Just a couple of hours from London, the traditional seaside town of Eastbourne is a great place to get away for a few days. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not all beaches and amusements: the town is host to a fabulous selection of events throughout the year that bring not only locals, but visitors from all around the world to its shores. Choose from a famous international tennis tournament, a thrilling seafront airshow or even a cycling festival with the best views in town.
Come to the South Coast and find out what’s on in the charming seaside resort of Eastbourne!
Head to Devonshire Park where the prestigious Nature Valley International is held in June. Attended by world-class tennis players as well as attracting thousands of visitors from all over the globe, this combined tennis tournament is a WTA Premier level and ATP 250 level tournament.
Don't worry if you don't know what that means, we promise you that there's no better way to start the summer season than watching lawn tennis while eating a bowl of plump strawberries topped with cream. The venue actually hosts six major tournaments each year so even if you don't catch this one, there's sure to be another Eastbourne tennis competition just around the corner.
When is it on? 21st - 29th June 2019
Where is it: Devonshire Park, Eastbourne
The Airbourne International Airshow in Eastbourne attracts huge crowds to its fascinating military and civilian air show. Voted the UK's best free air show, you can watch aerobatics, military displays and fast jets, all rounded off with a firework display. Check out the Chinook and Typhoon and experience life in the air (but with your feet firmly on the ground) in the simulator.
There's also a climbing wall, kids' play area, stalls and movies shown on the big screen when the flying ends. Finish the day with the fabulous Little Mix and Take That tribute acts or if you prefer something more vintage, The Big Band & Swing Sound, all of which take place at the bandstand. On Sunday night, the event closes with a spectacular free firework display.
When is it on? 15th - 18th August 2019
Where is it: Seafront, Eastbourne
One of the more sporty Eastbourne events and free to boot, the Cycling Festival offers two solid days of cycling. With the South Coast Classic Elite Road Race headlining, you'll get the chance to watch two races (women's on Saturday, men's on Sunday) with 140 elite riders, 20 pro race teams and 40 police outriders.
Join the thousands of fans watching the race - accompanied by a professional race commentary - and then treat yourself to a bite to eat at the Quality Food Village. There's so much to do - E-bike demos, trials bike stunt shows and Punch and Judy shows to name just a few - as well as the rest of the races throughout both days. And don't forget to bring your bike as you will get the opportunity to ride on safe closed roads with all the family!
When is it on? 27th and 28th July 2019
Where is it? Seafront, Eastbourne
Those with a taste for nostalgia should clear their diaries for Magnificent Motors, one of the biggest free motoring spectaculars in the south. Mosey amongst the huge collection of vintage and classic cars, motorbikes and buses - over 900 at the last count - while you listen to the superb selection of live music that accompanies this vintage event.
The event is attended by over 40 car clubs including the prestigious Aston Martin Owners Club Area 16, the Ford Consul Capri and the East Sussex Stag Owners Club. The festival starts with a bang each day as a parade of marvellous vintage vehicles glide along the seafront, starting at the Fort Fun car park and finishing at the Western Lawns.
When is it on? 4th and 5th May 2019
Where is it? Western Lawns and Wish Tower Slopes, Eastbourne
Come and watch this free emergency services spectacular on Eastbourne's seafront - you can check out all the emergency response vehicles, hop aboard a fire engine or ambulance and even have a go at trying out the hoses! Watch the brave police dogs do a demonstration as well as seeing how a sea rescue takes place.
Organised by Sussex Police, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, South East Coast Ambulance Service, Eastbourne Council, Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the RNLI, there will be representatives of the big five there as well as volunteers from voluntary search and rescue teams and the French National Gendarmerie. You never know - they may persuade you to join up!
When is it on? 6th and 7th July 2019
Where is it? Western Lawns, Eastbourne
Start the scary season with this colourful procession which makes its way along Eastbourne seafront on the first Saturday evening of October. Sussex has a huge bonfire history and you will see processions all over the county at this time of year, with the Lewes procession being possibly the most famous.
There is a fascinating background to the Sussex bonfires and the locals really get involved; the best way to enjoy it is to read up on the Sussex bonfire traditions before the event as this will make it so much more interesting. A giant bonfire and firework display round the evening off with a bang.
When is it on? 5th October 2019
Where is it? Seafront, Eastbourne
Kick off the summer with an adrenaline-filled couple of days at the Beach Life Festival. Watch some of the best extreme sports around, both on land and water and who knows, next summer you may be coming back to show off your new skills!
Try your hand at windsurfing or sailing with Buzz Active, who will be offering water sports sessions and then watch the bungee jumping, where those with a head for heights will be throwing themselves off a 175-foot platform all in the name of charity. As well as these activities, there is also a roller derby, a funfair, a VW bus stop full of cool and colourful camper vans, a skate park and a music stage and bar.
When is it on? 13th and 14th July 2019
Where is it? Seafront, Eastbourne
Come to the beautiful south!
Planning to come down to Eastbourne for a few days? You’ll need somewhere to retire to after busy days out and our selection of holiday cottages are just the ticket. Take a short break at one of our cottages where you can relax without a care in the world, or stay for part of the action with a property right in the heart of the town – whatever type of holiday accommodation you are looking for, we have an Eastbourne holiday cottage for you. Decided to come at the last moment? No problem, we have a selection of last-minute cottages in Eastbourne so that you'll always have somewhere to stay, however spontaneous your trip.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.