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South East England
SOUTH EAST ENGLAND

South East England

Explore the South East and experience quintessential England. Head into Kent for impressive castles and gardens, drive past sandy coastlines and towering cliffs to the pebble beaches of Brighton. Sussex and Hampshire delight with a mix of preserved historic villages and unspoilt countryside.



OUR FAVOURITE PLACES TO EXPLORE IN SOUTH EAST ENGLAND



 
Kent


Known as the ‘The Garden of England’ and home to some of the most beautiful gardens in England. The contrasting coastline has dramatic cliffs and long stretches of safe sandy beach. Stop in bustling seaside resorts and sleepy villages, explore castles and cathedrals and check if there are any quirky festivals on while you’re visiting.

 

South Downs National Park
South Downs National Park

Covering most of the west of Sussex, discover rolling hills, market towns, traditional country pubs, ancient woodlands, all just an hour from London. Get out of the car and either cycle, walk or horse-ride through the countryside, shop for fresh produce at farmers markets and savour a local beer or wine. There are great bus and train links from London to The South Downs.

Hastings
Hastings

Dominated by the sea and the battle in 1066, the coast and countryside is littered with relics and ruins from the Norman Invasion. William the Conqueror’s first English castle still stands to explore, the steepest funicular is here and the meandering alleyways of the Old Town encourage a couple of days discovery, as do the sites nearby – Rye, Battle, Pevensey Bay.

Winchester
Winchester

The ancient capital of the Kingdom of England and fascinating mix of legend, myth, history and heritage. The city is dominated by the spire of Winchester Cathedral dating back to 1070. A 13th century version of the King’s Round Table can be found in Winchester Castle, and Winchester’s Military Museums.

Brighton
Brighton

This lively location offers something for everyone, with elegant Regency architecture, museums, galleries, great boutique shopping, bars and restaurants and legendary nightlife. The Royal Pavilion is the seaside fantasy palace of King George IV, Brighton Pier complete with Helter Skelter and candyfloss is a fun fair and the British Airways i360 is the world’s tallest moving observation tower.

 



SOME THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN SOUTH EAST ENGLAND




Castles and Cathedrals CASTLES AND CATHEDRALS

Best preserved historic castle, Leeds Castle, dates to 1119 and is set in 500 acres of lush parkland, enjoy falconry displays, a maze and an underground grotto. The towering Canterbury Cathedral is a World Heritage site and houses a Romanesque Crypt dating back to the 11th century and beautiful medieval stained-glass windows. Magnificent Rochester Castle is built on the highest part of Rochester’s Roman city wall and has breath-taking views from the top of one of the tallest keeps in the country.

Stroll through splendid gardens STROLL THROUGH SPLENDID GARDENS
 

Enjoy the many gardens in this area, tranquil days out wandering along woodland paths, smelling the roses and picnicking beside lakes. Hever Castle and Gardens set in 30 acres of landscaped gardens with Italian sculptures, a lake and 4000 roses, hosts jousting tournaments and lake boat rides. Pashley Manor Gardens has delightful rose and historic walled gardens and a kitchen garden, savour the homemade, local food in the café.

Coast and beaches COAST AND BEACHES
  

300 miles of beautiful coastline and home to many of the best beaches in the UK. Brighton’s seaside pier and pebble beach make for a classic English seaside experience, soak up the atmosphere in a café on the promenade. The dramatic White Cliffs of Dover are a sight to see glistening and legendary. Look out for Blue Flag beaches, these are safe, clean, award-winning spots. Seven miles of golden sand in Bournemouth means tons of water-sports and coastal walks.

Food and Drink FOOD AND DRINK 
 
 
Quaint country pubs serve traditional Sunday roast lunch and great beers and ales, pop into The Three Oaks Pub in Hastings for a cosy roast and real ale. With all this coastline there are places to get your seafood fill, pick up some tasty, fresh lime oysters or marinated squid from The Brighton Shellfish & Oyster Bar. Enjoy an English afternoon tea at the Moat Tea Rooms in Canterbury, it’s like stepping back in time, with creaky floor boards, cake stands full of little sandwiches, cakes and scones and tea served in porcelain pots and cups. 
Laneways LANEWAYS
 

Explore the cobbled alleys in Rye, lined with historic buildings and clustered around a hillside overlooking the river. Brighton is a maze of narrow 17th century lanes filled with boutique shops, eateries and lively nightlife.

Walking trails WALKING TRAILS

South Downs Way from Eastbourne to Winchester is a National Trail that you can walk or cycle part of, through countryside and villages, a lovely afternoon stop is Alfriston on the banks of the Cuckmere River. Or try the walk from the Firle village with its flint knapped cottages to Charleston Farmhouse and up to Firle Beacon.



SOUTH EAST ENGLAND ACCOMMODATION



Here's a taste of some of our favourite hotels and lodges in South East England.
Come in-store or send us an enquiry to help us find the best accommodation for you.

Retro B&B Canterbury
THE RETRO B&B, CANTERBURY
★★★

Located a 15 minute walk from Canterbury’s historic city centre, and a quaint harbour town of Whitstable is only 15 minutes by car. Stylish and comfortable this late-Victorian villa has been restored to its former glory.
Senlac Guesthouse Hastings
SENLAC GUESTHOUSE, HASTINGS
★★★half star

Ideally located in the centre of Hastings, East Sussex the Senlac Guest House offers stylish and contemporary bed and breakfast accommodation, only a stone's throw from excellent restaurants, trendy bars, traditional pubs and is just a short stroll to the beach and Old Town of Hastings.
The Charm Brighton
THE CHARM BRIGHTON BOUTIQUE HOTEL, BRIGHTON
★★★half star
This new luxury boutique hotel in the heart of Kemptown, Brighton offers designer living in a traditional setting and the recent refurbishment has transformed the 200 year old building into a stylish and modern hotel with a classic ambience.
Mercure Wessex Winchester Hotel
MERCURE WESSEX WINCHESTER HOTEL, WINCHESTER
★★★★
Situated in the heart of the ancient City of Winchester with unrivalled views of the famous cathedral. Perfect for visiting local attractions and exploring Hampshire countryside, Beaulieu and the New Forest. Discover British cuisine inspired by locally sourced produce and indulge in afternoon tea at Wessex Hotel Kings Lounge in Winchester.



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South East England holiday planning articles



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