Destinations

24 Hours In… Eastbourne

With blue skies glowing above its idyllic countryside, a vibrant creative scene and quintessential English seaside character, Eastbourne is a shining example of south coast splendour.
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Hugging the picturesque East Sussex shoreline on the cusp of the South Downs National Park, Eastbourne’s Victorian buildings and nostalgic pier are the stuff of perfection – while the iconic cliff at Beachy Head is a celebrated national treasure.

So in an enchanting resort town with so much to pack in, how best to spend a fleeting 24 hours…?

10:30: Start as you mean to go on

All good days kick-off with a coffee (or tea) and you only need to pop round the corner from the Best Western Lansdowne Hotel to grab some of Eastbourne’s finest. With a once-in-a-lifetime, £54 million refurbishment of Devonshire Quarter completing in March 2019, this is going to be even more the place to be.

lansdowne-hotel-grounds-and-hotel

11am: Soak up some culture

What better way to put that caffeine fix to good use than to breeze around one of South East England’s most celebrated galleries and museums, Towner Art Gallery? For your free admission, you’ll be treated to contemporary exhibitions, collections and events, and “one of the most creative and brilliantly-run institutions in visual arts anywhere”, according to the Observer.

East Sussex Open 2016

Credit @ Eva Eastman

If you’re with the family and don’t think the modern art will capture everyone’s imagination, head to the Eastbourne Miniature Steam Railway Adventure Park – great fun, with a slightly broader appeal. Plus family tickets are available for just £19.

Eastbourne Miniatur Railway

12:30pm: Hungry yet?

You’ll find plenty of quaint refreshment stop-offs out and about town, so make sure you take full advantage and keep those energy levels up! Nelson Coffee offers a stylish and welcoming retreat after a bracing morning’s activity – try the Maple Banana Pancake Stack – or head to Urban Ground for its contemporary take on afternoon tea. Don’t fill yourself up too much though, there’s a big afternoon ahead.

Nelsons Coffee

1:30pm: Go Sightseeing

Finally it’s time to get out and see what Eastbourne does best – the seaside. Best Western Lansdowne Hotel’s location on the seafront makes it the perfect base from which to get the very best out of the stunning sea views, pebble beach, gorgeous Victorian houses and locally-renowned Bandstand – billed as the busiest in the UK. Hosting hugely popular tribute shows throughout May to October, you’re sure to catch some sort of live action. ‘Abba’ and the ‘Beatles’ are just some of the acts appearing in 2019.

If you fancy a slightly longer walk, or even popping out in the car, head to Beachy Head for an Insta-friendly moment to match the best of them.

Did you know it starred in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as the hosting grounds of the 1994 Quidditch World Cup? Older visitors may remember it from Quadrophenia, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang or Bond film The Living Daylights.

3pm: Shop ‘til you drop

Time to put your feet up after all that exploring? Well… not quite actually, as you’d be crazy to miss the new Beacon Shopping Centre which has recently opened in the town centre. With all your high street favourites from Top Shop and M&S, to Clarks and Clintons, it’s also a great spot to grab a tasty refreshment.

Again, if you don’t think certain members of the group have the patience, maybe the nearby Sovereign Centre might be better suited, with its four swimming pools, wave machine and chutes. You can’t lose really.

5pm: Put your feet up

OK, you’ve earned a pre-dinner rest. It’s time to grab a deckchair and head to iconic Eastbourne Pier to drink in the very last drops of the seaside day. Many an hour can be easily wiled away reading, chatting or simply gazing out over the picturesque surroundings, while you rest your weary legs and work up an appetite.

7pm: Dinner time

For a delicious, locally-sourced and imaginative menu, you needn’t look further than the Devonshire Restaurant right here at the Lansdowne – especially if you like a serving of sea view with your evening meal. If you are heading out though, we also love the Green Almond, a vegetarian & vegan bistro just around the corner with 3 courses from £22 a head.

9pm: Something for the evening?

Eastbourne has a thriving evening scene no matter what kind of fun you’re in the mood for. From popular bars like the Eastbourne Cocktail Club and Seven Sisters Pub, to intimate live music venues like the community-spirited Printers Playhouse.

Eastbourne’s theatre scene, though, is where things really hit the next level – with the all-new Congress Theatre, Devonshire Park Theatre and Winter Garden all situated in the heart of the cultural quarter, just a short walk from the seafront.

Big names and big shows pencil in Eastbourne as a must-visit stop on their touring schedules, and you’ll soon see why when you experience a night in this board-treaders haven.

Devonshire Park Theatre

11pm: Sleep

Phew, think it’s time for some shuteye. With its picturesque sea views, cosy atmosphere, Regency bar and warming hospitality the Best Western Lansdowne Hotel is the place to get it. Enjoy, you’ve earned it.

lansdowne-hotel-bedrooms

9am: Breakfast

Morning meals at the Devonshire Restaurant are very much an as-you-like-it affair, with a menu offering hearty Full English or Continental breakfast options. Whatever you’re in the mood for you can rest assured it’ll be prepared with the finest local ingredients and the freshest Channel views.

10am: Check out some natural beauty

Before heading off, it would be rude to be here in Eastbourne without delving a little further into the majesty of the South Downs. Whether driving in towards the larger conurbations like Lewes, or simply dipping your toes in with a nice circular walk towards East Dean, this is a part of the world that simply has to be explored, and by giving yourself a taste you’ll simply have to come back for more.

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