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Lewes

Towns & Villages

Lewes
East Sussex
BN7 2DE

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View of Lewes above Lewes Castle

At the heart of rural Sussex lies the beautiful county town of Lewes - a mixture of the unusual and intriguing and so typically Sussex.

Its medieval streets, old English churches and tiny twittens (a Sussex word for alleyway) allow visitors a glimpse into the true essence of bygone Lewes. Although surrounded by chalk cliffs, the townscape is dominated by the remains of a Norman castle and is also home to the handsome townhouse of Anne of Cleves (fourth wife of King Henry Vlll). Lewes also claims host to numerous contemporary art galleries and historic & special interest sites including the once mighty Priory of St. Pancras - a casualty of the dissolution of the monasteries.

Lewes is a market town of small, specialist, independent retailers and on certain days, the subtle aromas wafting from Harvey’s Brewery will attract any visitor to Cliffe High Street. Bookshops, boutiques and antique centres sit alongside individual craft workshops, and the restaurants, cafes, and pubs offer delicious choices all year round with real emphasis on local produce.

Things to do near Lewes

A short drive from Lewes reveals an abundance of tourist attractions making the town of Lewes an attractive base for a short break.

  • Lewes Castle, nearly 1,000 years old, this castle offers fantastic views of the medieval streets below.
  • No visit to Lewes is complete without spending some time in the Needlemakers with its ancient brickwork, massive beams and echoes of a fascinating industrial past.
  • Plumpton Racecourse is one of the smallest in the country and therefore offers great views across the whole course in its 16 racedays between September and May.
  • Continuing the views theme, Ditchling Beacon is the highest point in East Sussex and the perfect landmark to take in the South Downs area of Lewes.
  • Take a family day out at Drusillas Park, widely known as the best small zoo in Europe, less than 10 miles from Lewes.

Find out what's happening this weekend near Lewes in our Sussex events guide or explore the local area in the towns and villages near Lewes using the 'what's nearby' section below.

What's Nearby

  1. The Needlemakers

    A converted 19thC candle factory housing variety of different craft workshops. Visitors can see...

    0.13 miles away
  2. Lewes Castle & Barbican House Museum

    Climb the zig-zag steps of this 1000 year old Norman castle for stunning views of Sussex. in...

    0.18 miles away
  3. Spring Barn Farm

    Visit the animals and enjoy fantastic indoor play in the farm park. Fantastic restaurant and farm...

    0.28 miles away
  4. Anne of Cleves House

    Anne of Cleves House formed part of her divorce settlement from Henry VIII in 1541. This 15th...

    0.35 miles away
  1. Monk's House

    A small weather-boarded house, the home of Leonard and Virginia Woolf until Leonard's death in 1969...

    2.38 miles away
  2. Wellingham Walled Herb Garden

    An 18thC landscaped walled herb garden with many statues and a gazebo. The herbs are planted in...

    2.8 miles away
  3. Adventure Connections Hen & Stag Activities

    Knowledge is our key to your perfect party!!!

    Heaps of activities, superior stag and hen...

    3.89 miles away
  4. Firle Place

    A Tudor house with Georgian additions in downland park setting. Important English and European Old...

    4.08 miles away
  5. Stanmer Park

    Situated on the outskirts of the city, Stanmer Park is a perfect example of the vast open...

    4.82 miles away
  6. Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare

    Enjoy a wonderful day out meeting some of the 1000 animals in our care.

    Raystede is open to the...

    4.83 miles away
  7. Plumpton Racecourse

    Plumpton Racecourse is one of the most successful smaller jump racecourses in the country, staging...

    4.86 miles away
  8. Charleston

    Charleston, the home of the artists Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell (sister of Virgina Woolf), became...

    5.36 miles away
  9. Ditchling Beacon


    Panoramic views from the top of world

    Ditchling Beacon is located 7 miles to the north of...

    5.43 miles away
  10. Saltdean Beach

    Saltdean beach is shingle between rock groynes backed by high chalk cliffs and at low tide, you...

    5.44 miles away
  11. Paradise Park

    Planet Earth at Paradise Park is the perfect day out for all ages. Discover the fascinating world...

    5.49 miles away
  12. Bentley Wildfowl & Motor Museum

    Set in the heart of the Sussex countryside, Bentley has something to offer everyone. A wonderful...

    5.68 miles away
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