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Britain, places to visit, attractions, heritageThis is the place to search for places and things of interest to visit in Britain, by name, location, type, keyword – or just have a browse.  It is a growing directory – 700+ entries as of October 2019.  Most entries have links for further information.

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BATTLE of LEWES

The Battle of Lewes took place on 14 May 1264, the first major battle of the Second Barons' War. The prelude to this was widespread dissatisfaction with the manner of King Henry III's reign, particularly over issues such as taxation and inheritance. Matters came to a head and a rebel baronial faction led by Simon de Montfort, the Earl of Leicester, took up arms against the king. De Montfort's force of about 5,000 approached Lewes, a royal stronghold with about 10,000 troops, from the downland to the north. The King's son, Prince Edward (later Edward I), rode out from Lewes Castle with heavy cavalry, engaged de Montfort's inexperienced left flank and chased it from the field. De Montfort, meanwhile, charged downhill at Henry's main army in the vicinity of Landport Bottom and won a decisive victory. Most of the fighting took place there, around the Black Horse pub on Western road, now a residential area and on the High Street. The king took refuge in Lewes Priory and was forced to surrender to de Monfort. Edward too was held captive - though later escaped. There is a link to a battlefield walk below. The address is for the Black Horse pub; walk from there up Spital Road, past the prison, and up onto the downs.

Region:
Location/Address: Western Road
Lewes
County: East Sussex
Post Code: BN7 1RS
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Tip/Nearby: Lewes Castle, Lewes Priory
Primary Management: Local Authority
BEACHY HEAD

Beachy Head is a famous chalk headland and landmark, immediately to the west of the town of Eastbourne. There are fine views and walks along the cliffs, approx 500 feet above sea level. There is parking nearby and at Birling Gap further along the coast. Beachy Head has an interesting history and was used as a listening and lookout post during WW2. The cliffs are, however, extremely dangerous and the area has a high death-rate, through a combination of foolish accident and, unfortunately, suicide. Beachy Head lighthouse began operating in 1902.

The post code below is for the nearby pub.

Region:
Location/Address: Nr Eastbourne
County: East Sussex
Post Code: BN20 7YA
Main Historic Period: N/A
Useful Website Address: Official Beachy Head website
Tip/Nearby: Eastbourne, Seven Sisters Country Park
Primary Management: Local Authority
BODIAM CASTLE

Fairy-tale like ruined castle, originally built to help defend Southern England against French attack. One of the most photogenic castles in the country, it almost looks as though it could come alive.  But it is a shell - with plenty of stairs to clamber up, crumbling battlements to fall off - and wonderful views from the top.

Region:
Location/Address: Bodiam, near Robertsbridge
County: East Sussex
Post Code: TN32 5UA
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Link to featured article: Beautiful Bodiam Castle
Tip/Nearby: Bateman's, Scotney Castle, Battle
Primary Management: National Trust
LEWES CASTLE

Lewes Castle was built by the Norman William de Warenne, the Earl of Surrey, sometime around 1069, initially in wood. The castle was held by the de Warenne family until 1347, after which it slowly declined. It is a rare example (only two in Britain, the other being at Lincoln) of a castle with two mottes - defensive hills. One, Brack Mont, is inaccessible and stands adjacent to what is now a bowling green, once the castle's tilting yard. The remaining keep has been repaired, was used as a residence in the 18th century, and is largely intact, with great views of Lewes and the surrounding hills from the top. The castle also has a fine 14th century barbican gate and tower. The Battle of Lewes, between King Henry III and the rebel baron, Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, was fought on nearby downland and in the fields surrounding the town on 14th May 1264. The castle is owned and managed by the Sussex Archaeological Museum, who also run a museum with artefacts dating from prehistoric to medieval times in Barbican House, opposite the castle, which is also the place to buy your tickets. Be wary of weddings and other events closing all or part of the castle - check the website before you make a special trip.

Region:
Location/Address: 169 High Street
Lewes
County: East Sussex
Post Code: BN7 1YE
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Tip/Nearby: Anne of Cleves' House
Primary Management: Other
Long Man of Wilmington

The Wilmington Giant, or Long Man, is a 235 foot high figure of a man marked out on the side of Windover Hill, just south of the Sussex village of Wilmington. No one knows who he is meant to represent, or how long he’s been there. The earliest reference is as recent as 1710, but many believe he is much older than that. In 1874, he was outlined in yellow bricks, replaced by concrete blocks in 1969 that are periodically painted white. During the Second World War, the bricks were coloured green so that enemy bombers were unable to use the Long Man as a landmark. Some folk swear he’s an ancient fertility symbol, or a representation of an ancient war-god. His head, apparently, was once shaped as though wearing a war helmet. Or is he a gigantic hoax?

Wilmington's Long Man lacks some of the anatomical features enjoyed by his close relative, the Cerne Abbas Giant (though some believe the Victorians robbed him of it), but that doesn’t mean he’s not worth a brief visit if you happen to be passing. There are public footpaths if you want to get up close and personal – he’s not far from the South Downs Way. Or he can be seen from a minor road between the A27 and the A259, or a public car park just south of Wilmington Priory.

Post code is approximate. Managed by Sussex Archaeological Society.

 

Region:
Location/Address: South Downs Way
Wilmington
Eastbourne
County: East Sussex
Post Code: BN26 5SW
Main Historic Period: Georgian
Tip/Nearby: Seven Sisters, Birling Gap, Eastbourne
Primary Management: Other
Pevensey Castle, East Sussex

Pevensey Castle is steeped in history. It began life as a Roman fortress, one of several guarding 'the Saxon Shore' against pirates in the 3rd century AD, and its outer walls are still there. In 1066, William the Conqueror landed nearby - not in Normans Bay as many think, because the coastline was wholly different then. William constructed a pre-fabricated fort to secure his beachhead - almost certainly within the old Roman walls - before setting off to defeat the English at the Battle of Hastings. The Normans built a more permanent castle at Pevensey, added to and refurbished over the years, and undergoing four sieges, before finally declining in the 16th century. Joan of Navarre was imprisoned here for witchcraft by her step-son, Henry V.  However, Pevensey sprang into use once more, in 1940, when pillboxes and other defences were cunningly constructed within the old ruins, to help defend Britain against the expected German invasion.

There's a great cafe just outside the castle and a nice looking pub too!

Region:
Location/Address: Castle Road
Pevensey
County: East Sussex
Post Code: BN24 5LE
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Link to featured article: Molly visits Pevensey Castle, a Very Important Place
Tip/Nearby: Seven Sisters, Herstmonceux, Battle Abbey
Primary Management: English Heritage
POOH CORNER

If you're looking for 100 Acre Wood, Poohsticks Bridge, the Enchanted Place - and all the other spots associated with Winnie-the-Pooh, you'll find them all in Ashdown Forest, East Sussex. Unless you know where you're going, probably the best place to start is the House at Pooh Corner, a shop and cafe (Piglet's Cafe), specialising in all things Pooh. You could even try to trap a Heffalump.

Region:
Location/Address: High Street
Hartfield
County: East Sussex
Post Code: TN7 4AE
Main Historic Period: Modern
Link to featured article: In which we go in search of Pooh, and find a Little Something
Useful Website Address: Website for the House at Pooh Corner
Tip/Nearby: Between East Grinstead and Tunbridge Wells
Primary Management: Other
SEVEN SISTERS

The Seven Sisters are famous chalk cliffs on England's south coast. Within Seven Sisters' Country Park are a series of trails, taking in local views and wildlife, and a variety of outdoor activities are undertaken too. A favourite walk is from the country park following the small Cuckmere River to the beach, or up onto the cliffs. To get the famous view, you need to visit Seaford Head, accessed through the town of Seaford.

Region:
Location/Address: Exceat
Seaford
County: East Sussex
Post Code: BN25 4AD
Main Historic Period: N/A
Link to featured article: On top of Seven Sisters
Tip/Nearby: Beachy Head
Primary Management: Local Authority
BUCKINGHAM HOUSE, Portsmouth

Buckingham House, Portsmouth, is a former inn where George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, was murdered by a disgruntled naval lieutenant, John Felton, on 23 August 1628. It was on the market for £1.5M in March 2017 and as of October that year was being run as Ye Spotted Dogge guest house - a return to its past. The building possibly dates from the late 15th century and is certainly Tudor in origin. In 1523 it was Le Greyhound Inne. By the time of Buckingham's murder, it was known as Ye Spotted Dogge Inne and owned by a Captain John Mason. Mason was an explorer and credited with naming New Hampshire. Felton was executed in London - his body was brought back to Portsmouth and left to rot near Clarence Pier. The property was later owned by Dr William Smith, who died in 1732 and left a bequest to found Portsmouth Grammar School - now located next door.

Note - the building is not a tourist attraction or generally open to the public. See their website.

Region:
Location/Address: 11-12 High Street
Portsmouth
County: Hampshire
Post Code: PO1 2LP
Main Historic Period: Stuart
Useful Website Address: Website for Ye Spotted Dogge
Tip/Nearby: Cathedral, Old Portsmouth, Naval Dockyard
Primary Management: Private - not open to the public
BUCKLER’S HARD

Buckler's Hard is a show village, built in the 18th century, on the Beaulieu river with a pub, hotel and museum. There is also a riverside walk to Beaulieu village. Buckler's Hard was at one time a busy port and shipbuilding community, where many of the Royal Navy's ships began life. It also had a role in the preparations for D-Day during the Second World War.  Buckler's Hard is part of the Beaulieu Estate.

Region:
Location/Address: Beaulieu
County: Hampshire
Post Code: SO42 7XB
Main Historic Period: Georgian
Link to featured article: Buckler's Hard
Useful Website Address: Buckler's Hard's website
Tip/Nearby: You can easily walk to Buckler's Hard from Beaulieu village, but it's easier to drive and pay for a ticket which includes museum entry.
Primary Management: Private - open to the public
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