Bexhill-on-Sea & Great Dixter (full day)
Our day begins with a visit to the charming seaside town of Bexhill-on-Sea. Little changed since the 1950s and 1960s, the town offers a two-mile long seafront promenade, a gently sloping beach, an abundance of Edwardian and Victorian architecture, and the famous 1930s De La Warr Pavilion – now a centre for contemporary art.
Afterwards, we head to Great Dixter, home of gardener and gardening writer Christopher Lloyd, where we have the chance to enjoy both the house and gardens. The house, although largely medieval, has several later additions by architect Edwin Lutyens and highlights include the Great Hall, one of the largest surviving timber-framed halls in the country. The famous gardens feature topiary, mixed borders, an orchard and wild flower meadow.
Beachy Head & Alfriston (full day)
We enjoy a scenic drive along part of the glorious Sussex Heritage Coast, stopping to admire the spectacular chalk cliffs at Beachy Head. These dramatic 530 feet high cliffs give stunning views over Eastbourne, the English Channel and the famous Seven Sisters – the perfect photo opportunity!
We continue on to the picturesque village of Alfriston. Nestled in the valley of the River Cuckmere, it is full of charming old buildings, gift shops, tearooms and traditional inns. Alfriston also boasts a village green and St Andrew's church, built in the form of a cross and known locally as ‘the cathedral of the South Downs’.
Rye & Hastings – £12pp (full day)
On our optional excursion, we call first at the fortified hilltop town of Rye, a place full of olde-worlde charm with winding cobbled lanes, secret passages and historic buildings. We then head to the coastal town of Hastings, which boasts the remains of the first castle in England to be built by William the Conqueror and a lovely preserved Old Town with half-timbered houses and narrow streets. There’s also the refurbished pier topped with pastel beach huts.