Life in Sunny Sussex
We have been in Eastbourne since when we returned from Colombia back in March. At the moment, we are waiting for housesitting to resume in Brighton, where we are usually based between travels. It looks as though things may be moving forward from next month when hotels, Airbnb’s and campsites are set to re-open in the UK. This has been the longest amount of time that we have stayed in the same place since 2012 when our nomadic lifestyle started!
In the meantime, we’ve been keeping busy working on journey-junkies, improving the website and preparing it for an official re-launch. Of course, we also find time to plan and dream about future travels in far-flung places! Additionally, we have had a record number of (self-isolated!) barbeques this year – thanks to the long sunny days. However, in addition to blogging and barbequing, we have also taken time out to take a walk or two along Eastbourne Seafront.
Eastbourne – An Introduction
An elegant seaside town, Eastbourne is situated in Sussex on the south coast of England. The town is known for its pebble beach, traditional pier and carpet gardens. It’s also a stone’s throw from local beauty spot, Beachy Head. Eastbourne seafront is lined with Victorian buildings, most of which are hotels. The town is quieter than nearby Brighton and it has a gentle aura reminiscent of another era. Both of us lived in the town prior to moving to the bright lights of Brighton back in the nineties.
Our Walk Commences
We start our daily walk at Langney Point, passing a series of colourful beach huts. On this stretch of the seafront, there are separate bike lanes for cyclists and pedestrians and it’s a relatively peaceful and undeveloped section. Buzz Active offers stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, sailing and windsurfing and is situated right on the beach. Continuing along next to the basketball/tennis courts, we pass the lifeboat station. On the beach, there is a fisherman’s hut from where fresh catch is sold every day.
Taking in the Sights
From there we re-connect with the promenade. With a total length of about three miles, it encompasses two forts, the pier and a bandstand. The Redoubt and the Wish Tower were built to keep Napoleon’s army out of Britain. The promenade comes to an end at the cliffs. This is where the sprawling South Downs, which include Beachy Head – the highest chalk cliffs in the UK, commence. Additionally, the scenic Italian Gardens can be found here. In the evenings of the summer months, plays are presented in the secluded natural wooded ampi-theatre.
When we hit the pier, Eastbourne seafront splits into two levels. On the top level are Eastbourne’s famous flower beds, which have been nurtured since 1880. The lower level is next to the beach and there are a few cafes between the pier and the Wish Tower. A couple of the cafes have seating on the beach – a nice spot for a drink or snack accompanied by a fine view of the English Channel.
Barefoot on the Beach
Although Eastbourne, like Brighton a little further along the coast, is known for its pebble beach, low tide uncovers swathes of sand. In fact, it is possible to walk all the way from the Redoubt at Eastbourne’s eastern end to the foot of the iconic Beachy Head. It’s a beautiful walk at any time of the year, but particularly on a warm summer’s day. This has been our favourite part of our day. Early in the morning, there are few other people and it’s a real treat to walk barefoot along the sand while seagulls soar overhead.
The Immediate Future
Usually, at this time of the year Eastbourne is bustling with tourists. Additionally, the town plays host to a pre-Wimbledon international tennis tournament at Devonshire Park. Sadly, in the wake of COVD-19, the town has yet to get back to normal this year. Some of the shops in town have re-opened and the restaurants are due to open up on the 4th July. This will hopefully restore a little normality to the seaside town known as the ‘Suntrap of the South’.