Who doesn’t love a weekend exploring a new place, especially when it’s home to a quirky pier, a lighthouse and rows of colourful beach huts. Add in the Salthouse Harbour Hotel and the company of my daughter, Amy, and that ticks all my boxes. We set off to the English county of Suffolk to visit Southwold and Ipswich on a girly weekend.
Eastbourne in East Sussex sits on the south coast bordering the South Downs National Park. It’s the perfect place for getting outdoors and breathing in all that fresh sea air. I visited for a mid-week mini-break and given that the town’s labeled the UK’s sunniest it seemed only right that I should explore its outside activities. And there’s a lot of things to do in Eastbourne. Here are my top picks for what to do in Eastbourne and its surrounding countryside.
A tour of London’s iconic neighbourhoods to seek out the city’s sweet treats is the perfect antidote to a wet winter’s afternoon. Sampling delectable desserts and feasting on fabulous chocolates whilst listening to tales of the rich and famous turned a dreary afternoon into a sugar rush full of fascinating facts, fun and the sweetest of surprise endings. Come with me on a luxe London dessert tour of the city’s sweet spots with Urban Adventures.
Battle, East Sussex is the heart of 1066 country and every year in October there’s one hell of a fight. We’re invaded by Normans and there’s a big hoo-ha on the battleground behind the Abbey. This year the invasion is going to be even bigger because it’s the 950th anniversary of The Battle of Hastings.
Despite the name, the clash between the Saxons and the Normans didn’t actually happen in Hastings. It took place six miles away in Battle. Yes, our town ended up being named after the famous spat that took place there in 1066. Battle Abbey was built by William the Conqueror after the conflict as penance for the blood spilled on the battlefield. It dominates the High Street and the grounds are the meeting point for the annual re-enactment clash of the Saxons versus the Normans.
Rathfinny Wine Estate and Sussex Sparkling. If you’ve not heard of them yet you soon will because Sussex is the future of English wine production. With award-winning wines spilling out of the county it won’t be long before you’ll be toasting your celebrations with a glass or two of Sussex Sparkling. Rathfinny, near Alfriston in East Sussex, is the state-of-the-art vineyard that’s on course to become England’s largest single-site vineyard. I dropped by to find out what all the fizz and the fuss is about.
Rye, in East Sussex, is one of those pretty little market towns that time seems to have passed by. Nestled between green rolling hills and the English Channel the Cinque Port town is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in England. Higgledy-piggledy half-timbered houses line a muddle of steep cobbled lanes, beach walks and ancient inns make Rye the perfect place for a chilled weekend break.