Based in the heart of the South Downs National Park, Lewes is well known for its bonfire celebrations as well as its traditions of radicalism and creativity. East Sussex’s county town enjoys a splendid location just under 10 miles from Brighton and nearly 70 from London, making it popular with commuters. There’s a gorgeous old centre, and plenty of period homes to be found across town, from Victorian and Georgian to Edwardian, among the tiny twittens (alleyways) and medieval streets.

History of Bexhill on Sea

The history

Lewes was probably founded in the sixth century as a Saxon village; its name is likely to come from a Saxon word. By medieval times it was a fair-sized market town, gaining a charter in 1148. The Normans built a castle here, with Franciscan friars arriving in the 1400s.

Lewes’s history as a hotbed of radicalism dates back to 1772, when one Thomas Paine argued for better conditions for excise officers, which got him sacked. (He went to America, inspiring the American and French revolutions, when his protest was rebuked.)

Lewes grew rapidly in the early nineteenth century and the railway arrived here in 1846. The area became a borough in 1881.

Local amenities

Lewes’s local markets are popular, offering everything from handmade goods to fresh produce. There’s also a nice combination of indie boutiques and High-Street favourites for when you’re in need of a spot of retail therapy. You’ll also find some late-opening bars, although Brighton is on the doorstep if you’re after a big night out.

Bexhill on Sea Local Amenities
Bexhill on Sea Free Time

Free time

There’s a huge amount of things to do in vibrant Lewes, from the local beaches to the nearby South Downs National Park. The Star Brewery Gallery hosts exhibitions from local and non-local artists, there are various music venues if you love live gigs, and the Lewes Bonfire Night is legendary, with a brilliant atmosphere. If soaking up local history is more your thing, head to medieval Lewes Castle. Meanwhile, the Depot cinema screens independent and foreign movies and has a café, courtyard and gallery. Plus there’s a decent range of restaurants and pubs where you can enjoy a meal out.

Well connected

There are six services an hour to Brighton, which takes around 15 minutes, plus direct lines to Gatwick (35 minutes) and London Victoria (75 minutes). You can also reach Eastbourne and Hastings by train. The A27 is the main road through town, and you can drive to Brighton within half an hour. Buses connect Lewes with Brighton and Tunbridge Wells.

Bexhill on Sea Transport

 Whats nearby

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