Local Attractions

(In alphabetical order)

The home of Rudyard Kipling from 1902-36, this mellow Sussex house was built in 1634 by a local ironmaster. The interior of the house reflects Kipling's strong associations with the East, with Oriental rugs and artefacts found throughout. Many of the rooms are much as he left them, including his book-lined study, in which he wrote many of his works at the desk. His 1928 Rolls Royce is still in the garage.


Hastings is a surprise to be discovered - fishing boats on the beach, attractive cliff-tops, the Castle, the 1066 story and the Dickens-style Old Town with its narrow streets and fascinating shops and old pubs. Best of all - enjoy some fresh-caught Fish and Chips at the Mermaid Restaurant!

Battle is the place to discover the facts behind the most famous date in English history - 1066 and the Battle of Hastings. Come and experience history at the very site of the battle and its nearby Abbey. Tours of the battlefield itself, with audio guide, are highly rated by visitors. History comes alive when the town stages a huge variety of battle re-enactments, music and drama from April to October.

The Bluebell Railway

The only "all steam" standard-gauge railway in the country, operating trains throughout the heart of the Sussex countryside.


One of Britain's most famous and evocative castles. Built in 1385 as both a defence and comfortable home, the exterior is virtually complete, a photographer's dream, and was designed to include the most up-to-date defensive systems. The ramparts give superb views over the surrounding countryside.


One of Britain's fastest-moving cities with theatres, cinemas, restaurants, cafes and clubs - not to mention the spectacular Edwardian sea-front. Most fascinating of all are the Lanes and the North Laines - a maze of narrow streets with tiny shops selling everything from antiques to art and fashion.

Drusilla's Park

Voted the best small zoo in Britain - an animal (and child's!) paradise.


Eastbourne is an elegant Edwardian seaside resort at the foot of the South Downs in Sussex. The town hosts a wide range of top-class events throughout the year, from international tennis championships in June to 3 days of aerobatic displays at the Airbourne festival in August. For evening entertainment you can find top names and a great selection of West End shows (as well as opera, ballet, concerts and musicals) at any of Eastbourne's four theatres.


Since its foundation in 1934, the summer season of opera at Glyndbourne has become a national institution. The opera house is only 20 minutes away by car.

Herstmonceux Castle

Herstmonceux is renowned for its magnificent 15th century moated castle, set in beautiful parkland and superb Elizabethan gardens. The gardens are open daily from end March to end October. The castle itself is a working Study Centre and is not generally open to the public but there are guided tours conducted Sunday to Friday, subject to availability.


With its domes and telescopes, the Science Centre is part of the former home of the Royal Greenwich Observatory. Visit some of the giant telescopes that were used to study the night skies from the 1950s to the 1980s. The Observatory is now one of the country's leading Science Centres with more than 100 exhibits where visitors of all ages can explore and make their own discoveries.


Leonardslee is much more than just a garden; here wildlife abounds; yes literally! Wallabies have been used in parts of the valley at Leonardslee as environmentally friendly mowing machines ever since 1889. Deer roam in the parks and wildfowl adorn the lakes.


Historic county town of East Sussex. Visit the Castle and Anne of Cleves House - or just wander and enjoy the old-fashioned streets and shops. A good centre for antique hunting.


Nymans is one of the great gardens of the Sussex Weald and is internationally famous for its beauty and collection of rare plants. It is the achievement of three generations of the Messel family over a period of over a hundred years. Nymans was one of the first gardens to come to the National Trust when it was bequeathed into its care in 1953.

Royal Tunbridge Wells

Retaining much of the charm and elegance of its Georgian heyday, Royal Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding area today remains a favoured destination for those who want to enjoy elegant surroundings in the countryside and yet just a short distance from the hustle and bustle of London.


Another beautiful and historic town with winding streets full of medieval and Georgian shops & buildings.

Sheffield Park

A magnificent landscape garden, laid out in the 18th century by 'Capability' Brown and further developed in the early years of the 20th century by its owner, Arthur G. Soames. The original four lakes form the centrepiece. There are dramatic shows of daffodils and bluebells in spring, and the rhododendrons, azaleas and stream garden are spectacular in early summer. Autumn brings stunning colours from the many rare trees and shrubs. Enjoy winter walks in this garden for all seasons.

Sissinghurst Castle Garden

One of the world's most celebrated gardens, the creation of Vita Sackville-West and her husband Sir Harold Nicolson. Developed around the surviving parts of an Elizabethan mansion with a central red-brick prospect tower, a series of small, enclosed compartments, intimate in scale and romantic in atmosphere, provide outstanding design and colour through the season. The study, where Vita worked, and library are also open to visitors.

Wakehurst Place

Often described as Kew's country garden, Wakehurst Place contains a series of ornamental features with many plants from across the world providing year-round colour and interest. Extensive woodlands, including an informal arboretum and secluded valley, offer delightful walks. Information about the garden and its many interesting features is available within the Elizabethan mansion. The Loder Valley nature reserve may also be visited by permit.


Close to Rye. A real 'gem' of a town with its original Georgian architecture, which has inspired great artists such as Turner and Millais.


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