Get Outdoors with the Eastbourne Walking Festival

It’s time to get outdoors and take advantage of the last days of sunshine with the Eastbourne Walking Festival.

What is the Eastbourne Walking Festival?

Eastbourne Walking Festival is a ten-day celebration of the great outdoors, starting on 18th September to 27th September. The event acts as a springboard to promoting the health and wellbeing benefits of discovering walking as a way of life. This event is carefully curated to provide something for everyone despite your age or mobility and is designed to introduce and inspire visitors and residents of Eastbourne to the incredible trails, paths, and stories of discovery throughout this Victorian town that is nestled right at the gateway to the South Downs National Park.
Like a lot of other people, during the lockdown, I often ventured into the great outdoors to experience opportunities that were much closer to home. Trying to get closer to nature as well as learning more about the place I call home. I’ve lived in Eastbourne for about 15 years, but every year I always find a new place to explore and new history to uncover.

When I found out about the Eastbourne Walking Festival I knew I had to get involved. So I got together a few friends and family members from my bubble and we headed off on the East of the Pier Heritage Trail. A 16 point trail that reveals many of the secrets behind the Victorian and Edwardian period of the town’s development and the people who played a part in it. The key locations found in this walk include;

1. Pier Gardens | 2. Marine Parade | 3. Sea Houses Square | 4. Marine Gardens | 5. Pavilion Gardens | 6. Royal Hippodrome Theatre | 7. Crown & Anchor | 8. Leaf Hall | 9. Christ Church | 10. Redoubt Fortress

After we downloaded the map and had a list of the points to follow, we set off on an easy walk to explore a small portion of this historic coastal town. Overall this walk took us just over 2 hours, with a short coffee break in between. We were so lucky to have a sunny day (although occasionally a bit windy) as we discovered hidden details of places I’d walked by so many times.

This was one of the smaller self-guided walks available on the Walking Festival website. Others include the Spooky Eastbourne Trail, Sussex Coastal Culture Trail and various walks across Seven Sisters. There’s a wide selection depending on your ability and interest. The Eastbourne Walking Festival is running for the next six days, and there’s still plenty of time to get involved, so head on over to their website to see the list of activities they have available. Including self-guided tours, walking groups, dog-friendly walks, Heritage open days and much more. Check out the easy to follow Walking Calendar, which has a list of all the walks you can get involved in.

If you want to get outside and be more active, Eastbourne is involved in an exciting event called Beat the Street. Beat the Street is a fun, free initiative that will see Eastbourne transformed into a giant game. Where you can see how far you can walk, cycle and run in just 7 weeks., there are great challenges to enjoy and prizes up for grabs, so check out the website today with more details on how to sign up.

Ashleigh Ridler