Summer in Sussex

Hastings Old Town

Come to Coastal Sussex to relax and enjoy yourself. There are all sorts of things going on throughout the summer in this corner of the country.




Battle High Street

The town of Battle with its exciting shops and restaurants and not least Battle Abbey and the Senlac Battlefield where the Battle of Hastings was fought in 1066


Windsurfing at Rye Watersports




Windsurfing and kitesurfing, dinghy sailing and kayaking at Rye Watersports – a safe but very windy place to learn these watersports! Book some lessons or just turn up to hire some kit and get out on the water.



There are numerous gardens open during the summer; Pashley Manor, Great DixterSissinghurst and Scotney Castle to name just a few.







Easter in Kent or Sussex?

Easter at Sawmill Cottage in Tunbridge Wells?  The cottage is available from April 3rd if you would like to spend the Easter weekend here.


Sawmill has a secluded garden


The Pantiles Market is on Easter Saturday

Pantiles Market

The Pantiles Market

The Spa Valley Railway runs steam trains between Eridge and Tunbridge Wells.


Spa Valley Railway Steam train

Or Easter at The Nook in Sedlescombe?

Only a few miles from the beautiful town of Rye and the sea at Hastings, The Nook is a fantastic base from which to explore this wonderful area.


Wonderful & cosy after a day out


The Jerwood Gallery & East Cliff Railway at Hastings

We are most happy to welcome dogs at our cottages

Sussex Bonfires

The Tradition of the Sussex Bonfire Societies goes right back to the burning of 17 protestant martyrs in Lewes between 1555-1557 and the story of their persecution by “bloody Mary” can be read here on the Hastings Borough Bonfire Society’s website.

Flaming crosses


As a tribute to these Christian martyrs several of the societies hold 17 burning crosses.



The Bonfire season starts in September and runs through until the end of November. The local dates are
Hastings – 18th October
Battle – 1st November
Lewes – 5th November
Rye – 8th November
Robertsbridge – November 15th
All the Bonfire Societies work hard to raise funds for these events throughout the year and raise huge amounts for their chosen charities. Entrance is free, but they do rely on the generosity of everyone attending on the night and usually have buckets etc to collect your change.

hastings bonfire

If you have never experienced one of these parades, it is well worth a visit so come and stay in one of our cottages and enjoy the fantastic firework displays and gigantic bonfires! Be warned though, its very loud!

Spring at last!

Spring in the countryside in the sunshine is difficult to improve on and in Kent and Sussex we are renowned for our apple, cherry and other fruit trees which are now covered in the most wonderful blossom.  The tulip festival at Pashley Manor is well worth seeing and many of the National Trust, English Heritage and privately owned gardens such as Great Dixter are looking spectacular at this time of year.


Sedlescombe village green

Countdown to Christmas!

As we are now in the run-up or countdown to Christmas, here are a few festive events that are going on in Kent and Sussex over the next few weeks.

_DSC3446Drusillas Park near Eastbourne has a spectacular Winter Wonderland which runs right up until Sunday 5th January.  The park also invites you to visit Father Christmas in his Cottage, Hug a Husky in The Ice Cave and enjoy some seasonal mulled wine, warm fresh doughnuts and mince pies at the Thomas & Friends railway Station Buffet – what more could you want!

The Eastbourne Theatres have many different performances across their 4 theatres in Eastbourne and there are far too many to list out here so do visit their website to see whats on and also for online booking.


The Hastings Museum and Art Gallery contains “a rich mixture of displays relating to local themes and the culture of other lands” including The French Connection exhibition which “explores the links between East Sussex and Normandy from the Middle Ages to modern times”; Women Artists from 1850-1950;  Marvellous Moustaches and The Wealden Coin Hoard.  The museum also houses several interesting collections and its opening times are Tuesday to Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 12noon-4pm, Closed on Mondays.

Also in Hastings the White Rock Theatre is staging a performance of Dick Whittington which runs through until Saturday 4th January.



Tunbridge Wells is showing Jack and the Beanstalk at the Assembly Hall and The Trinity Theatre is showing the BFG!

Also in Tunbridge Wells you can go ice skating in Calverley Grounds every day (except Christmas Day) and shop for gifts at the pretty chalets – warm up with a glass of mulled wine or freshly ground coffee.   The open air rink is in the town centre - See how it was built!

October events

  • 12th – 20th October is Hastings Week with art, music, events and activities to mark Hastings Day, 14th October when King Harold lost the Battle of Hastings in 1066.
  • The Hastings Classic Car Show is a 2 day event 12th & 13th October on The Stade by the sea and is a wonderful spectacle of fantastic classic cars and motorcycles
  • Battle Abbey hosts a colourful re-telling of the Battle of Hastings with music and theatre over the same weekend.


Art in Sussex!

Art In East Sussex ……………with so many things to do and places to see in our lovely area, we are spoilt for choice. As well as the old favourites, we have some exciting and amazing new galleries in Sussex.


There is always something to see at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill which has always been at great attraction and not just for the Artworks.  The building is an amazing masterpiece of modernity.




Our newest gallery is the Jerwood Gallery on the Stade in Hastings which opened in March 2012.



Marlow Moss is the latest exhibition running until 23rd April 2014This Tate touring exhibition features a group of important works by Marlow Moss (1889-1958), now regarded as one of Britain’s most important Constructivist artists. The paintings, reliefs and sculptures, drawn from collections in the UK and Europe, are primarily concerned with an interrogation of movement, space and light.

Also showing is:-


Basil Beattie RA is a major figure in the British avant-garde of the late twentieth and twenty first century. Celebrated for his powerful, large scale abstract works, Beattie has become one of Britain’s most respected abstract painters. Beattie was short-listed for the Jerwood Painting Prize in 1998 and 2001. This awe-inspiring exhibition, guest curated by the art historian and critic Mel Gooding, puts into focus Beattie’s most recent work, largely unseen, which shows the continuing influence of American painting from the late fifties, particularly Mark Rothko and Philip Guston.

These new paintings are exhilarating: terrifically energetic, urgent and mysterious. I first saw a handful of these powerful new works in the studio a few months ago, and felt immediately that something very exciting was happening. Beattie is in full flight.” Mel Gooding, Guest Curator

Beautifully contextualising Beattie’s work will be a display of works by Philip Guston. Basil saw Philip Guston’s Whitechapel show in 1962 and was strongly influenced by his work.



Beautifully contextualising the Basil Beattie exhibition is a one room display of painting and lithographs by the American artist, Philip Guston (1913-1980), generously loaned by Timothy Taylor Gallery. 2013 marks the centenary of Philip Guston’s birth. Beattie saw Philip Guston’s Whitechapel show in 1962 and was later strongly influenced by his work. The lithographs on display are from a series of 25 prints, made between 1979 and 1980. They are a lasting testament to Guston’s fascination with line and the act of drawing.

Image: Philip Guston, Pile Up © 1981 The Estate of Philip Guston and Gemini G.E.L., Courtesy, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London


The Towner Gallery is another contemporary art gallery in Eastbourne.  They have many events and exhibitions and its worth visiting their website and then the gallery!

Chiharu Shiota: Other Side

11 October 2013 – 5 January 2014 (free)

Chiharu Shiota, Labyrinth of Memory, 2012. La Sucrière, Lyon. Image by Sunhi Mang.Chiharu Shiota is a Japanese performance and installation artist best known for creating monumental yet delicate environments.

Towner has commissioned Shiota to create an ambitious, immersive installation that will pervade our entire gallery space.

Upon entering the space you will encounter a series of five doors, which represent a gateway to a dense other-worldly labyrinth woven from black yarn. Woollen cocoons arise from the artist’s desire to ‘draw in the air’ and represent her own physical anxieties. Walking around and inside the work, you will become immersed in the installation, navigating the space between the doors, the light and the maze of yarn.


Turner Contemporary Margate

Turner Contemporary Margate

The Turner Contemporary at Margate is another spectacular Gallery to visit further along the South Coast.

Turner Contemporary is a dynamic visual arts organisation that believes in making art open, relevant and fulfilling for all. Inspired by JMW Turner’s sense of enquiry, we offer a space for everyone to embrace their curiosity and to discover different ways of seeing, thinking and learning.

We do this by offering a stimulating programme of temporary exhibitions, events and learning opportunities. This programme enables intriguing connections to be made between art from 1750 to the present day.

On Saturday 16 April 2011 our landmark new gallery, designed by Stirling Prize Winner David Chipperfield Architects, opened. Admission to the gallery is free.

Situated on Margate’s seafront, on the same site where Turner stayed when visiting the town, our gallery is the largest exhibition space in the South East, outside of London.”

The current exhibition is “Turner and Constable: Sketching from Nature. Works from the Tate Collection” 


Day trip to France


A day trip to France is as easy from Sawmill Cottage in Tunbridge Wells as it is from the Stables and The Nook in Sedlescombe. Le Tunnel sous la Manche – otherwise known as Le Shuttle or Eurotunnel – at Folkestone is only an hour and 10 minutes and the Ferries at Dover are a further 15 minutes on.

Boursots Wine Collection

If you are interested in buying some excellent wines for easy drinking and also more serious wines for keeping, a visit to Boursot’s Wine Collection in Ardres is an absolute must. It is a real pleasure to spend some time looking at and then tasting wines that Guy Boursot has sought out from all across France and that you are unlikely to see in a supermarket in the UK. The prices are surprisingly reasonable and you will find it difficult to come out of here without buying quite a few bottles! He will also recommend a restaurant in Ardres to suit your taste and you can peruse his wine list while enjoying a good lunch and go back afterwards to load up your car!


Ardres is a pretty town with cobbled streets and a charming square surrounded by little shops and restaurants and is only 20 minutes south of Calais.

Spring gardens to visit

The Garden of England has many beautiful gardens to visit, many of which have superb displays in the spring.  Scotney Castle at Lamberhurst is stunning when the daffodils are out and spectacular in late spring when the azaleas and rhododendrons in in flower.

The bluebells at Hole Park at Rolvenden near Cranbrook are also well worth a visit. “The 15 acre garden includes many wonderful mature rhododendrons, azaleas and colourful displays of tulips, and visitors can enjoy the circular walk through the bluebell wood with its bridges and streams.” 

Bluebells are also in abundance at Pashley Manor, Ticehurst.  Their tulip festival is open from “Wednesday 24th April every day until Bank Holiday Monday 6th May, 11am to 5pm
£9.50 entrance, no group concessions.” when 20,000 tulips will be in bloom.

Great Dixter also opens its doors to both house and garden on Good Friday – March 29th this year: “Great Dixter was the family home of gardener and gardening writer Christopher Lloyd – it was the focus of his energy and enthusiasm and fuelled over 40 years of books and articles. Now under the stewardship of Fergus Garrett and the Great Dixter Charitable Trust, Great Dixter is an historic house, a garden, a centre of education, and a place of pilgrimage for horticulturists from across the world.”

Opening times


Open 29th March to 27th October 2013
Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays


11am to 5pm
(last admission)


2pm to 5pm