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Things To Do In Eastbourne

Beachside Eastbourne Pebble Beach

A Brief History of Eastbourne

Eastbourne itself is a relatively new town. Prior to 1800, the area comprised of nothing more than four separate hamlets with surrounding farmland. The town grew into a fashionable tourist resort largely thanks to prominent landowner, William Cavendish, later known as the Duke of Devonshire. He appointed architect Henry Currey to design a street plan for the town, and sent him off to Europe to draw inspiration. The resulting mix of architecture is typically Victorian and remains a key feature of Eastbourne. With the birth of the railway, holidays in Eastbourne, with its clean sea air, became popular with health conscious Victorians, and ever since their arrival visitors have been coming to Eastbourne to walk up and down the famous seafront promenade.

Beachside is located on the promenade and perfect for holidays in Eastbourne. You just need to step outside our front door to discover all the things to see and do. Here are some of our favourites.

Eastbourne Seafront - Walking East From Beachside

Eastbourne Redoubt Fortress

Redoubt Fortress

Almost opposite our Eastbourne guest house is a Napoleonic fortress and one of the south coast's most historic landmarks. Built over 200 years ago to defend the south coast from Napoleon's forces, it still stands as a unique monument to that period of time and holds exhibitions and events throughout the year.​​​

2 Minutes Walk from Beachside

Table and chairs on the beach with a sea view

The Beach Deck

When you fancy a break from 'self catering', why not dine alfresco on the Beach Deck's terrace overlooking the beach. The 'full English' is excellent and there are a wide range of teas, coffee and cakes available throughout the day. For lunch and evening meals choose from sandwiches and salads, gourmet burgers, fresh fish or even a juicy steak. They promote "great views, great food and great times", we couldn't agree more!

6 Minutes Walk from Beachside

Children playing outside with sand and a paddling pool

Treasure Island

If you are having a family holiday in Eastbourne then make sure you visit Treasure Island - a pirate themed adventure park with a mix of indoor and outdoor attractions including an 18 hole mini golf course. Children can climb aboard Long John Silver's shipwreck, with its slides, bridges, netted walkways and zip slide, splash about in the paddling lagoon and there is even a small sandy beach to search for treasure.

7 Minutes Walk from Beachside

Two windsurfers with sun reflecting on the waves

Buzz Active

If you are looking for a more adventurous Eastbourne holiday then be sure to check out Buzz Active - a non-profit service by East Sussex County Council aiming to provide affordable outdoor activities. Their water-sports centre is located just down from Beachside on the seafront and offers courses in sailing, wind-surfing, body-boarding, power-boating and stand-up paddle boarding (SUP).

12 Minutes Walk from Beachside

Princes Park in Eastbourne

Princes Park

Princes Park has been awarded with a Green Glag and features a pitch and putt course, two children's playgrounds (one with a summer Splash Pad), a boating lake, rose garden and of course plenty of wildlife.

20 Minutes Walk from Beachside

Sovereign Harbour in Eastbourne

Sovereign Harbour

Opened in 1993, the harbour contains both visiting and resident berths and also one for the RNLI Eastbourne lifeboat. It's a good place to wander around and see the different boats and newly built waterside apartments, shops and restaurants.

45 Minutes Walk from Beachside

Eastbourne Seafront - Walking West From Beachside

Deckchairs on the beach with a pier in the background

Eastbourne Pier

Opened by Lord Edward Cavendish in 1870, Eastbourne Pier is a 1000ft seaside pleasure pier with many gift and sweet shops, bars, restaurants, amusements and even a nightclub. Even though it's been modernised many times it still retains its original splendour and gives a magical view of Eastbourne's seafront.

10 Minutes Walk from Beachside

Colourful flower bed display in front of hotels

The Carpet Gardens

Located just beyond the Pier, holidays in Eastbourne would not be complete without visiting the famous Carpet Gardens. They are the centrepiece of the promenade with their colourful floral and cactus displays.

11 Minutes Walk from Beachside

Eastbourne Bandstand with blue sky

Eastbourne Bandstand

Built in 1935, its unique semi-circular design and blue domed roof is one of the most distinctive sights in Eastbourne. It is the busiest bandstand in the UK and has something for everyone, whether it be weekly tribute bands, Last Night at the Proms, or the 1812 Fireworks concerts. Very popular with Eastbourne holiday makers and we always receive great reviews from guests staying at Beachside.

15 Minutes Walk from Beachside

Wish Tower Eastbourne

Eastbourne Wish Tower

One of 74 Martello Towers - a small defensive fort - The Wish Tower was constructed in 1793 following a review of coastal defences. Although the tower itself is closed to visitors, the Western Lawns and the slope upon which it stands, offer good photo opportunities of the Pier and seafront. You can also get refreshments from the Wish Tower Café.

20 Minutes Walk from Beachside

Italian Gardens Eastbourne

The Italian Gardens

These secluded lawned gardens are a great sun trap and sit in a wooded amphitheatre carved out of the cliff face, just yards from Holywell beach. Look out for the Shakespeare productions that run during the the summer months.

35 Minutes Walk from Beachside

Cliffs and lighthouse at sunset.

Beachy Head

At 530ft, Beachy Head is the UK's highest chalk sea cliff. After taking in the dramatic views why not pop into the visitor centre and/or visit the Beachy Head pub; we certainly recommend the latter​. If you don't fancy walking then why not take the open top bus from outside Eastbourne Pier.

60-90 Minutes Walk from Beachside

Eastbourne Art & Culture

Devonshore Park Theatre Eastbourne

Eastbourne Theatres

Eastbourne is lucky enough to have several theatres, with performances taking place throughout the whole year. So whether your Eastbourne holiday is in the summer or winter months, you can catch West End musicals, plays, ballet, stand-up comedy and live bands.

For full listings of what is showing in the theatres, please click here.

And for Bandstand events click here.

Building for Eastbourne Heritage Centre

Eastbourne Heritage Centre

A Grade II listed building, housing displays of original maps, pictures, artefacts and films about Eastbourne and the surrounding area. Also, some great photos showing how Eastbourne holidays have over the years.

Eastbourne Towner Gallery

Towner Art Gallery

The Towner Art Gallery is a state-of-the-art, award winning gallery set over three floors and adjacent to the Eastbourne Congress Theatre and Devonshire Park complex. It presents a unique programme of major exhibitions that consist of contemporary and historic visual art, alongside displays from the renowned Towner Collection. Highly recommended and will be hosting the Turner Prize in 2023

Eastbourne Lifeboat Museum

Eastbourne Lifeboat Museum

On Eastbourne's beach front and next to The Wish Tower slopes, this small and delightful museum was built in 1898 and houses collections and displays showing the history of Eastbourne lifeboats since 1822.

Eastbourne Walking and Sports

People walking along a cliff

Eastbourne Walking & Cycling

Being on the very edge of the South Downs National Park, there are loads of walks to choose from and something for all ages and abilities. So whether you want to just take a gentle stroll along the sea front, or cycle along the South Downs Way to Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters Country Park, you will be guaranteed some stunning scenery.

Tennis court with two men playing in front of a crowd

Eastbourne Tennis

Devonshire Park hosts the annual Eastbourne Tennis Tournament, which attracts some of the best players in the world. Whether you are looking for first class coaching, or just wanting to play on the famous courts, you won't be disappointed.

There are also free courts where you can just turn up and play on the seafront by Fishermans Green.

Windsurfers and kitesurfers on the seafront in Eastbourne

Eastbourne Watersports

The choice of watersports in Eastbourne are endless. Buzz Active provide courses and tuition in sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, powerboating,and stand-up paddleboarding, and there are many diving and sailing schools that cater for all abilities. Please contact us for further information.

Fishing rods displayed vertically

Eastbourne Fishing

Whether you want to just hire a rod and fish from the beach opposite our front door, or venture out for some deep sea fishing, if you are lucky enough you might catch some sea bass or lemon sole to bring home for tea.

Flag on the green of a golf course

Eastbourne Golf Courses

With several courses to choose from, golfing holidays in Eastbourne are becoming more popular and attract golfers of all abilities. Here are three of our favourites:

The Royal Eastbourne Paradise Dr, BN20 8BP (01323 744045)

Willingdon Southdown Rd, BN20 9AA (01323 410981)

Eastbourne Downs East Dean Road, BN20 8ES (01323 720827)

Three women exercising indoors on yoga mats

Eastbourne Yoga, Pilates & Tai Chi

There are many places where you can relax your mind, body and soul when you are on your Eastbourne holiday. Our favourite is the Natural Fitness Centre which has a fantastic seafront setting and is less than five minutes walk from Beachside. Offering a range of health enhancing, restorative classes and therapies, it also offers massage, acupuncture, aromatherapy and osteopathy.

Day Trips from Eastbourne

Street in Lewes with castle in the background


A beautiful historic market town with lots to see and do. We recommend wandering through the medieval streets where you will find bookshops, boutiques and antique centres. There is also Lewes Castle, Anne of Cleaves' House and the famous Harvey's Brewery.

Ruins of Pevensey castle with a dried-up moat


Pevensey Bay, famously known as William The Conqueror's landing place in 1066, has long stretches of pebble beaches and the vast ruins of Pevensey Castle. You can also visit Tudor Courthouse, Jail and Museum. Pevensey is also the start of the 1066 walk which takes in the nearby Herstmonceux Castle, before heading out across the countryside towards Battle and Rye.

Old picture of Bayeux tapestry showing knights fighting on horseback


The historical town of Battle is where the Battle of Hastings took place in 1066. The town grew up around the Abbey of St Martin which was built by William the Conqueror shortly after the battle with its high altar believed to be the exact spot where King Harold fell. Today the abbey's ruins and the battlefield are cared for by English Heritage and are well worth a visit if you are on holiday in Eastbourne.

A boat in front of fishing huts on Hastings beach


Hastings is synonymous with the Norman Conquest and the ruined castle on the hill - the first in Britain built by William The Conqueror - is the most visible evidence of that period. Hastings is now home to Europe's largest beach-launched fishing fleet and within the 'Fisherman's Quarter' you will find picturesque weather-boarded net huts, a fish market, seafood restaurants and the Jerwood Art Gallery.

Brighton Pier at sunset


From the stunning heritage of the Royal Pavilion, its regency architecture and Victorian aquariums, to the seaside fun of Brighton Pier and the famous pebble beach, Brighton offers something for everyone. There is also the new i360 - the world's largest moving observation tower - and an emerging 'foodie scene' supplied by some very innovative restaurants and cafes.

London skyline looking north


London has so much to offer and is less than 90 minutes away from Eastbourne by train. We are born and bred Londoners so if you are stuck for ideas, or just need some 'local' knowledge, please ask.

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