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The Sussex Cottage Holiday Blog - Focus on Bexhill on Sea

Focus on Bexhill on Sea

Posted 5 March 2019 by Andrew Gardner

Where is Bexhill-on-Sea?

Bexhill-on-Sea is a pretty seaside town in East Sussex, near Hastings, Eastbourne, Rye and historic 1066 Country. Developed in Edwardian times as a fashionable resort near the original village of Bexhill, it even had a Bicycle Boulevard. It has direct trains to London Victoria, London Bridge and St Pancras (journey time about 2hrs), Ashford International and Brighton.

What can I do there?

Stroll two miles of award-winning modern promenade with traditional beach huts, cafes, landscaped gardens, seating and shelters; have a seaside holiday on the wide beach with rockpools and watersports; explore the old town with its antique shops and places to eat and drink; or take in arts, culture and the nearby countryside and South Downs. You don't even need a car – visit peaceful Manor Gardens on the site of the original Bishop's House; or High Woods SSSI on the town's northern edge is a lovely place for a stroll.

So... culture, fun and history?

Yes, all three, and plenty of 'em. The famous De La Warr Pavilion, in its iconic modernist building by the sea, is the hub of Bexhill's cultural scene – it even hosted Bob Marley's first UK appearance. It's a vibrant space for contemporary art, events, music and entertainment with a great atmosphere. The town hosts carnivals and festivals throughout the year, plus yacht racing most weekends in the summer. Bexhill Museum is a great place to discover local history, archaeology, geology and the motor heritage collection.

Character and views

Bexhill-on-Sea has real record shops! You may find one being a pop-up in the De La Warr Pavilion cafe, plus several others in town. It's also lovely to find a seaside town with thriving independent shops and cafes. On a clear day you could gaze for miles along the coast to Beachy Head; if it's a little hazy there's the beam from Royal Sovereign Lighthouse.

Literary connections

Bexhill has a cameo in The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth, by William Boyd. Spoiler alert: the protagonist jumps on a London-to-Hastings train but gets out at Bexhill, because it looks nice; visits the De La Warr Pavilion and the Sovereign Light Cafe (the one in the Keane song); and learns it's the birthplace of British motor racing. Who knew that? It's also in The A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie, and playwright Sir David Hare was born here.

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