As the capital prepares itself for a rush of visitors to the upcoming Olympic Games, other tourist spots in the UK are optimistically gearing up for surging visitor numbers this year. East Sussex, a county located in the South East of England, is one of the greenest counties in the country.
Bordered by Kent, Surrey, West Sussex and the English Channel, East Sussex is situated on the South Downs, which is a range of chalk hills which stretch over 250 square miles across the south-eastern coast of Britain, from the Itchen Valley in Hampshire to Beachy Head, near Eastbourne. The downs are well-known for their butter-smooth hills, dry valleys and chalk download. It is known as one of the most important chalk landscapes in the country.
Sussex’s roots are with the South Saxons, who established themselves in the area after the Romans had departed around the 5th century. Consequently, the county has more than its fair share of historically-relevant archaeological artefacts, having been invaded numerous times by Romans and Normans due to its position.
Beachy Head is one of the more iconic features of East Sussex,which is a chalk headland located close to the town of Eastbourne. Beachy Head is the highest chalk sea cliff in the country, at 530ft above sea level. From the top of the cliffs you can see all the way from Selsey Bill to Dungeness.
As well as natural landmarks, East Sussex also has several historic landmarks which are often of interest to visitors, including castles at Bodiam, Lewes, Pevensey and Herstmonceux, and defence works such as Martello Towers, Battle Abbey and Eastbourne Redoubt.
Nature lovers like Sussex because it has a wide range of public footpaths and nature walks, including the South Down Way, High Weald Landscape Trail, 1066 Country Walk, Saxon Shore Way, Monarch’s Way, Sussex Ouse Valley Way, Sussex Border Path, Vanguard Way and Wealdway.
But it’s not all nature walks and history in Sussex – visitors can also find energetic and adventurous activities in East Sussex to amuse themselves, including zorbing and quad biking experiences.
Zorbing is an activity which has been imported from New Zealand, and involves rolling down a hill at speeds of around 30mph, while being encased inside an inflated sphere or zorb. Zorebing experiences are available at Forest Row, with participants being asked to choose whether they would like to be harnessed inside the sphere or left free to roll around. Aqua zorbing experiences are also available, which is the same thing but also featuring up to 30 litres of water, giving participants an idea of what it might be like to be trapped inside a washing machine.
In Henfield and Hailsham visitors can find motorcross and quad biking experiences to enjoy. With courses available for drivers of all abilities, and a training centre available to provide tuition, advice and coaching to novice drivers, enjoy riding through the Sussex countryside and the woodland of East Sussex on a motorcross or quad bike.
If all this sounds a bit energetic for you then have no fear – a relaxing champagne hot air balloon ride can be obtained from Uckfield. Take in the breathtaking views of this beautiful area of the UK among the clouds with a glass of champagne.
If you plan on visiting the UK during the London Olympics then perhaps you might enjoy also visiting East Sussex, one of the greenest and most pleasant counties in the country.
Alan Cairns writes on a number of subjects including experience days and activities such as bungee jumping and tandem skydives in East Sussex.