Since being established as a popular seaside resort during the Victorian Era, Eastbourne remains a top destination. Tourism remains a crucial part of Eastbourne’s economy, forming much of its culture and character. The lure of the seaside continues to draw visitors in their droves. The town sees as many as five million visitors each year, competing against other top tourist hotspots in the country. Visitors local and abroad visit the beaches over the summer months, coming for day trips and holidays. When its beaches are only a single train journey away from London, footfall from the capital makes the town a perfect location to unwind by the sea, away from the bustle of the city.

But why do so many visit Eastbourne? The town has a rather unfair reputation for having a larger elderly population. The average age for the town’s population sits in the mid-forties. However, over the recent years, the town has started to come into its own with attractions and amenities that appeal to visitors of all ages. This blog goes into some of the top reasons why Eastbourne has been labelled as one of the best places to visit in the UK.

7 Reasons why Eastbourne is worth visiting

You won’t be hard-pressed to find something to do in Eastbourne. Along the beachfront, you’ll discover plenty of choices to indulge in a traditional seaside experience. You could enjoy afternoon tea at the Grand Hotel or tuck into a hearty helping of fish n chips. Eastbourne’s beachfront has its own unique character, still holding on to its traditional Victorian charm. But there is much more to do than take in the sea breeze.

Eastbourne Pier

The pier features on many postcards of the town for a reason. Opened in 1870, the pier still stands down a 300 metre walkway where you are spoiled for views out to the sea. While the theatre was lost in a fire during the 70s, there are still things to do and enjoy. The centrepiece of the pier is the bandstand which hosts a variety of musical acts all year around. When visiting the town, a trip down the pier is worth investigating and the cafes promise a top spot for a cream tea.

Coastal walks & stunning natural scenery

The sights aren’t all man made. Eastbourne is only a stone’s throw from East Sussex’s best beaches, all within walking distance. The beautiful countryside is right there to be explored with many different walks taking you to a number of the best natural sights in the area. Beachy Head in particular makes for a fantastic trip out where you’ll find the UK’s tallest chalk cliff with picture perfect views. The Beachy Head pub makes for a great stop for lunch before walking back to the town for the afternoon. Similarly, Holywell beach is just as close and a fab spot for a bit of rock pooling for low tides. The South Downs promises beautiful walks so make sure you bring your walking boots.

Historic sights and museums

Eastbourne has a military history where it served as a bastion for the navy. You can dive into its nautical roots at Redoubt Fortress, a 19th century fort that defended the coast during Napoleon’s conquest against Great Britain. The museum is worth a trip with great tours that really take you back into the era. Admissions are also free so there’s no excuse to miss out.

When visiting, you shouldn’t miss out on experiencing a slice of Victorian England. The Old Town still has its quaint character, matching the buildings along the waterfront where you can stroll down the parade.

Arts and Theatre

Eastbourne has its selection of galleries and theatres for the arts and culture lovers. Entry to the Towner Art Gallery is free, hosting a number of contemporary exhibits to be enjoyed. Once you’ve finished a tour of the gallery, you can enjoy the restaurant on the first floor or make a day out of the trip by booking tickets to the cinema.

Eastbourne also has four theatres, each showing a wonderful mixture of shows and performances for all tastes. Ticket prices are super competitive, making watching a show at Eastbourne a savvy choice over a more expensive trip out to the West End. The Winter Garden theatre and the Devonshire Park theatre are worth keeping on your radar as night time entertainment options.

Fun for all the family

Eastbourne has plenty of choices for activities for kids. Treasure Island is a fantastic pirate themed park packed with fun-filled pursuits for youngsters to enjoy – including a fantastic paddling lagoon so don’t forget to bring your cossie. There are slides galore, all suitable for children, as well as a zip wire. Adults don’t miss out either with the Pirates Adventure Golf offering 18 fun holes to get into the competitive spirit. Further afield, Fort Fun is also a top choice for keeping everyone in the family entertained with play areas and crazy golf.

After something a little different? Eastbourne’s Miniature Steam Railway experience is a wonderful choice. The park is a labour of love, built and run by the Wadey family where it first opened in 1992. Now the whole family is involved with running the park and the cafe (and also the trains!).

Take to the water

Sovereign Harbour is a fantastic location for water lovers. You’re spoiled for choice with the cafes and restaurants along the waterfront with beautiful views of the harbour. There are boat trips to book onto if you wish to see Eastbourne from the sea as well as fishing trips. If you’re after something more adrenaline-filled, wander a little further down the beach side to Buzz Active where you can book a number of different water sport activities such as windsurfing, kayaking and powerboating.

Easy to get to via rail

Eastbourne’s transport links to London make it a top choice as a summer holiday destination. With a direct line to London Victoria, the beach is only a 90 minute trip away. With Brighton closeby, you can make a quick sojourn to the bigger town if you’re after a different vibe.

Want to stay for longer than a visit?

Tired of the busy city and looking for a quieter change of pace? Eastbourne may just be the town you have in mind. You can experience the best of the seaside and the countryside right at your doorstep while not missing out on your cultural pursuits. There’s plenty to do for all the family, making it a popular choice for young families looking to move somewhere with great opportunities for all.

If you’re looking to make your visit to Eastbourne more permanent, we can find properties that may suit your needs and budget. Explore our listings if you’re interested in buying and letting.