European Regional Development Fund

Culture

East Sussex has a rich and diverse cultural offer.

Whether you are thinking about the lifestyle you can enjoy in the county or unique settings for corporate events, East Sussex has an enviable cultural offer.

Along the coast the county has three contemporary art galleries: the Modernist icon De La Warr Pavilion hosts contemporary art exhibitions, live music events and cinema screenings whilst the national RIBA award-winning Towner Gallery at Eastbourne and Jerwood Gallery at Hastings have rotating collections of twentieth century art alongside contemporary exhibitions. In Hastings town you can see work by international street artists including Banksy, Lister and Ben Eine. Hastings also has Britain’s largest beach-launched fishing fleet and the distinctive fishing net huts and the White Rock Theatre.

In addition to Towner, Eastbourne has three theatres, hosts the annual Eastbourne Airshow Airbourne and the LTA’s Eastbourne Aegon Tennis Tournament.

Internationally renowned Glyndebourne Opera House presents world class opera in its beautiful rural setting just outside Lewes. Lewes Bonfire Night celebrations are the biggest in the UK with East Sussex bonfire societies parading through the town and competing to show off the best firework displays each year.

There is an annual calendar of festivals, highlights of which include Charleston Festival and Small Wonder Festival, Jack in the Green, Lewes Speakers Festival, Coastal Currents, Chiddingly Festival, Hastings Seafood and Wine Festival and Art in the Romney Marsh.

The county boasts a fine collection of historic properties to visit including Alfriston Clergy House, Firle Place, Bodiam Castle, Lewes Castle, Glynde Place, Great Dixter and Battle Abbey.

There are a number of properties with literary and artist connections including Batemans, Monks House, Charleston, Ditchling Museum, Farley Farmhouse, Lamb House at Rye and lovers of Winnie the Pooh can visit the Ashdown Forest where the stories were written.

There are a range of beautiful gardens to visit including Sheffield Park, Herstmonceux Castle, Merriments, Michelham Priory and Pashley Manor Gardens.

East Sussex boasts many independent shops, food and drink producers. It has a range of quality independent restaurants, tea shops and bars including Noble’s in Battle, St Clements in St Leonards, the original Bills in Lewes and the Michelin starred Curlew in Bodiam. The county is dotted with farm shops such as Middle Farm, and Spring Barn Farm, markets and delicatessens selling local produce, handmade goods and fresh fish.

For beer lovers, Lewes-based Harvey’s and the Hastings Brewery produce ales and lagers which are pulled in pubs throughout the county and beyond.

The climate and soil make East Sussex the best place to grow wine in the UK and the county is home to a number of award winning vineyards including Carr Taylor, Sedlescombe Organic Vineyard and the Rathfinny Estate which will be Europe’s biggest vineyard.