Explore the South Coast

Things to do in East Sussex

Whether you're joining us for a long weekend or staying a little longer, you'll find plenty of things to do in East Sussex, and sitting on the outskirts of Brighton, Rottingdean is blessed with a range of attractions right on its doorstep. Head off the beaten track with the county's selection of stunning coastal walks, country parks and walking trails. Take a little history lesson at local heritage sites and landmarks or why not explore the charming shops, pubs and cafés of Brighton, Lewes and Eastbourne?

Not sure where to start? We've picked out six of our favourite places to visit, just for you.

Seven Sisters

Meet the Seven Sisters

The Seven Sisters Country Park

The world-famous chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters Country Park are a sight to behold at any time of the year, and there's a lot more to this mesmerising place than meets the eye. Look for rare flora and fauna along the river, watch flocks of migrating birds from the coastline and hunt for the famous 'Dragon's Teeth', remnants of anti-tank defences from the Second World War.

For the best view of the cliffs, make a stop at the Victorian seaside town of Seaford and head up to the neighbouring Seaford Head Nature Reserve. From here you can take in the full beauty of the area, looking across Hope Gap to Cuckmere Haven.

The Seven Sisters Country Park is a 30-minute drive from Rottingdean and easily accessed by car or bus- perfect a lazy morning stroll or afternoon adventure.


Indulge your inner winemaker

The Bolney Wine Estate

Soaked in sunshine during the warmer months and home to the same rich soil enjoyed by France's Champagne region, Sussex is home to a rapidly growing (and hugely successful) wine industry, with over 140 vineyards nestled across the countryside.

Established in 1972 by Janet and Rodney Pratt, the Bolney Wine Estate was one of the first working vineyards in the county, producing award-winning still and sparkling wines with the rich flavour of a wide variety of grapes. We love their wine so much you'll also find it on our menu here at The White Horses.

Just 30 minutes north of Rottingdean, the vineyard is open to tours and wine tastings, where you'll have the opportunity to stroll among the vines and sample the Estate's signature wines.

Brighton beach

Fall in love with Brighton

Brighton city centre

From the flashing lights of the pier to the bright facades of local homes and buildings, Brighton is alive with colour. The city is bustling with people all through the year, and you'll find exciting things to see and do everywhere you turn. Grab an ice cream and stroll along the eight miles of beautiful beaches. Try your luck in the lively arcades. Or enjoy spectacular views of the ocean while taking a ride on the Brighton i360.

If you’re looking for a relaxing day of retail therapy, Brighton has plenty to offer. The Lanes are a labyrinth of quirky art galleries and enticing shops, with plenty of stylish cocktail bars and restaurants to sit in and watch the world go by. A quick drive in the car and you'll be back at The White Horses in 20 minutes. Or if you're feeling energetic, take a long lazy stroll back to Rottingdean along the picturesque Undercliff Walk.


Take a step back in time

Rottingdean windmill

Proudly watching over The White Horses and all its dear neighbours, the Rottingdean Windmill is loved and cherished by the whole village, and our Grade II listed landmark is open for visitors and locals alike to explore and take a peek inside.

The windmill was first erected on Beacon Hill in 1802 by Thomas Beard, whose initials you can still see carved on an internal timber frame. It ground corn and supplied flour to the village's local bakers right up until 1881, when the mill ceased to function. It quickly fell into disrepair, but thanks to the care of the community, the mill was repeatedly strengthened, restored and repaired between the 1920s and 1980s, with a steel framework placed inside the mill to protect it from the strong south-westerly winds.

Its ability to have survived all this time could be something to do with a mysterious local legend originating from around the time the windmill’s foundations were dug; two builders came upon the skeleton of an 'ancient warrior lying with his sword' but when they returned from a break, the relics had disappeared. Does the spirit of the warrior still reside in the windmill? You’ll have to discover that for yourself.

Various beers

Taste a great beer... or two

Long Man Brewery

Named after The Long Man of Wilmington, a mysterious 226-foot figure cut into the hillside of Windover Hill, Long Man Brewery is as well-known for its award-winning beers as it is for its environmentally friendly and sustainable processes. Using locally sourced whole hops from Sussex, Kent and beyond, the brewery produces a wide range of lagers, pale ales, session beers and pilsners to name a few, most of which are available to buy in its on-site shop.

If you want to know more about the journey from grain to glass, book yourself on one of Long Man Brewery's tour and tasting sessions, where you'll take a stroll around the brewery's original historic farmhouse and learn about each beer's specific taste and flavour profiles. And when you get back to The White Horses, you can order a cold pint of your new Long Man Brewery favourite to enjoy while watching the waves roll in.


Immerse yourself in literary history

The Round House & Monk's House

Located a short drive from Rottingdean, Lewes is the home to the Round House and Monk’s House, former residences of Leonard and Virginia Woolf. The latter, now owned by The National Trust, is a beautiful 16-century weatherboarded cottage, surrounded by tranquil flowerbeds, orchards, lawns and sleepy ponds. The estate is carefully preserved in its original state, just as the famous couple left it.

Take a closer look at the Woolfs' stunning art collection, explore the sitting room's expansive book collection and take the stroll through the garden to Virginia Woolf's peaceful writing lodge, where some of the writer's most celebrated works, including 'Jacob's Room', 'Mrs Dalloway', 'To The Lighthouse' and 'Orlando' were penned.