cider, cactus alcopops, and some sweet little condensed milk cakes.
Overall, I enjoyed my time in Eastbourne - and yet there is still so much more I want to do ! So, I'll definitely be going again - I want to tour the Harveys Brewery in nearby Lewes . I want to go to Ashdown Forest Llama Park , I want to do an awful lot of things . I'll definitely visit again!
Click on down to see the review. a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a. a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a .a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a. a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a .a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a. a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a .a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a. a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a .a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a. a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a .a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a. a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a .a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a. a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a .a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a. a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a .a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a. a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a. I was born and brought up in Eastbourne and now visit regularly with my own children. The place has changed dramatically over the last fifteen years or so and now seems to target a broader age range in its facilities for visitors and residents. This is a positive point, so here are my recommendations for must see attractions in and around Eastbourne. Let?s start central ? Eastbourne Pier This is a chance to be gloriously tacky and this is the only place on the seafront in Eastbourne where tacky survives. It reall
y is perfect English seaside holiday. Entrance to the pier is free. On you way on to the pier you will be greeted with an olfactory temptation as the hot donut stand competes with the fish snack stand and candy floss to win your attention and your money. This is what Eaastbourne Pier exists for ? it will try to gain your attention and then your money, but, it will deliver a real bit of old fashioned fun along the way and if you have children with you they?ll love it. As you walk along the pier, take in the views towards Beachy Head and the south downs. A stunning view across the water but don?t hang around ? there?s fun to be had here! The most significant aspect of the pier is the arcades. They are all the way up the pier and will take time and money to enjoy. Perfect for a rainy day. Moving to the end of the pier is 007 ? the Eastbourne speedboat. If the smell of diesel is your thing, hop aboard and, when I went last, hand over £4.00 for five minutes of high speed fun. William Allcorn and Beachy Head lighthouse: If you want to walk over the cliff path and look down on Beachy Head lighthouse you can ? don?t go too near the edge though because those chalk cliffs are very crumbly. Alternatively, just west of the pier you can take a boat trip on the William Allcorn pleasure boat. This is a leisurely couple of hours to the lighthouse and back accompanied by entertaining and interesting commentary. The last building you see on your way out is Holywell Mount, now part of St. Bede?s Preparatory School but in its history, a murderous haunt of Dr. Bodkin Adams. Devonshire Park Tennis Courts: Catch this in the week before Wimbledon and you will see some of the best tennis players in the world playing in a friendly and pleasant environment. The new upgrades to centre court and court one provide an impressive backdrop for the international ladies tennis festival. I have many fond memories of watching the best names in tennis compete here. Martina Navr
atilova was a winner for many years. Ticket prices vary dependent on courts but £20.00 sees you in for a whole days tennis and probably gives you enough change for a snack lunch. Allow more money if you want to buy the overpriced strawberries. What makes Devonshire Park special as a tennis tournament is the friendly atmosphere. I have many signed photographs from long afternoons spent chatting with players after their matches. Sovereign Centre: The impressive swimming pool complex at the east end of the seafront provides good value for money if you go for a day ticket. Don?t pop along for a half hour swim because you?ll come away feeling ripped off. All day though is a great value day out and ideal if the weather is letting you down. The main leisure pool is superb with a wav machine and a great flume. For a quieter swim you can go to the original complex which is little changed in the last thirty years. Your ticket allows you access to this piece of history ? a competition pool, children?s pool and diving pool. All in all, good value for money and great for a wet day. The promenade: Eastbourne stands out amongst many other seaside resorts in the country because local bylaws strictly regulate what takes place on the seafront. So, no chip shops, arcades, cheap shops selling ?kiss me quick? hats. These places exist but you will have to leave the seafront and come one block in. The promenade is a great place for all ages. The Dotto Train will take you the length of the seafront for quick sightseeing or you could go one way and walk back. The carpet gardens lend a majesty to the seafront in the summer months. Best of all though, Eastbourne now caters for all ages with the western promenade having allocated lines for cyclists and rollerbladers and evening blading is positively encouraged. The result is polite communities of roller bladders streaming past older pedestrians with respect and care. Princess park: Down the far end of the
seafront this is a pleasant park with space for picnics and fun. A small children?s paddling pool is kept clean and pleasantly surrounded by lawn and flowers. No lifeguard here though so take care. In addition, the park contains a pleasant boating lake where for just a couple of pounds you can take a rowing boat or tiny motor boat out for twenty minutes. Remember to bring you loaf of bread though because the ducks and the swans are sure to want feeding! Eastbourne park: Eastbourne park is central, between the town centre and the district general hospital. The plans were for a multi-million pound amusement park that would be all things to all people. It?s not quite there yet but if you fancy a little train ride or a round of golf (9 holes) then this is the place. Overall: Eastbourne offers activities for all ages and in a range of prices. It also stands out when festivals come round. Saffrons cricket ground hosts county cricket for one week a year, but check with Sussex County Cricket Club fixture lists for the dates. Also, Eastbourne Airborne is gaining popularity as a summer festival of planes and flight displays. All in all, well worth a visit and plenty to do. I haven?t included any of the attractions outside the town and there are many dozen ranging from the historical Pevensey Castle and Battle Abbey to the award winning Drusillas Zoo Park. Enjoy Eastbourne and enjoy the attractions it offers.