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Things To Do In Lewes

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

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 in Lewes


Bonfire Celebrations

Bonfire celebrations, a history of radicalism and home brewed ale – Lewes really has it all! A very popular event each year and the best by far.

Anne of Cleaves House

Discover how the Tudors and Elizabethans lived, worked and relaxed at home. An impressive 15th century timber framed Wealden hall -house, it was given to Anne as part of her divorce settlement from Henry VIII. This atmospheric house displays authentically furnished rooms and its garden uses traditional plants and Tudor planting. It also contains the Museum of Lewes history, Tom Paine and the Wealden iron industry.

The house and enclosed gardens are available for weddings and functions. Family events are held throughout the year including a Tudor Day in October where you can find out what the Tudors liked to eat, music, refreshments & a chance to meet the resident Tudor Housewife.

Lewes Castle

High above the medieval streets stands Lewes Castle, begun soon after 1066 by William de Warenne as his stronghold in Sussex and added to over the next 300 years, culminating in the magnificent Barbican. Steep climbs to the top of this and the adjacent keep are rewarded with spectacular views.
Next door, in Barbican House Museum, explore the archaeological history of Sussex and the changing exhibitions in the upper gallery and visit the specialist history and archaeological bookshop on the ground floor.

The Needlemakers

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. Where once Broad’s candles were made and – during WW1 – surgical needles were manufactured, there is now a flourishing group of SPECIALIST SHOPS and a CAFÉ. Park in the adjacent West Street or North Street car parks.
The shops are hugely varied but they have one thing in common. Everything on sale is chosen for its originality and its quality of design and excellent value for money. A wonderful place for buying presents.

The Love Supreme Jazz Festival 01.07.16 – 03.07.16

The organisers of The Love Supreme Jazz Festival have confirmed that the three-day event will return to Glynde Place in East Sussex from July 1st – 3rd 2016. Having gone from strength to strength since launching in 2013, the festival is now firmly established as one of the must-see events in the live music calendar and in 2016 will look to present its most ambitious line-up to date, offering music fans the opportunity to witness an array of performances from some of the most acclaimed bands and artists from the worlds of jazz, blues, soul, R&B and beyond.

Joy Event 25.06.16 10.00 – 17.00

JOY is summer celebration with an amazing collection of exhibitors rarely found together in Sussex - a mix of artisan food and drink stalls, street food and pop up bars alongside amazing outdoors, homewares and country lifestyle stands, creating the perfect setting for a weekend of top quality products and innovative design in a great atmosphere.
A lovely line-up of live music and dancing, entertainment and creative workshops for children and adults on both days will include a Union Music stage with headline acts include Mountain Firework Company, Harry's Tricks and Noble Jacks, supported by DJ sets from 1 Brighton FM.
A teepee village and boutique living area will include outdoor and country living stands, garden design and architectural salvage, home-wares and kitchenalia, as well as sensational street food and pop up bars from local breweries and vineyards. Harvey's real ale bar will be there, bringing along their shire horses and dray and vintage truck.


Glyndebourne’s commitment to quality has earned it a loyal following, enabling it to preserve its financial independence through good times and bad. Its reputation enables it to attract the world’s finest artists. Today, its Festival and Tour present over 120 performances each year, to some 150,000 people. It’s an institution, but not a museum. Glyndebourne (and its audiences) are noted for their sense of adventure. Its programmes balance well-known repertoire with less familiar works, both old and new, including British premières and new commissions. In addition to established opera directors, Glyndebourne invites talented theatre directors to bring their creative vision to opera, often for the first time.

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