Living in East Sussex: Things to Do and See in East Sussex, England

East Sussex–Rolling Hills, Delightful Villages and an Extensive Coastline

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Everything You Wanted to Know About Living in East Sussex

In East Sussex, rolling hills and gorgeous countryside, interspersed with delightful villages, meet an extensive coastline, pebbled beaches and imposing white cliffs, with a number of thriving towns thrown in. East Sussex is the home of individual, independent businesses and, to top it off, a large chunk of it is designated as a national park, ensuring that it will keep its unspoilt nature. Who could ask for more?

The Strutt & Parker Lewes office has property for sale across the whole of East Sussex, particularly in and around the charming villages in the area, as well as some houses with sea views. They also work alongside our Country House Department in London.

Key Towns in East Sussex

Lewes is the biggest town in the South Downs National Park and is also the county town of East Sussex. Traditionally a market town, Lewes is very popular with tourists, being picturesque and distinctive with tile hung houses and beautiful winding lanes. The town sits on the River Ouse, with the South Downs rising majestically either side.

Being 65 minutes from London, it is commutable but also has a unique personality of its own; a good number of local businesses thrive there and they even have their own currency – the Lewes Pound, an initiative designed to boost the local economy.

The city of Brighton is a truly unique place. The endless winding alleyways of The Laines are brimming with interesting shops, wonderful cafés, and great restaurants; the city as a whole is a haven for independent businesses and eccentricity. On top of this, Brighton has a vast choice of high street shopping.

Situated on the south coast, Brighton benefits from a promenade and pier, as well as its pebbly beach; many day trippers from London join the locals all year round to enjoy the sea air. Brighton also has two universities – Brighton and Sussex – and many media companies are based there, earning it the nickname of Silicon Beach.

The attractive red brick town of Eastbourne is situated to the east of Brighton and attracts students, as well as families and retirees. Its claim to be the sunniest place in Britain no doubt plays a part in drawing tourists to the town, too.

Eastbourne sits within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, right next to Beachy Head and boasts plenty of parks, gardens, and other open spaces, in addition to its beach and pier.

Between Eastbourne and Lewes lie a number of attractive downland villages, including the beautiful Alfriston. The village has good amenities, including many eateries, a post office and village store and a number of other shops. The Alfriston Festival, held every August Bank Holiday, takes locals and visitors back in time for traditional games as well as providing a chance to try local produce and much more.

The attractive village of Plumpton has a great community, a drama group and a number of successful sports teams in addition to its racecourse, which draws significant crowds. With hourly services to London, and also being conveniently located for access to Lewes and Brighton, it is popular with commuters.

Chailey, situated seven miles north of Lewes, is a village with one of the largest commons in the South East of England and a celebrated and beautiful windmill. The steam powered Bluebell Railway passes through the village and is an important tourist attraction. Two good schools make this a popular village for families.

Schools in East Sussex

There are excellent schools all over the county, including some of the best independent schools in the country, which attract pupils from London and all over the South East.

For a comprehensive list of schools, we recommend the Good Schools Guide.

Transport Links

East Sussex has excellent transport links, with commuters having a wealth of services to the Capital. There are no motorways in East Sussex, but a number of key A-roads keep residents and visitors easily connected to nearby towns and cities (including London) as well as the national motorway network. Gatwick is the closest airport, located in West Sussex.


East Sussex residents are spoilt for choice on how to spend their leisure time, with something on offer for everyone.

For those looking to enjoy the great outdoors, the South Downs National Park covers a significant part of the county, providing a beautiful backdrop to any activity and ensuring that the area remains unspoilt.

The Seven Sisters Country Park combines two of the main selling points of East Sussex: the countryside and the coast. Located near Eastbourne, it is made up of 280 acres of breath-taking white cliffs and grassland, popular with birdwatchers as well as walkers and cyclists. With views over this striking landscape, as well as over the snaking Cuckmere River, is the Cuckmere Valley, a very popular National Trust owned expanse of grassland, with a wealth of wildlife. Nearby Beachy Head, the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain, has the most amazing, far-reaching views and is, as such, a popular place for walkers. Much further inland is the Ashdown Forest; 6,500 acres of protected heathland, which is open to the public and is said to have inspired the children’s stories of Winnie the Pooh.

At the other end of the scale, Brighton has so much for the culture seeker, the shopper and the foodie. Wander the Laines, visit the Royal Pavilion or settle down in one of the independent cafés and while away a lazy weekend, just watching the world go by and devouring the delicious fare on offer.

Why we love East Sussex

East Sussex has some of the most beautiful and varied countryside in Southern England including the South Downs, a dramatic coastline and thousands of acres of unspoilt forest, yet accessibility to the capital means that both commuters and day trippers don’t have far to travel, either by car or rail.

It also has some vibrant historic cities, towns and villages, including the city of Brighton & Hove, the bonfire capital, Lewes, the Port Cinque town of Rye, and the picturesque village of Ditchling.

East Sussex benefits from some of the finest country pubs serving gastronomic delights, usually using local farmers’ produce. Lewes is also home to one of the oldest breweries in the UK, making some of the country’s finest ales.

How Many People Live in East Sussex?

Population: 800,200

What Languages Are Spoken in East Sussex?

Language: English

What is the Currency in East Sussex?

Currency: GBP (Pound sterling)

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