Eastbourne is often mocked for being the chosen coastal retreat of holidaying pensioners. But, in spite of being less hipster and more "hip replacement" compared with neighbouring Brighton, this is town with scenic walks along the chalk cliff-tops and a relaxed seaside feel.
Eastbourne is a classic southern pebble-beach, seaside town on the edge of the South Downs. With its promenade and pier that date back to Victorian times, Eastbourne was made for strolling and taking in the sea air. The pier has a vintage Camera Obscura, amusement arcade, and a bar/nightclub.
Eastbourne hostel action is somewhat sparse, owing to the more popular (and infinitely cooler) backpackers’ destination of Brighton about twenty miles further along the coast. But Eastbourne’s hostels are still well placed for the outdoor pursuits available in the area.
Eastbourne does tend to attract a lot of elderly day-trippers but hikers, cyclists, and horse riders have also taken a shine to the Sussex town due to its location at the end of a hundred-mile trail known as the South Downs Way, which runs from Eastbourne to the Hampshire town of Winchester.
Following the hill out of town will take you to the iconic white chalk cliffs known as Beachy Head. The stunning headland offers great views over the English Channel and has been used as a backdrop in many films and TV shows, including "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" and "Quadrophenia." Though, rather less glamorous is its infamous status as a local suicide spot; the cliff top is dotted with tributes to those who have died and signs for the Samaritans helpline.
Continuing eastwards is Seven Sisters Country Park, a large expanse of undeveloped land named after the seven peaking white cliffs.
Eastbourne has its share of pubs and a few clubs but the town centre feels a bit rundown. If it’s a party you’re looking for, you will be best off heading to Brighton. Away from the centre’s typical high street shops, Little Chelsea has a more independent retail feel with small shops in period buildings. For a dose of culture check out the acclaimed Towner contemporary art museum, which has regularly changing exhibits, as well as a permanent collection.
Eastbourne is accessible by train from London and Brighton. Local buses also run along the coast to Brighton frequently and take just over an hour.
Hi, I'm Laura T,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Eastbourne hostels. Welcome.