Lewes town Reviews
A worthwhile day trip in South England Dec 11, 2016
The pretty town of Lewes doesn’t seem to get as many visitors as many other places on and around the coast of South England, and this is something of a pity as there are certainly enough attractions to make this worthy of a day trip from a nearby base, especially from the blockbuster coastal town of Brighton, which is only about ten minutes away by train.
Its centrepiece attraction is probably its castle, which rises nobly up from the hilly town centre. Not as grand in scope and scale as some of its bigger and more famous neighbours in the region (Leeds, Corfe, Dover…), Lewes compensates for this in two major ways. First are the jaw-dropping vistas you get of both the town itself and the surrounding countryside, which are particularly rewarding on a sunny day. And second is the museum inside the castle, with the movie of the history of the town, screened directly above a scale model of 19th Century Lewes, a particular highlight.
The history of Lewes is long and illustrious indeed. The other notable historical landmark is Anne of Cleves’ house, which, whilst diverting enough for half an hour or so, isn’t really as impressive as I’d hoped it would be, and probably best-visited on a joint ticket with the castle, rather than on its own. More of interest is arguably the house where Thomas Paine wrote The Rights of Man, widely credited as the main inspiration for the American War of Independence and, to a lesser extent, the French Revolution. And then there are the information boards at the castle on the 1264 Battle of Lewes, which briefly deposed King Henry III and installed Simon de Montfort on the throne, a period that is arguably as significant in the origins of modern democracy in Britain as the Magna Carta was before it.
The town itself has a sleepy, pastoral vibe about it, and walking its streets can make for a charming and pleasant experience. Throw in such other attractions as the Harveys Brewery (the local beer) and a bookshop that dates from the 15th Century, and you certainly have a place that is worth a look at if you happen to be in the area and have a day to spare.
Part of the list Random Travels in the UK
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A small town that has tons of British Nostalgia Jan 11, 2011
Living in Brighton I know of many small villages in the area that are available by bus from the town centre and should not be missed.
At the heart of East Sussex sits the beautiful county town of Lewes, enveloped by the breath-taking South Downs. Flint knapped and mathematical tiled buildings line medieval streets and tiny twittens (Sussex word for alleyway) full of independent and speciality shops.
The Norman remains of Lewes Castle dominate the skyline and is open year round, with wonderful view from the top of the Keep.
Next door is the Barbican House Museum with displays of the history of Sussex and other attractions include Anne of Cleves House (wife of Henry VIII), the remains of a Cluniac Priory and of course the home of Harvey's Brewery.
If your passing through the A27 or visiting Brighton, don't miss the chance to hop on a bus and visit Lewes and all it has to offer!
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