When you’re considering where to visit on your next caravan holiday, the picturesque coastline of East Sussex is an obvious choice. Located in easy reach of London with gorgeous countryside and history dating back before the Norman conquest, the area is perfect for a relaxing, away-from-it-all holiday. The area is known for its scenic walks, with more than a dozen nationally-recognised trails taking in everything from areas of outstanding natural beauty on the High Weald Landscape Trail to the battle of Hastings with the 1066 Country Walk or our Roman past with the Saxon Shore Way. That’s not all East Sussex is known for, though, and if you’re a more adventurous type then the bright lights and beaches of Hastings and Brighton are popular destinations for people of all ages.
‘Something for everyone’ is an often overused phrase, but it genuinely does apply to East Sussex. Everything from Norman ruins to the trendy shops and boutiques of Brighton are available for the adults, while children will love the bright lights and amusements of Brighton Pier or the abundance of theme parks such as Fort Fun located close to the popular beach at Eastbourne. Plus, once you’re all worn out from everything the county has to offer, you can wind down with a picnic or ice cream atop the popular and astonishingly beautiful cliffs at Beachy Head or Seven Sisters.
Walks in East Sussex –
Hastings Beachfront (Short Walk)
Hastings has long been a hugely popular destination with caravanners as well as other holidaymakers, and with coastline like this, it’s easy to see why. Walking straight out of the town centre, you soon find yourself far away from the high street shops and walking instead past traditional wooden fishing huts and the historic East Hill lift. Beyond that, it’s just you, the towering cliffs and the waves of the English Channel.
Seven Sisters Country Park (Short Walk)
The Seven Sisters country park between Seaford and Eastbourne has an excellent short walk starting outside their visitor centre and carrying on along the banks of the River Cuckmere, taking in the wildlife-rich Cuckmere Haven. The Haven itself is a superb payoff to the walk, a real mecca for twitchers, giving home to more than 30 species of birds including kestrels, skylarks and Canada geese, and an area of outstanding beauty in its own right overlooking the stunning Seven Sisters cliffs.
High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (Various)
Not just one walk, but a range of walks around one of the most picturesque areas of the country which could keep you occupied for your entire holiday and still offer more. At more than 500 square miles it’s the fourth largest area of outstanding natural beauty in England and Wales. Find your own route through hundreds of miles of almost unspoilt landscape, or take the popular walk to deer-filled Ashdown Forest, home to dozens of species of birds, human habitation since the Bronze Age, and of course Winnie the Pooh!
Things to Do in East Sussex
1066 Battle of Hastings, Abbey and Battlefield
High Street, Battle, East Sussex – TN33 0AD;
Telephone 01424 775705
Admission: Adults £7.50, Children £4.40, Concessions £6.60
Take advantage of your stay in one of the cradles of English history by taking a tour of the scene of the Battle of Hastings. From tours of the abbey with its high altar placed on the exact spot King Harold was felled, audio guides to the battlefield itself and, on the weekend nearest the 14 October every year, a full re-enactment of the battle itself, this location is a perfect day out for anyone interested in English heritage.
Marine Parade, Brighton, East Sussex
We would try to list the reasons why Brighton beach is the most popular in Britain, but there’s just too many to mention. Brighton Pier is the obvious highlight for the kids, but gorgeous sand and streets of quirky shops make Brighton beach and the surrounding area an absolute must for any East Sussex holiday. Spend as much or as little as you like in the arcades, eat a bag of fish and chips while walking along seven miles of golden coastline, or put your feet up with a cream tea in one of the many surrounding cafes.
Ashdown Forest Llama Park
On the A22 midway between Nutley and Forest Row, East Sussex;
Telephone 01825 712040
Admission: Adults £4.50, Children £3.50, Concessions £3.50
If you’re looking for something different on your holiday in East Sussex, consider paying a visit to a llama park, which surrounds you with over 30 acres of beautiful countryside, a museum, a picnic area, over 100 llamas and alpacas and even a herd of reindeer. Take quiet strolls through the surrounding forest with your family or, for £30 bookable in advance, take a llama with you! Llamas are patient, curious and friendly animals and taking one for a short trek through the forest – with frequent stops for carrots – is a wonderful way to unwind.
And something for the children…
Madeira Dr, Brighton, East Sussex BN2 1TW
Ghost trains! Roller coasters! Dodgems! If you’re looking for a fantastic time with the kids on your holiday, you don’t have to look any further than Brighton Pier. Set the kids loose in the huge array of arcades or help them satisfy that holiday sweet tooth with some legendary Brighton Rock. Mum and dad can get a break from it all in the cafes and restaurants while the kids have the time of their lives, or give them a laugh they’ll remember by taking a turn in one of the wonderfully cheesy karaoke bars.
Fishers Farm Park
Newpound Lane, Wisborough Green, West Sussex
Admission: Adults/Children £8.25, Concessions £6.50
If your children are under 10, you’ll know that plenty of attractions aimed at children don’t consider the little ones, so it’s refreshing to find somewhere in East Sussex dedicated specifically to those who haven’t yet reached double figures. Kids can spend all day meeting the farm animals, getting up close and even – if it’s the right time of year – feeding the newly-born piglets. Other than that, kids can get into the competitive spirit with some exciting – and fairly silly – events like pig racing, sheep racing and the Shetland Grand National. Once you’re all animal’ed out, hopefully you’ll still have time for the merry-go-rounds, trampolines and more.
Alfirston Road, Alfriston, East Sussex, BN26 5QS; Telephone 01323 874100
Admission: Adults/Children £9.50, Concessions £8.50
For an energetic and educational day out, Drusillas Park definitely has to be considered. A zoo with a difference, the park is home to over 100 species of animals, several different adventure play areas (including one specially designed for children under 6) and even a model railway. Everything at the park is geared towards learning about the animals as well as looking at them, and it’s a fantastic way for the kids – and mum and dad – to see, pet and learn about animals they won’t ever have seen up close.
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