The Coastal Culture Trail links 3 award winning galleries in East Sussex with 18 miles of coastline. The trail encourages visitors to enjoy their stay in the area by supporting local businesses, sampling local food, taking sustainable transport and enjoying contemporary art. The trail was launched in 2013 with the support of East Sussex County Council, and in 2022 continues led by the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill.
The Coastal Culture Trail is one of many trails promoting the rich offering of the region. Whether you are looking to experience tours centered around wine, art, and landscape via Sussex Modern, an extended cultural trail spanning from Kent to Sussex by England’s Creative Coast, or simply to find out what more Sussex has to over beyond the battle it is famous for through 1066 Country, this region has it all.
Get exploring, and begin your adventure today.
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Towner Art Gallery
Towner, Eastbourne’s award-winning new gallery which opened in April 2009, is the contemporary art museum for South East England. With 1,250m of display space, Towner boasts the largest gallery space in the South East region. Towner presents a unique programme of major exhibitions of contemporary and historic visual art alongside displays from the internationally renowned, 4000-strong Towner Collection.
The Towner Collection is best known for its modern British art – including the largest and most significant body of work by Eric Ravilious (1903-1942) – and a growing collection of international contemporary art.
Admission to Towner is free. There is also a gift shop and café bar, with stunning views over the South Downs. Summer opening hours are Tuesday – Sunday, and Bank Holiday Mondays, 10am – 5pm. For up to date visitor information and entry prices, be sure to visit the gallery website.
De La Warr Pavilion
The Grade One Listed, Modernist De La Warr Pavilion is a centre for the contemporary arts which stands proudly overlooking Bexhill’s new seafront. Built in 1935 and restored in 2005, it has exhibitions in two galleries, top music and comedy acts and film programme in the auditorium , a café and bar with outside balconies and magnificent sea views, a large flat roof open-air space for exhibitions and events, and a shop selling designer accessories and gifts.
Artists who have exhibited include Jeremy Deller, Antony Gormley, Richard Wilson and Andy Warhol and recent headline acts include Eddie Izzard, Keane, Patti Smith and Vampire Weekend . The Pavilion and its exhibitions are open from Wednesday – Friday, from 10am – 5pm. The Pavilion is also free to enter and accessible to all, with a busy learning programme for all ages to participate in. For up to date visitor information and entry prices, be sure to visit the Pavilion’s website.
The award-winning Hastings Contemporary, situated next to the fishing beach in Hastings’ historic Old Town, offering a diverse changing exhibition programme.
Hastings Contemporary champions modern and contemporary art. An ambitious programme of temporary exhibitions includes work by important Modern British artists, internationally celebrated artists, and emerging practitioners. Since opening (as Jerwood Gallery) nine years ago, the gallery has developed a reputation for its focus on painting and on Modern British art. The gallery sits among Hastings’s famous net huts, overlooking the largest beach-launched fishing fleet in Europe.
The gallery is open Wednesday – Sunday. For up to date visitor information and entry prices, be sure to visit the gallery website.
Get a feel for the trail and what it has to offer in our short film: