It’s not just the wonderful city of Brighton on our doorstep; there’s loads more of Sussex to explore if you make a little effort. One of the most rural and beautiful counties in the UK, there’s loads going on and many more places to visit as winter fast approaches. So why not travel out a little further?
It may be irrelevant in winter, but Eastbourne is actually famous for being the UK’s sunniest seaside town. Sometimes though, there’s nothing better than wrapping up warm and spending a day further along the coast. Eastbourne has a rich cultural community, with numerous independent contemporary art galleries, as well as playing host to theatres boasting five top West End shows for the evening, if you fancy a taste of the London high-life. The quaint cobbled streets of Little Chelsea provide you with an alternative to our beloved Laines; while the Arndale Shopping Centre offers you all of your conventional high street stores in a different environment. Look out for the Eastbourne Air Show and the AEGON International Tennis Championships in the Summer term, which brings world-class tennis stars to Sussex for a pre-Wimbledon warm-up.
South Downs National Park
We’re incredibly lucky to have our University located right in the heart of the South Downs, Sussex’s National Park expanding 70 miles offering some of the most picturesque walks and views of the county. Also accessible via the Downs elsewhere are the Clayton Windmills and the Chattri, a war memorial dedicated to Indian soldiers treated here in Brighton after fighting for the Western Front in the First World War. The unspoilt landscape of the Downs offers a free, easy and enjoyable afternoon hiking, biking, paragliding or picnic-ing that you can access right from our University campus, so there’s no reason not to grab your wellies and head out for an afternoon rambling in the countryside.
Not just to be visited for its infamous Bonfire Night celebrations, Lewes is steep in Norman and Tudor history, perfect for when the parents come down to stay. It is home to Lewes Castle, a Grade I listed, fourteenth-century monument, and Anne of Cleves House, one of nine houses granted to Henry VIII’s supposedly hideous looking wife, for those after a bit more worldly culture in their lives. Lewes’ claim to fame is Thomas Paine, the Rights of Man author who wrote excessively regarding the American Revolution and coined the phrase ‘The United States of America’. Lewes offers plenty of outlets for food and drink, and Brightonian favourite Bills’ originated in Lewes, starting out as a small and sweet greengrocer’s shop, now featuring eleven restaurants and counting. But let’s not forget Lewes’ real star turn; its’ Victorian brewery, Harvey’s, the oldest independent brewery of its kind, still run by the same family and a firm favourite among locals.
The birthplace of television, Hastings is a juxtaposition of a quintessential historic town and modern cosmopolitan of creativeness. Having opened in March 2012, the Jerwood Gallery is a £4million gallery home to the Jerwood collection of twentieth and twenty-first century British art, a must-see for all modern art fans and historians. East Hill Cliff Railway is the steepest funicular railway in the UK, offering up some of the best views of the Hastings coastline, and its counterpart the West Hill Cliff Railway provides access to Hastings Castle ruins and The Smugglers Adventure. Hastings has had a long relationship with smuggling, and St Clements Caves tell the intriguing 200 year old story of South Coast smugglers, along with the fisherman’s huts and Tudor housing in the Old Town, that brings the town’s history into the present day.
So, whether you’re looking to explore Sussex’s cultural history, fancy roaming across the sprawling South Downs, or are simply after a traditional, local beer in Lewes, there’s more to living here on the coast than getting lost down the North Laines; so give it a go and really make the most of living in Sussex.