Normans Bay to Bexhill

Walks: Eastbourne to Hastings via Bexhill

The big flat curve of low-lying of coast between Eastbourne and Bexhill has the great advantage of relative solitude. The best place to find this is Normans Bay, a stop on the railway line between Eastbourne and Hastings that is served by a dozen or so trains Monday to Saturday. When you get off, there are a few houses, a caravan park, a toilet block, and then the gently shelving shingle beach.

  • There is quite a strong current parallel to the shore here. The main irritation of this is that you often find you can make little progress in one direction, or that you end up a couple of hundred metres up the beach from where you left your stuff. It also means this is not a good beach from swimming far from the shore.

  • For about 90 minutes either side of low tide, the sea retreats across flat sand. You can still swim at this time, but you may need to wade a long way out, and some worryingly soft patches of mud can make this tricky.

  • You can also explore the strange landscape of the Pevensey Levels from here - plenty of footpaths cross this strange area of drained marshland.

  • Food and drink: The caravan site by Normans Bay station has a shop, as does another one 500 metres to the south west, about 300 metres beyond the Martello Tower. The latter serves tea, coffee and even some pastries till 6pm daily. There is one pub, a little way to the east of the station along the main road (there is also a footpath route: go east along the road behind the beach and fork left up a track signposted as a footpath).

  • Cooden Beach is better only in being served by more trains. Bexhill beyond has the striking Art Deco De La Warr Pavillion on its seafront and a beach of shelving shingle that goes out some distance over flat sand and mud at low tide.

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