Trade in the city for the dramatic white cliffs of the south coast with our direct trains to Eastbourne. From contemporary art to the beautiful Victorian pier, this classic British seaside town has something for everyone.
If you’re thinking of a trip out to the south coast, there are plenty of reasons to make Eastbourne your destination of choice. Idyllic coastline, sweeping countryside and a number of great tourist attractions make Eastbourne much more than just a seaside resort – and a perfect change of pace from big city life.
We’ve made getting to Eastbourne a piece of cake too, with regular and direct services taking around 90 minutes from London. Whether its traditional seaside fanfare, interesting landmarks or stunning walks and scenery that you’re after, Eastbourne offers you a relaxing getaway destination that’s easy to get to and won’t break the bank.
Getting to Eastbourne
So, why pick us for your journey? Well, we know travelling out to the coast can be hard work if you don’t get it right – particularly if you’re heading out of London - which is why we’ve made getting to Eastbourne simple with our regular trains running each and every day. Leaving from London Victoria? Our direct service will have you in Eastbourne in just under an hour and a half on average. How about a trip from Brighton? We’ll get you there in typically just under 40 minutes.
From 21 May 2023, improvements to our timetable include a new off-peak Brighton to Eastbourne service which, with other changes, doubles the number of journey options to four per hour – two direct and two with a connection.
We’ve also got some great ways to make your train fare even more affordable. Railcard holders will save up to 1/3 on their fare. And if you can travel on Off-Peak and Super Off-Peak services, you can benefit from cheaper tickets. If it’s a family day out, check to see if your kids can travel for £2. Likewise, GroupSave can offer money off group bookings of 3-9 adults.
Put simply: you can enjoy stress-free, easy and affordable Eastbourne days out with Southern.
Find out more about facilities at Eastbourne station.
Things to do in Eastbourne
You’ll never be short of things to do in Eastbourne. There’s plenty more on offer here than just a day at the beach – in fact you might need a few days more to make the most of your trip.
Beginning on the fringes of Eastbourne, the South Downs National Park offers 260 square miles of chalk hills, picturesque countryside and breathtaking views. Here you’ll find Beachy Head – a famous stretch of stunning white cliffs that soar up to 530 feet above the Channel, offering a great view of Eastbourne’s iconic white and red lighthouse. You can also visit Seven Sisters Country Park, where you can roam in lush greenery, winding river valleys and chalk grassland - and even get active with a spot of canoeing and cycling.
Between the cliff walks of Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters and expansive inland of the South Downs Way, you have a number of inspiring hikes to choose from. For something more relaxing, you can head back down to the seafront where there are more than three miles of beautiful beaches to enjoy - with Norman’s Bay and Harbour Reach among the most popular.
Once you’re back at the front, you’ll find plenty of old-fashioned seaside charm running through the area. Eastbourne days out are never complete without a stroll down the Victorian boardwalk and the rest of the Royal Parade promenade. There you can enjoy some traditional fish and chips and ice cream, fun in the arcades or even go for a dip if you wish – but that’s probably best reserved for the summer.
With a year-round programme of top quality drama, opera, comedy, dance and musicals, Eastbourne is perfect for theatre lovers. 2019 saw the grand reopening of the Congress Theatre, the largest theatre on the south coast. With plenty of modern enhancements, it’s no surprise that the Congress is attracting the biggest shows and stars of the theatrical world. The Devonshire Park Theatre and the Royal Hippodrome Theatre are two of the oldest theatres in Eastbourne and both put on a lively programme of dance and musical extravaganzas as well as rip roaring comedies and children’s favourites.
For history buffs, the Redoubt Fortress houses 200 years of history just a few paces from the Royal Parade. All sorts of military artefacts, ranging from uniforms to weapons, are available to see, plus there are a number of interactive attractions and exhibitions for the kids to get involved with. There’s also the Towner Art Gallery to visit, which offers a particular focus on modern British art.
Curious to know more about the history of Eastbourne? Make sure to visit The Story of Eastbourne, an exhibition and heritage hub that tells the story of Eastbourne through the eyes of the real people who lived it. Ranging from pre-history to present day, discover the story of Eastbourne through the eyes of past residents, starting with the Iron Age woman and child, discovered during excavations in Kings Drive just a couple of years ago. From an ancient elephant’s tooth unearthed in Eastbourne to a piece of real Roman floor, a vast collection of artefacts is on display, along with interactive exhibits, child-friendly activities and significant past discoveries.
So, sights, hikes, beaches, museums and general seaside merriment are all to be found within a short distance of each other at Eastbourne – in fact nothing mentioned above is more than 20 minutes away from the station. Throughout the town you’ll find countless restaurants, bars, pubs and tearooms weaved in among the major attractions.
You won’t have to miss out on any of the usual seaside treats – there are plenty of options for fish and chips, ice cream and cream teas in Victorian tea rooms. Fine fresh seafood and gastro pubs round out the mix. Pay a visit to Bistrot Pierre, situated on the seafront, it offers a great place to enjoy affordable French-style cuisine in this newly built restaurant boasting some of the best views of the English Channel and the white cliffs of the South Downs National Park.
For more ideas and find out more about all the things to do in Eastbourne – head over to the Visit Eastbourne website.