East Sussex, United Kingdom
Eastbourne - a breath of fresh air anyone?
122 people found this review helpful
We didn’t have a traditional ‘2-week-away’ summer break this year so decided to take the train down to Eastbourne for a couple of days just to get out of London and oooooh, what a lovely time we had. Granted, the sun was shining and the local people were friendly and helpful when we managed to lose our way to the hotel, but Eastbourne would have worked its magic on us whatever the weather; I’m pretty sure of that.
The seafront was not the usual line-up of dark and noisy gaming machine halls, Souvenir shops and candyfloss stands (although I appreciate that many people enjoy this as part of the seaside experience). Instead there were houses, hotels and the odd pub or two – all in good nick and very inviting. We dumped our case at the hotel and then went straight back out again. Did we immediately go for a nice long walk by the sea? Er, no. We headed to an ice cream parlour on the seafront called Fusciardi. Our excuse was that we would enjoy a sundae al fresco, while the sun was out, in case the weather changed. You can’t fault the logic can you. This place was wonderful and I’m afraid we went back 4 times in all, just so we could try different flavours. (Honeycomb was our number 1 if you’re interested).
Then we did walk. And walk. And walk. There was a pleasant breeze and we stayed out until it was dark (and Fusciardi was closed). First we headed to the Pier which many of you will know experienced a fire recently. How sad was that. Luckily (if you can call it luck), only the first building at the start of the pier was burned down and the rest remains intact. We were talking to people who lived in the area and they said there are definitely plans to re-build and make it even better than before. That’s great news isn’t it.
Continuing our adventure, we took a No 13 bus from the Pier which dropped us off at Beachy Head. The wind was fierce up there and we could barely stand. I refused to go anywhere near the edge although many people did. I can’t decide if they were remarkably brave or totally bonkers. The views were spectacular though and well worth a look. There was a visitor’s centre which was billed as being open until 4pm but it was closed before that. I posted some cards up there and am wondering if they are still sitting in the box today.
On day two we took a no. 99 bus and headed for the Marina. The bus stops outside Asda and then you walk through a shopping complex to get to the harbour. This was completely different visually as there are many new apartment complexes surrounding the marina and a real buzz about the place with the cafes and restaurants. We walked right through to the sea where two Martello towers were clearly visible. I liked this area a lot, although it was very modern and I definitely wouldn’t turn an apartment down here if it was offered. Given that it was at the height of the summer season and many people were enjoying the sun and the atmosphere, there was a relaxed air and it was surprisingly quiet.
When we checked out of the hotel I can’t say either of us were happy to leave. We stayed in York House hotel (part of the Best Western chain) and they treated us very well. The room was on the small side but it had everything we needed, including a kettle, flat screen TV and a lovely hot shower. The breakfast was a wonderful surprise. A splendid and varied buffet with many locally sourced dishes and some delicious local pear juice. The staff in the breakfast room were particularly attentive and very pleasant indeed. We sat at tables with white tablecloths and enjoyed the view of the seafront. No-one hurried us and it really was memorable. For info; we booked via Travelzoo.
We booked our train tickets in advance which saved a lot, especially with a Railcard. It also helped to have a Freedom pass for the local buses in Eastbourne. The 99 bus took us back the station which saved the trek. Are we planning a re-visit? You bet.
Fusciardi are at 30 Marine Parade, a two minute walk from the York House hotel. Handy that.
122 people found this review helpful
This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.