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Vacation in Eastbourne

Besides great sights, an interesting history and many exciting destinations, Eastbourne has a lot more to offer. Here you will find many helpful tips to enjoy your vacation in Eastbourne.

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Sights in Eastbourne

Eastbourne is a seaside town on England’s south coast. It’s known for its Victorian architecture, beach promenade and fine views of Beachy Head, the chalk headland to the east. The Redoubt Fortress and military museum are remnants of a 19thcentury Napoleonic fort. To the west, Holywell Retreat is a clifftop park with a natural freshwater spring.

The town’s history is as a health resort. It was founded in 1841 by two doctors,Both of whom believed that the sea air and water were good for people’s health.

The town’s growth really took off when the railways arrived in the 1840s, making it much easier for people to visit. This coincided with the rise of Victorian seaside holidays, when people from industrial cities would flock to the coast to enjoy the fresh air.

During the Second World War, Eastbourne was an important military town, with soldiers stationed here to defend against a potential invasion from Nazioccupied France.

Today, Eastbourne is a popular tourist destination, with visitors coming to enjoy its beaches, heritage, gardens and countryside. The town has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a relaxing break or an actionpacked holiday.

History of Eastbourne

Eastbourne is a large seaside town in the county of East Sussex on the south coast of England, 19mi east of Brighton. Eastbourne is immediately to the east of Beachy Head, the highest chalk sea cliff in Great Britain and part of the larger Eastbourne Downland Estate. With a seafront consisting largely of Victorian hotels, a pier and it has been a traditional seaside resort since the 19th century.

Early history

What is now Eastbourne was first recorded in writing as a small hamlet (‘Eastbourne’) in the 6th century AD. It grew quickly into a small town by the early 9th century, when references mark it as a burh or fort, and by the 11th century it had developed into a port with a market.

Middle Ages

Eastbourne’s earliest existence is in a record referring to it as an area of land containing 64 hides in the Domesday Book (1086). The land was owned by William de Warenne and his wife Gundred, the greatgranddaughter of Duke William of Normandy, and it was one of their many Sussex estates. The couple founded Lewes Priory, and built a Norman castle on the site of the present Town Hall.

In 1150, Eastbourne became part of the Rape of Lewes, a collection of manors encompassing presentday Lewes, Uckfield and Seaford. Henry I granted a charter to the monks of Lewes Priory for a weekly market and an annual fair. This charter, among others, established Eastbourne as a free borough; though it is uncertain whether it was technically a town at this time, since no records indicate that Eastbourne had a guild or merchant’s town government.

By the late 12th century, the port had shifted to nearby Bourne, and Eastbourne became an agricultural backwater, with the occasional smuggling seizure.

19th century

The original Town Hall, dating from 1883

In the 18th century, the topography of Eastbourne dictated that growth would come from building northwards from the old town, rather than spreading eastwards towards the more marshy parts. This layout is still visible today in the streets of the Lower Town, and it is remarkable how little they have changed over the centuries.

In 1752, a fourhorse stagecoach began operating between Brighton and London; the journey took 30 hours, and passengers had to spend the night in a primitive inn at Broadwater. At first, the town’s main industry was fishing, but as demand for fish decreased, attention turned to farming, particularly cropping and market gardening. These activities were concentrated around the docks in the old town.

In June 1829, Dr Richard Russell wrote in his Essay on the nature, causes and cure of scrophula that seawater had remarkable curative properties, and that drinking and bathing in it could help with numerous complaints. Russell painted a wordpicture of the seaside resort which was to develop:

With medical advice being what it was in those days, Russell’s idea was not greeted with unanimous approval, and it was seven years before anybody decided to put it to the test.

In 1834, two local entrepreneurs, William Willett and Joseph Stephenson, decided to develop the town as a seaside resort. They acquired some of the farmland to the north of the town, and built a stagecoach service to London. The first house built for tourists was Hazlitt’s Hotel, which opened in 1841, a coaching inn on the site of the presentday Hydro Hotel.

It was followed by others, including the Brunswick Hotel, the Lansdowne Hotel, the Wellington Hotel and the Devonshire Hotel. These establishments were attracted by the prospect of wealthy clients from London, and Eastbourne soon became a fashionable resort. The town grew rapidly, and by 1845 there were 3,000 residents.

In 1849, the first bathing machines were introduced, and a year later a pier was built. In 1864, a railway line was opened, running from Polegate to Eastbourne. This made it much easier for visitors to reach the town, and resulted in a further increase in tourism.

20th century

Due to the proximity of Beachy Head, the world’s tallest chalk sea cliff, Eastbourne became a favoured suicide spot in the late 19th century. The Dover and Beachy Head Railway Act was passed in 1893, and a branch line was built from the town’s main railway station to Beachy Head.

A safer attraction was the newly built Eastbourne Downs, a chalk clifflined promenade adjoining the town. In 1901, the Downs were formally opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales.

During the First World War, Eastbourne was used as a base for troops departing for France

Vacation in Eastbourne

Eastbourne is a seaside town on England’s south coast. The town is a popular tourist destination and is known for its large number of hotels and Victorianera buildings. Eastbourne is also home to a number of historical sites, including the Redoubt Fortress, Eastbourne Pier, and the Beachy Head lighthouse.

There are a variety of things to do in Eastbourne, whether you are looking for a relaxing beach holiday or a more active break. The town has a number of beaches which are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing. For those who want to explore the local area, there are a number of walking and cycling trails in the nearby South Downs National Park. Eastbourne is also home to a number of museums and art galleries, as well as a number of golf courses.

If you are looking for a seaside town with plenty to see and do, Eastbourne is the perfect destination. With its sandy beaches, historic sites, and variety of shops and restaurants, there is something for everyone in Eastbourne.

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