Eastbourne

Book 2 Walk 28 Seaford to Eastbourne
SWC Walk 60 Eastbourne to East Dean
SWC Walk 66 Eastbourne to Bexhill

Eastbourne's reputation as a haven for the elderly is not undeserved: the nightly summer concerts at the town's immaculate seafront bandstand are like something out of the 1950s, and everyone watching the performance seems to be grey-haired. At the other end of the scale, the town is also host to hoards of teenage language students, who congregate on the beach in the evening.

It is a pleasant town, however, which avoids much of the tackiness of other south coast resorts, and it has a very nice shingle swimming beach that extends for well over a mile from the end of the cliffs of Beachy Head to the pier (and on beyond that). The Beachy Head end of the seafront promenade offers the more secluded swimming, but swimming out into the bay by the pier can be rather scenic too, and there are also lifeguards here in summer. All parts of the beach are moderately shelving.

  • At high tide make sure you don't bang into the underwater part of the groynes (wooded sea-defences, going horizontally out from the shore).

  • There is quite a brisk current flowing parallel to the shore, so be careful if swimming beyond the end of the groynes.

  • A couple of hours either side of low tide, the sea retreats across a flat sand and mud bottom. At the Beachy Head end of the beach this is quite unswimmable due to rock (though interesting to explore for marine life): but nearer the pier it creates a lovely shallow sea you can wade out into for quite a distance.

  • Food and drink options are obvious near the pier: there are now some rather smart seafront cafe/bars on the promenade. At the Beachy Head end of the prom, there is also a cafe, tucked away in the corner of a park. The Qualisea fish and chip shop in Terminal Road, the main shopping street leading inland, is recommended.

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