15 Best Things To Do In Sussex, England

15 Best Things To Do In Sussex, England

By will

The beautiful county of Sussex in the south of England is a great destination for a getaway. Whether you’re looking for some outdoor adventure, a bit of culture, or simply to relax and take it easy, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

I’m here to tell you all about the 15 best things to do in Sussex, so buckle up and let’s get started!

From visiting the iconic Beachy Head Cliffs to exploring the South Downs National Park, there’s plenty of outdoor activities to fill your days. But if you’re looking for something a bit more relaxed, you can also take a stroll along Brighton Beach, visit the ancient town of Rye, and admire the views from Beachy Head Lighthouse.

No matter what you’re in the mood for, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Sussex.

Visit Beachy Head Cliffs

.Beachy Head Cliffs and Lighthouse
Photo by David Dixon

You won’t want to miss the breathtaking views from the top of Beachy Head Cliffs! Located in the South Downs National Park in East Sussex, England, the cliffs are part of the South Downs Way, a 100-mile footpath spanning from Winchester to Eastbourne and are some of England’s highest chalk sea cliffs.

Standing at 162 meters (530 feet) above sea level, Beachy Head offers stunning views of the English Channel and the Seven Sisters, a series of chalk cliffs nearby. The area is also home to the Beachy Head Lighthouse, which has stood for over a century.

At the top of the cliffs is a café with a terrace and offering a full menu of hot and cold food, as well as a gift shop with souvenirs and local goods. Visitors can also take a guided tour of the area, where they’ll get to learn more about the histories and geology of the area.

Whether you’re looking for a great view, a bite to eat, or a chance to get up close and personal with the cliffs, Beachy Head Cliffs in East Sussex, England is a must-see!

Explore the South Downs National Park

Flint house in the South Downs National Park
Photo by Marathon

Experience the stunning views of the South Downs National Park! Located in the heart of Sussex, this national park is a great spot to explore the beautiful countryside and rolling hills of the region.

With over 1,600km of footpaths, there are plenty of opportunities for hikers, cyclists, and horse riders alike. You can take in all the sights, sounds, and smells of the nature park, from the wildflower meadows and ancient woodlands to the chalk grassland and chalk stream valleys.

The park is also home to some of the county’s most important archaeological sites, including Iron Age hill forts, ancient monuments, and prehistoric burial mounds.

For those looking for a more leisurely outing, there are also plenty of pubs and restaurants to explore in the area.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll, a challenging hike, or a bit of history, the South Downs National Park has something for everyone.

Spend a Day at Brighton Beach

Brighton Beach
Photo by Lauren

Take a stroll along the iconic seafront of Brighton Beach and immerse yourself in its vibrant atmosphere!

This beach is one of the most popular tourist spots in Sussex, England. With its award-winning promenade, there is plenty to explore and enjoy.

From the beachfront, you can see the iconic Victorian pier, which is a great place to take a leisurely walk and admire the views. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can take a boat ride to the stunning cliffs of Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters.

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Brighton Beach is also the perfect place to relax and take in the stunning scenery. There are plenty of bars and restaurants to enjoy, as well as great shopping. Whether you’re looking for souvenirs or new clothes, you’ll find it all here.

There are also plenty of activities to keep the whole family entertained, such as beach volleyball, mini-golf, and beach cricket. So, if you’re looking for a fun day out, Brighton Beach is the perfect spot!

Visit the Ancient Town of Rye

Discover the quaint and charming town of Rye, nestled in the heart of Sussex, England!

With its cobblestone streets, picturesque buildings, and rich history, Rye is a must-see destination for anyone visiting the area.

Take a stroll down Mermaid Street, the oldest street in town, and marvel at the quaint, half-timbered houses and quaint shops.

Then step back in time and explore the town’s ancient fortifications, including the medieval Ypres Tower, built in the 13th century.

For a unique experience, take a trip to the town’s famous Strand Quay, where you can take a boat trip to Camber Sands.

Stop off at the local pubs and learn about Rye’s history of smuggling and piracy.

With its beautiful countryside, interesting sights, and friendly locals, Rye is a great place to spend a day in Sussex.

Check Out Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle, located in West Sussex, is a stunning example of a medieval fortress. It boasts a long and captivating history. Built in the 11th century, it stands as a testament to the changing political landscape of England.

Moreover, the castle is filled with rich history. It was once home to the Howard family, a family of the English nobility. From its vast architecture to its intricate gardens, the castle is a sight to behold.

The castle is also home to a variety of activities. Visitors can enjoy guided tours, falconry displays, and even the chance to explore its underground tunnels. For those looking to learn more about the history of the castle, the Arundel Castle museum is a great place to start.

Visitors can also explore the nearby town of Arundel. It is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and pubs. A trip to Arundel Castle is a must for any visitor to Sussex. It offers a unique experience unlike any other.

Spend a Day at Battle Abbey

Spend a day exploring Battle Abbey, the ruins of a 12th-century Cistercian monastery that witnessed one of the most significant battles in England’s history. Located in East Sussex, Battle Abbey offers a unique glimpse into the past, with its stone walls, towers, and other ruins still standing after nearly 900 years.

There is plenty to explore here, and visitors can learn about the abbey’s history through audio tours, interactive exhibits, and even a museum. Plus, the abbey’s grounds are beautiful and the perfect place to take a leisurely stroll or have a picnic.

If you’re looking to get a more in-depth experience, Battle Abbey offers a wide range of activities and events throughout the year. From re-enactments of the Battle of Hastings to guided tours of the abbey, there’s something for everyone. And if you’re a history buff, you’ll definitely want to check out the special events that take place in the summer when the abbey is brought to life with music, theater, and other activities.

Whether you’re looking for a fun day out or a more educational experience, Battle Abbey is the perfect place to explore.

Explore the Historic Town of Lewes

Take a journey through time and explore the historic town of Lewes, located in East Sussex. This charming town dates back to the 11th century and is full of history and culture.

Whether you’re a history buff or looking for a day out with the family, Lewes has something for everyone. Stroll through the cobbled streets and admire the beautiful architecture, including the Norman castle, St. John the Baptist’s Church, Anne of Cleves House, and the Bull House.

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Visit the famous Cliffe Hill, where you can take in stunning views over the town and beyond. Explore the many independent shops, pubs, and cafes that line the streets, offering a unique shopping and dining experience.

Take in some of the local culture at one of the many festivals and events held throughout the year. Whether you’re looking for a day of adventure or a leisurely afternoon, Lewes has something for you.

Shop at the Lanes in Brighton

I love exploring the Lanes in Brighton. This collection of narrow alleyways is filled with an eclectic mix of unique boutiques, cafes, pubs, and restaurants.

As you wander through the cobblestone streets, you can take in the vibrant atmosphere and admire the colorful buildings.

There’s something special about the Lanes, with its unique shops and independent retailers. You can find anything from vintage clothing to antiques and handmade crafts.

Plus, there’s plenty of food and drink options to choose from, from cafes serving up the best coffee to cozy pubs and cozy restaurants.

Whether you’re looking for something special or just want to take in the atmosphere, the Lanes is a great place to visit.

Visit the Royal Pavilion

The Royal Pavilion in Brighton is an iconic landmark that’s been captivating visitors for centuries. Built for King George IV in the early 1800s, the palace was originally intended to be a luxurious seaside retreat.

It’s now open to the public and is a great place to explore and learn more about the history of Brighton. The exterior of the pavilion is breathtaking, with its lavish domes, minarets, and Chinese-style dragon spouts.

Inside, the palace is just as grand with its opulent furniture and decorations, including a collection of artwork from India and China. The palace also includes an extensive library and a music room that features a rare collection of musical instruments.

Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for something to do, the Royal Pavilion is a must-see destination in Sussex.

Take a Hike up the Seven Sisters

Heading out on a hike up the Seven Sisters is a great way to explore the stunning views of Sussex, England. The Seven Sisters is a series of seven chalk cliffs along the English Channel. Its unique landscape offers breathtaking views and a great opportunity to experience the beauty of the area.

The area is also home to an array of wildlife, from seabirds to marine mammals. The Seven Sisters is a popular destination for hikers and nature lovers alike. The cliffs are part of the South Downs National Park and can be accessed from a number of entrances.

There are a variety of trails to choose from, ranging from easy walks to strenuous hikes. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging climb, the Seven Sisters have something for everyone. And once you reach the top, be sure to take in the spectacular views of the sea and countryside.

Go Birdwatching at Pulborough Brooks

Exploring Pulborough Brooks provides the perfect opportunity to catch a glimpse of some of England’s most captivating birdlife. Located in West Sussex, this nature reserve is home to a wide variety of birds, including the beautiful Chalkhill Blue butterfly and the endangered stone curlew.

With its diverse range of habitats, Pulborough Brooks is a perfect spot for spotting some of England’s most interesting and rare birds. The marshy wetland area is great for seeing waterfowl and waders, while the woodland is great for finding woodland birds like the nightingale and woodcock. There are also areas of grassland and scrub which hold skylark, meadow pipit, and cuckoo.

With so many different species to be seen, birdwatchers of all levels are sure to find something exciting at Pulborough Brooks. The nature reserve also offers a range of guided walks, giving visitors a chance to learn more about the birds and their habitats. Whether you’re an experienced birder or a beginner, Pulborough Brooks is the perfect place to enjoy some of England’s finest birdlife.

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Take a Tour of Batemans House

Immerse yourself in the life and history of Rudyard Kipling by taking a tour of Batemans House.

Located in the village of Burwash, East Sussex, Batemans is the home where Kipling lived and wrote some of his most famous works, including The Jungle Book.

The house has been carefully preserved to look as it did during the time when Kipling lived there, and visitors can view the rooms and gardens that were so important to him.

The house is also home to many of Kipling’s original furniture and belongings, giving visitors a unique insight into his life.

The tour guide will provide a detailed overview of the house, its history, and its connection to Kipling’s work.

There are also a variety of events and activities, such as historical re-enactments, that are held throughout the year.

After the tour, visitors can explore the garden and woodlands, which feature many of the plants and trees that Kipling wrote about in his works.

Taking a tour of Batemans House is an excellent way to explore the life and works of Rudyard Kipling and gain a unique insight into his world.

Visit the Eastbourne Bandstand

After exploring the historic Batemans House, make sure to take a short drive east to Eastbourne and witness one of the town’s most iconic landmarks: the Eastbourne Bandstand.

Built in 1935, the bandstand is a great place to take in the sights and sounds of the town.

From the top of the structure, visitors can take in a magnificent view of the English Channel, as well as the beautiful Eastbourne beach.

The bandstand also hosts a variety of concerts, from local jazz bands to orchestras, so it’s a great place to catch some live music.

On sunny days, the bandstand’s terrace is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a picnic lunch.

Go Kayaking on the River Ouse

Head to the River Ouse for a unique kayaking experience! Paddle downstream and take in the beauty of the Sussex countryside, from its rolling hills to the quaint villages along the riverbank.

With the river’s calm waters, it’s the perfect place to try out kayaking and spend a few hours exploring the area. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, kayaking on the River Ouse is an unforgettable experience.

With its lush meadows and wide-open spaces, the river is a wonderful way to get up close and personal with the natural beauty of Sussex.

There are plenty of spots to stop along the way, where you can take a break, enjoy a picnic, or just relax and take in the sights.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely paddle or a more challenging adventure, kayaking on the River Ouse is a great way to explore the area.

Admire the Views From Beachy Head Lighthouse

The River Ouse is a great spot for kayaking, but it’s also worth taking the time to appreciate the stunning views of the British coast from Beachy Head Lighthouse.

Located in East Sussex, Beachy Head Lighthouse is the highest lighthouse in the country, standing at 162 feet tall.

From the top of this iconic landmark, you can admire the beautiful coastline and take in the breathtaking views of the South Downs.

Make sure to bring your camera and dress warmly, as it can get quite chilly at the top of the lighthouse.

Conclusion

I’ve had the best time exploring Sussex, England. From taking in the stunning views at Beachy Head Cliffs to spending a day at Brighton Beach, there’s something here for everyone.

There’s the ancient town of Rye, Arundel Castle, and Batemans House. I even went kayaking on the River Ouse and visited the Eastbourne Bandstand.

But the highlight of my trip was the Beachy Head Lighthouse. The views from the top were simply breathtaking.

I can’t wait to come back and explore more of Sussex. It’s a must-see destination for anyone looking for a unique and unforgettable experience.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.