A Guide To Eastbourne’s Beaches


Eastbourne, a seaside town situated on the south coast of England, boasts a number of beautiful all-weather beaches, each with their own unique characteristics and attractions.

If you’re planning a trip to Eastbourne, here’s the inside scoop on what beaches are best for what you may be after…

1. Eastbourne Beach

Eastbourne Beach, also known as the Grand Parade Beach, is the town’s main coastal affair. It stretches for over two miles and is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. The beach is easily accessible from the town centre and is perfect for a day out with the family because it offers a variety of activities, including swimming, sunbathing, and windsurfing. And unlike many city beaches in England, the bathing water in Eastbourne is actually safe to swim in! 

There are also plenty of cafes and restaurants close by, so you never have to go far to enjoy a delicious meal or gelato after a day in the sun. And if the kids like to build, throw, shuffle, sift, push and pile rocks of all sizes, this is definitely the beach for you!

Beware of the regulations regarding your fur-babies though; begining May 1 dogs are only allowed on this beach if they are on a lead at all times. They are banned entirely from the main resort area (from the Wish Tower to The Pier) during that same period. At other times they have more leeway. 

If you are after some peace and quiet, though, this may not be your first pick. This beach tends to host a number of noisier events on its Western Lawns, like the Beer and Cider Festival, and Concerts at the Bandstand, not to mention the adrenaline fuelled sports of Eastbourne EXtreme. This is the beach to go to if you really want some fun in the sun.    

Holywell Beach

Holywell Beach is a quieter, more secluded beach, perfect for those looking for a peaceful day by the sea. It’s located at the eastern end of the town and is a 10-15 minute walk from the town centre. This beach is surrounded by cliffs and offers stunning views of the sea, surrounded by white cliffs.

Other than one small cafe, and the iconic colourful beach chalets, there are no facilities on the beach itself, so make sure you bring everything you need for the day. It’s a great place for a picnic or just to savour a nice hot beverage on a brisk day when you need to clear your head. If you are with the kids and the tide is out you’ll find plenty of crabs to hunt and rock pools to explore. All in all, a ‘very british beach’. 

Pevensey Bay Beach

Pevensey Bay Beach is located just a few miles outside of Eastbourne, in an old fishing village, but it’s well worth the short drive. The beach has both sand and shingles and is popular with water sports enthusiasts, including windsurfers, kitesurfers, and sailors… but is not recommended for swimming.  People like it because it has good access for their aquatic equipement and has good parking, too.

There are also plenty of cafes and restaurants nearby, but the best part is that you can combine you beach day with one of the most beautiful country walks in all of Sussex. The quintessentially quaint 31-mile 1066 Country Walk starts at Pevensy Castle, and winds its way to Herstmonceux, Battle and onto to Rey, voted England’s cutest village of all time. It doesn’t get more historically lovely than this! 

Cooden Beach

Cooden Beach is another beach located just outside of Eastbourne, in the nearby town of Bexhill-on-Sea. The beach is a long, sandy beach that’s perfect for a day out with the family. There are plenty of facilities nearby, including cafes, restaurants, and public toilets. Safe for swimming and definetly dog friendly! Bring swimshoes if you have them though– the sea floor can be sharp and weeverfish and sometimes sting. Good for relaxing too, no jetskis allowed! 

Birling Gap Beach

Birling Gap Beach is perhaps the most dramatic of the lot, and pairs nicely with the picturesque village of East Dean and the rolling downs of East Sussex.  It is located about 6 miles west of Eastbourne and is part of the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs.

The beach is a pebble beach and is surrounded by stunning cliffs and rock formations that are up to 100 million years old! The beach is popular with hikers, as there are plenty of trails to explore in the surrounding area, but you are advised not to swim. There are no facilities on the beach as it is part of one of the longest stretches of undeveloped coastline in England, which is what makes it so special, so pack what you need.

So, whether you’re looking for a day out with the family, a quiet day by the sea, or an adrenaline-fueled day of water sports, there’s a beach in Eastbourne that’s perfect for you. 


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