Bexhill on Sea (England)

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Bexhill on Sea (England)

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Review of "Bexhill on Sea (England)"

published 12/01/2005 | rachelkanga
Member since : 10/09/2002
Reviews : 49
Members who trust : 0
About me :
Pro Quiet, nice beaches
Cons Old population
very helpful

"Bexhill on Sea - too old for the young"

I grew up in Bexhill, and remained in the town until I was 30 but by then I had my first child and I realised that this was not a town for the young. My descendents on my mothers side had lived in the town for decades and my parents still do, as does my younger sister but I decided to through caution to the wind and move to a more child friendly environment.

Bexhill-on-Sea is a sleepy retirement town set in magnificent countryside on the south coast of England within easy distance of a wealth of castles, historic attractions and places of interest in 1066 Country and East Sussex, for young and old alike. The town is 5 miles west of Hastings and about 10 miles East of Eastbourne. The proportion of retired people living there is the highest in Western Europe.

However despite the obvious seniority of the population, Bexhill does have a lot going for it. There is 3 miles of promenade so for a quiet afternoon stroll you can have it. On a windy day you can see for miles, Beachy Head looms to the East, the sailing boats sail along tranquilly from the local sailing club and on a sunny day you can sit on one of the many benches or on the shingle itself and indulge in an ice cream.

At one end of the Promenade is the Cooden Resort Hotel . Built by the 9th Earl De La Warr in 1931. The roundabout by the hotel was once the turn around point for trams. Walking along the beach you pass The Clock Tower which was originally intended for the Coronation of Edward VII in 1902 it was not completed until 1904. You will then pass the most famous building in Bexhill the De La Warr Pavilion. This is Bexhill's most famous building and featured in Poirot’s ABC murders on ITV. Built in the International Modernist style the pavilion was the first large public building to be built using a welded steel frame and opened, in 1935. Just along from the De La Warr you pass The War Memorial. Which was unveiled in December 1920 and next to it The Sailing Club which now occupies the site of Bexhill’s first entertainment pavilion The Kursaal built in 1896. In 1902 Britain held its first Motor race in Bexhill on Sea along the promenade from The Sackville Hotel to Galley Hill and reaching speeds of 54 mph the winner was a car designed by Leon Serpollet's and called Easter Egg Steam Car. At the time this was the fastest car in the world. The Promenade ends at Galley Hill where you can see the remains of a World War II bunker. Spike Milligan who was based at Bexhill from 1940 - 1942 wrote about this bunker in his book 'Adolf Hitler - My Part In His Downfall' and of course later referred back to the town in the Goon Show's 'The Dreaded Batter Pudding Hurler (of Bexhill-on-Sea)'.

If you get fed up with the beach, you can head slightly inland and visit Egerton Park, an ideal place to take young children with its beautifully cared for playground and it boating lake, tennis courts and bowling greens (of course!). The park is home to Bexhill Museum which has remained in its current location since 1914 and houses an impressive collection of objects.

Further in town you come to Bexhill Down a great place to walk the dog, or on summer evenings to play the Sussex game of “stool ball” for one of the local teams or watch the Cricket club in action. North of the Downs is The Down Mill. Also known as Hoad's Mill. The famous artist L.S. Lowry painted the mill shortly before its demise in 1960 Possibly dating from the 18th century the mill finally fell down in 1965 and only the stump now remains. The painting is in Bexhill Museum's collection. Next to the Down is The Drill Hall which was originally built for artillery volunteers in 1901 and the new Bexhill Leisure Centre. It is an indoor complex with gym and health suite, squash courts, climbing walls, and fitness rooms. It also has a sports hall which can be hired by members for a range of sports, a bar, a function room and a children’s play area.

In the Old Town you will find the Manor Gardens. The ruins mark the site where the Manor House built about 1250 used to stand. The Manor House was once home to the Bishops of Chichester, who at the time owned the town. You will also find St Peter's Church which is Saxon in origin with a Norman tower. It is considered to be the church mentioned in the Charter of 772 by King Offa.

The town centre has a good range of small shops for daily needs but it is not large and Eastbourne or Hastings would be better for serious shopping.

Bexhill has a number of good schools and colleges although outside of this there is not many places for young people to go. Again Hastings and Eastbourne cater for older teenagers with clubs and discos, but Bexhill does have a swimming pool and ten pin bowling alley on a nearby industrial estate but not within easy walking distance and at the end of a main A road so transport would be a necessity for most.

Unfortunately Bexhill is geared towards the elderly, especially those with money to spend which in Bexhill many have, there are few Parent and Toddler groups or indoor play areas where you can take your children, but should you need Age Concern you are fine. There are plenty of voluntary and public sector organisations specialising in care, churches, round-tables, social clubs, special interest groups and so on raising funds for older age groups but need something for the young and you will get laughed at as you leave.

After twenty eight years of living in Bexhill, I moved with my family to Kings Lynn and although I miss the people that I met through living for a long period of time in one place, they are easy to keep in touch with and as the majority of the people that I went to school with no longer live in the town, there are plenty of locations for me to go to if I need a weekend away. I do not miss Bexhill, my children can walk freely in town without being knocked into, tutted at, pushed about and I can sit on whatever bench I like without being informed that they are there for the elderly to sit on. Wake up Bexhill before you lose your young generation for good and then it will be too late.

It is a great town to live in if you are 65+ but under that or young at heart you need a younger, livelier location but for a short break to be within easy reach of the attractions of 1066 country why not.

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Comments on this review

  • CMJT published 25/02/2005
    I went to a beach at Bexhill a few years ago and all I can remember is a woman sunbathing topless next to me (was it you? LOL!).
  • MAFARRIMOND published 02/02/2005
    It'll be a few years before I will enjoy this town then. Maureen
  • Lucie_S1984 published 12/01/2005
    Great op but doesn't sound like somewhere I'll be going anytime soon really, being only 20 I might stand out! Lucie xxx
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Product Information : Bexhill on Sea (England)

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Listed on Ciao since: 30/04/2001