Bexhill is a hidden gem in its own right.  At the heart of the town is De La Warr Pavilion, and no doubt your reason for visiting the town, but allow us to give you more reasons to stay.

With its relaxed pace, and openness, Bexhill will allow you time to walk around and explore its many highstreets, and independent shops, bars, and cafes, and it starts the moment you get off the train.

From the station, turn left and head up the hill, and away from the sea.  This may feel counterintuitive as the pull of the sea is strong, but allow yourself the time to explore.  At the top of the hill, you will find yourself amongst the quaint old town, with weatherboarded buildings and characterful residential enclaves.  Manor Barn offers secluded gardens and a tranquil spot to review the Coastal Culture Trail map and plan the rest of your stay.  

Heading back town the hill towards the sea, you will find vintage shops and cafes, but if you are looking for a micro pub, The Bricklayers Arms is a friendly and welcoming alehouse with a rotating menu of beers and ales to sample to keep you coming back.

The town encourages you to meander along its many high streets that run parallel to the sea, and whilst you do, you will notice how independent the town really is. Stepping into Hearts & Co on Devonshire Road is undeniably beautiful with its chocolate counter, cards, and gifts, and if you are looking for somewhere to spend time having lunch, head towards the sea.

On the corner of Devonshire Road and Marina, you will find many eateries with the Italian corner offering delis, cafes and restaurants including Rustico (you can also find one in Eastbourne and Hastings), giving authentic Italian food with a familiar atmosphere.  This sits right next door to Rocksalt, a vibrant and atmospheric bar and restaurant with regular live music, stay for a burger, popular with the locals.  Perfectly located near to the De La Warr Pavilion and the train station, why not stay above Rocksalt at the Seaspray Rooms to give you time to discover the trail in full. 

Away from the beachfront is Bexhill Museum, with contemporary exhibitions, collections, costumes, there is so much to take in, including a model railway of the brainchild of the museum’s patron Eddie Izzard.  The museum sits on the edge of Egerton Park, a beautiful spot to rest and have an ice cream at the park kiosk, or a slice of cake or two.

If you are walking the trail in the direction of Eastbourne, be sure to stop off at Cooden Beach Hotel, you can sit on the terrace right on the beach and sample the extensive menu of drinks.  On foot towards Hastings, make sure you stick to the coastal path so as not to miss out on the Colonnade, situated below the De La Warr Pavilion, with regular music in the summer months outside, stop, shop, eat and listen under the arches of the Colonnade.  

Walking or cycling towards Hastings will take you past many places to stop and eat, if you want to eat your infamous Minnie Bertha’s fish and chips on De La Warr Parade at Kerry’s Wine Bar you can, or if you want to sit beachside at the Sackville for cocktails a little further along, why not sit on the newly developed terrace and watch the sunset over the sweeping views of the sea.

Bexhill’s history, architecture, pace, and openness will welcome you to stay and explore.  Spend a while and discover for yourself what makes this town so unique, independent, and a true hidden gem along the south coast. 

©Jonny Thompson