An annual raft competition takes place where competitors,
usually local businesses, circumnavigate the pier in homemade rafts whilst
being bombarded by a water-cannon.
Flint mines and other Stone Age specimens have been
recovered in the neighbouring countryside, and there are Roman remains buried
beneath Eastbourne including a Roman bath, an area of pavement between the
present pier and the redoubt fortress and a Roman villa near the entrance to
the pier and the present Queens Hotel.
Willingdon Down is a designated Site of Special Scientific
Interest and is of archaeological interest due to its Neolithic camp and burial
grounds. The area is also a nationally renowned tract of chalk grassland rich
The promenade from Sovereign Harbour to Beachy Head occupies
a 4 mile area of shingle beach. Piers, Victorian hotels and a bandstand form
most of the Eastbourne seafront . An important element of Eastbourne's seafront
is The Wish Tower and part of Tower 68 shapes the basement of a house on St.
Antony's Hill. Eastbourne Redoubt, a fortress that was built between 1805 and
1807, was a barracks and storage depot and equipped with 10 cannons. Sovereign
Harbour in Eastbourne contains a marina, shops and many houses along with
luxury flats and apartments and is home to many rare plants. The lighthouse at
the foot of the cliff came into operation in October 1902.
Eastbourne has four council-owned theatres, the Grade II
listed Devonshire Park Theatre, the Grade II* listed Congress Theatre, the
Grade II listed Royal Hippodrome Theatre and the Grade II listed Winter Garden.
The Devonshire Park Theatre is a Victorian theatre with ornate interior
decorations, and the longest running summer show in Britain is the Royal
Hippodrome. Other theatre venues in Eastbourne include the volunteer-run
Underground Theatre, in the basement of the town's Central Library, and The
Lamb Theatre, based at the Lamb Inn in Old Town. The Towner Arts Centre was
launched in 2009 neighbouring the listed Congress Theatre constructed in 1963.
The Congress Theatre presents a yearly season of The London Philharmonic
In 2009, Eastbourne gained a new cultural centre, replacing
the Manor House as home of the Towner Art Gallery; it is situated in the
cultural district near to the Congress Theatre and Devonshire Park.
Eastbourne has numerous parks and gardens and there are
several smaller open areas including the Western Lawns, Upperton Gardens and
the Carpet Gardens. Other parks include: Helen Gardens and the Italian Gardens,
Sovereign Park and Motcombe Gardens.
The first public park in Eastbourne was Hampden Park and
opened on 12 August 1902. Facilities include: football pitches, rugby club,
indoor bowls, a large lake, lakeside cafe, children's recreation area, tennis
courts, BMX and skate facility, disc golf course and woodland. In 2002
Shinewater Park opened and is the biggest and newest park. There is a large
fishing lake, basketball, football pitches, a BMX and skate park and children's
playground. Gildredge Park is a large open park located between the town centre
and Old Town. The smaller connecting Manor Gardens has a rose garden, shady
areas and lawns. Eastbourne's Prince’s Park obtained its name during a visit by
the Duke of Windsor as Prince of Wales in 1931. It has a children's play area
with bowls, paddling pool, cafe and a big lake, famous for its swans. Used by a
nearby water-sports centre, the lake offers windsurfing and kayak training.
Other recreation facilities include three fitness centres and
other smaller sports clubs including scuba diving and two swimming pools. At
the east side of the seafront lies a children's adventure park whilst other
establishments include crazy golf, go-karting and Laser Quest.
‘How We Lived Then’ in Eastbourne is a museum of local
history and shops with exhibits representing complete scenarios such as shops
and houses with realistic sized models.
Eastbourne Bandstand organises the 1812 Firework Concerts,
Rock ‘N Roll nights, Big Band concerts, Promenade concerts and Tribute Nights.
The world's largest seafront air show, 'Airbourne' is a
major event in Eastbourne and is being held over four days. Initiated in 1993,
the event incorporates Battle of Britain memorial flights and aircraft from the
RAF, USAF and others and builds upon the town’s established relations with the
Red Arrows display team.
One of the Harry Potter films filmed scenes at Beachy Head.
Filming took place both on the pier for the film Half a Sixpence (1969) and
near to the bandstand in Eastbourne.
Eastbourne's floral displays frequently win awards - and in
2003 Eastbourne won the 'Coastal Resort B' division in the Britain in Bloom