The beach at Camber extends for seven miles. It presents the ideal conditions for kite surfing and the steep dunes afford endless opportunities for walking, playing and sunbathing.
The beach is magnificently deep at low tide and is popular with film makers, standing in for the Sahara Desert in “Carry On Follow That Camel” film and, more recently, posing as Northern France for the D-Day landings in the George Clooney thriller "The Monuments Men". Camber was originally a harbour with defensive castle, the ruins of which can be explored. Camber castle is run by Rye Harbour Nature Reserve in conjunction with English Heritage.
From October to April, the beach is perfect for dog walks and horse rides and nature trails and bike rides can be enjoyed just inland. The sandy beach is ideal for a bucket and spade holiday with children during the summer months when dogs are not permitted. The steeply cobbled streets of Rye have a delightfully Bohemian charm, attracting artists, musicians and writers to its annual Rye Festival.
Henry James, E F Benson and Rumer Godden have all lived at Lamb House, now owned by the National Trust and open to the public on occasional afternoons. Rye is famed for its fresh fish, especially scallops which can be enjoyed in many of the pubs and restaurants in the town. There are also many tea shops serving delicious Sussex Cream Teas.
The Nature Reserve at Rye Harbour provides a perfect habitat for a huge variety of birds, plants and insects. At Pett Level the remains of an ancient submerged forest can be glimpsed at low tide. The shingle beach is quiet and great for children and dogs. There is abundant birdlife to enjoy and opportunities for shrimping at low tide.
From Fairlight to Hastings there are wonderful walks through the County Park, known locally as Firehills, with amazing views across to France and down the coast to Beachy Head and paths down to the beach.
The poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti lived in Hastings, where he described the sunrise as “the most beautiful of earthly sights”.
Hastings has Europe’s largest beach-launched fishing fleet, the stretch of shingle from which it is launched is known as The Stade (Anglo Saxon for ‘the landing place’).
Elegant Victorian town houses form the nucleus of St Leonards which was designed by John and Decimus Burton as a fashionable seaside resort in the 19th Century and quickly became popular with aristocracy and royalty.
Queen Victoria presides over Warrior Square, a rose filled garden, facing the sea and the wide promenade that connects St Leonards to Hastings.