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East Sussex

Mile upon mile of rolling green hills, old battlegrounds, white chalk cliffs and pebble beaches await in East Sussex. With a plethora of lively, culture-packed seaside resorts to choose from, a break by the coast is only a short trip away with our trains.

What do you want from a weekend in East Sussex? A laid-back stay by the beachfront? A hiking adventure with a serious dose of picturesque views? A trip back through time across a variety of historical landmarks? Maybe just a bit of a party?

Luckily, the southern coastal county has it all. From the bright lights and vibrancy of Brighton through to the more relaxed, family-friendly areas of Eastbourne and Hastings, there are East Sussex days out for all-comers, no matter what type of getaway you’re looking for.

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Getting to East Sussex

We’re here to make sure getting to East Sussex is the least of your worries when planning your trip. We’ve got direct services out of London to all of the county’s major locations and countless routes to the smaller stations running regularly each and every day. Our trains give you a stress-free, cost effective option to head out to the coast, no matter how many people you’re bringing with you.

We can have you out of London and in Brighton, Eastbourne or Hastings in around 90 mins (and less in some cases). Likewise, we’ve got plenty of services running between all East Sussex locations, so you can travel around the county easily as and when you please.

With so many things to do in East Sussex, we know you’ll want to save as much money as possible to enjoy your trip. That’s why we have all sorts of ways to save on your train fare, from Railcard savings through to GroupSave offers for group bookings. For families travelling together, check our kids travel options - where children can travel for as little as £2 on selected routes. Also, be sure to use our journey planner to see if you can find an Off-Peak or Super Off-Peak route for your trip, which can save you up to 1/3 on your travel.

With getting to East Sussex covered, you can focus on enjoying your trip.

Things to do in East Sussex

East Sussex days out typically start in one of three locations: Brighton, Eastbourne or Hastings – but there’s plenty more to see around the county alongside those three coastal resorts.

For those looking for a good time, your trip should likely start in Brighton. Vibrant nightlife, including the UK’s premier LGBTQ+ scene, is mixed in with some more traditional seaside elements of the Brighton of yesteryear, making it perfect for groups of friends and families alike. Discover the grand old Royal Pavilion, see the city from the state-of-the-art British Airways i360 tower or just take a stroll down the pier for classic seaside attractions.

Head over to Eastbourne to drink in some of the best landscapes the county - and the country - has to offer. On the periphery of the town sits the South Downs National Park – a 260 square mile area of tremendous natural beauty, including the stunning chalk hills of Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters cliffs, as well as relaxed beach walks along the likes of Pevensey Bay, Norman’s Bay and Harbour Reach. Packed with English heritage sites dating back to Norman times, Eastbourne is a hiker’s paradise, but still has the charm of a seaside resort to offer as well.

Further east along the coast sits Hastings, or “1066 Country” as it’s sometimes known. Home to the famous Battle of Hastings nearly 1,000 years ago, a trip to the area should probably start with a tour of the ruins that still overlook the town today. Take your pick of castles from the likes of Bodiam, Herstmonceux, Pevensey, Hastings and others, while no visit to Hastings is complete without seeing William the Conqueror’s Battle Abbey and the battlefield itself. Away from the battlegrounds, you’ll find a country park nature reserve, the UK’s biggest skate park and a host of more modern activities to keep the kids entertained.

Great attractions lie elsewhere in the county, too. Visit Bexhill, the home of British motor racing, where you can see the famous De La Warr Pavilion, walk Cooden Beach or sample the delights of Bexhill Carnival in the summertime. For some underwater fun with the family, try the Blue Reef Aquarium – just a mile out from Ore. If you want magic on the railways, the Polar Express is a miniature steam railway that’s a perfect Christmas time activity and just a 20-minute drive from Rye and Appledore stations. If you want to go off the beaten track, you’ll find hidden gems littered across the county, like the town of Rye, with its picturesque Mermaid street and castle.

History, culture, nightlife, the great outdoors – the list of things to do in East Sussex is never-ending. How you spend your time in the area is up to you, but you can rest assured that getting there is easy with us.

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Buying tickets

You can buy tickets online and collect them from the ticket machine before you travel. You can also buy them at the station from a ticket machine or staffed ticket office.