Living in Eastbourne
What is life like in Eastbourne
Eastbourne is a large town on the East Sussex coast, popular with tourists and locals alike and with some wonderful sea views, beaches and rural delights.
For many decades, the area has been a hit with visitors, who flock to enjoy its peaceful nature and clean and picturesque seafront. But there is more to Eastbourne than just its seaside attractions, as it has also developed excellent shopping facilities and a supply of high-quality housing.
Slightly to the town's west lie Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters, which are both dramatic cliff edges that are subject to continuous erosion, helping to keep them vertical and white. Eastbourne is also the starting point of the South Downs National Park, famous for its rolling hills and quaint villages.
The local council is committed to supporting development in Eastbourne, meaning more houses, businesses and jobs are likely to appear in the future, making the town is a prosperous and ambitious place to be.
The origins of Eastbourne certainly date back a long way, with Roman artefacts found beneath the town and Stone Age items dug up in the surrounding countryside. The Domesday Book makes reference to a number of buildings and sites.
It began to grow as a seaside resort following a visit by King George III's children in 1780, and it has never looked back, with Eastbourne still known as one of the UK's top coastal destinations. Despite this, it remained a small town until the 19th century.
During the 19th century, the railway to both London and Brighton arrived, which triggered a sudden expansion of Eastbourne. In addition to a rising population, this period was also marked by the creation of a number of new buildings with elegant design.
Eastbourne played a key role in World War II, as many children were evacuated to the town. However, after France fell in 1940, it was believed that Eastbourne was vulnerable to an invasion, so many were moved again.
Since then, there have been plenty of new developments in Eastbourne – some of which have caused controversy – and the town now has a new face that has enhanced its appeal.
Several famous people hail from Eastbourne and many others have been frequent visitors over the years. For instance, Charles Dickens is said to have been a frequent traveller to the town, as he would visit to perform amateur dramatics.
The area has rich musical history, with bands including Toploader and The Divided starting out in Eastbourne.
A scheme for blue plaques to be unveiled at the homes or workplaces of famous people in Eastbourne began in the 1990s, with the first recipient of this award being Sir Ernest Shackleton, the Antarctic explorer.
Entertainment, sport and days out
There are several theatres in Eastbourne, hosting a variety of productions including comedy, music and drama. The Congress, the Winter Garden and the Hippodrome are just some of the venues that locals love to visit.
Devonshire Park Theatre is another excellent option for catching a show, while the park is also home to the town's tennis club that hosts a pre-Wimbledon tournament that attracts some of the sport's biggest names.
The Sovereign Centre is the town's primary leisure facility, boasting a pool, gym and sports hall. A full timetable of classes and workouts is operated, allowing for plenty of opportunities to keep fit.
Alongside the Sovereign Centre on Eastbourne's seafront is Fort Fun, a modern children's play and adventure park packed with rides and slides. It also includes the indoor Rocky's Adventure Land, making it the ideal destination no matter what the weather.
People thinking of venturing a little further afield can look to the South Downs, which begin at nearby Beachy Head and offer many miles of beautiful British countryside. Alternatively, the historic town of Hastings and the popular resort of Brighton are found in either direction along the coast.
Eating, drinking & shopping
Eastbourne offers a wide range of food and drinks venues, including the birthplace of Banoffi Pie, which is well worth a visit. There are plenty of bars and pubs located in the town centre, while the Waterfront offers venues such as Di Lieto's Coffee Lounge and the Garden Bar.
One of the area's most popular restaurants is Rumblebelly's in Seaside Road, which is described as being a family-run establishment that is famous for its 100 per cent pure beef hamburger.
The Arndale Centre is the hub of shopping in Eastbourne and provides plenty of great stores to choose from, including a mix of high street names and independent, specialist outlets. But it is not all about the advantages of a large and modern mall, as the town is also home to some unique shopping districts.
For instance, residents can benefit from the quaint streets of the Little Chelsea district, as well as the boutiques based at the Enterprise Centre.
Since opening in 1993, Sovereign Harbour has risen to prominence not only as one of the major attractions of Eastbourne, but also as one of the south coast’s premier marinas.
It comprises four separate harbours, as well as a retail zone and numerous housing developments, where both permanent residents and holidaymakers have properties.
Many people believe Sovereign Harbour to be the best kept secret in Eastbourne, as it is the perfect location in which to unwind away from the hustle and bustle of modern life.
Hundreds of yachts are moored in the harbour and there is easy access to the English Channel, making it the ideal spot for sailing, motor boat cruising and other water sports and activities. Its quality is perhaps best illustrated by the fact it holds the prestigious Five Gold Anchors Award from the Yacht Harbour Association.
Once visitors and residents have returned from the water, they will find there are many other ways to entertain themselves at Sovereign Harbour. There is a good selection of not only shops, but also restaurants, bars and waterfront cafes, all of which are popular with friends and families.
Sovereign Harbour is also only a short distance from central Eastbourne, making it the ideal place to live for those who still wish to benefit from the facilities of the town centre, while residing in a property overlooking the water.
It is also not too far from other south coast resorts such as Brighton and Hastings, and acts as a good starting point for trips to the continent.
Whether you are looking for the ideal place to moor your yacht, a stunning residential property with ocean views or simply a fun destination for a day out, Sovereign Harbour comes highly recommended.
Schools & healthcare
As a large town, it is no surprise to find a number of schools in operation in Eastbourne. St Andrews School, the Bishop Bell C of E School, Bede's Prepatory School and the Cavendish School are just a few of the options open to residents.
The University of Brighton also runs an Eastbourne campus, so there are higher education opportunities available in the town on certain courses. This helps to give Eastbourne a youthful vibe during term times.
Eastbourne District General Hospital is the primary healthcare facility in the region and is well staffed by experts who will deal with any medical issue. As an added bonus, it occupies a prime position with magnificent views over the town.
Eastbourne is around 18 miles east of Brighton and approximately 20 miles west of Hastings, with the A27 connecting all three locations. It is roughly 70 miles south-east of London, with a journey by car taking up to two hours.
The town boasts a central train station from where services to most parts of the region operate. There is also a local bus service that allows residents to make shorter journeys easily by public transport.