Tourist in my own town


On the weekend of storm Ciara (perhaps not the best weekend I could have chosen) I decided to spend a weekend in Eastbourne as a ‘tourist in my own town’.

If you follow social media this hashtag is quite a popular one, and it’s not surprising as it’s a great concept. Why spend a fortune going miles away when we have so much to offer on our doorstep? I had a weekend’s respite arranged from my caring role so I decided to stay at the Devonshire Park Hotel. Hugh, Harry and his staff made me very welcome, and the position of the hotel is perfect, right opposite the Towner, in the heart of the newly regenerated Devonshire Quarter.

On the first night, my parents joined me for dinner at Godfrey’s Restaurant within the hotel. It’s open to non-residents and I can recommend the salmon personally!

After a lovely nights’ sleep uninterrupted by dogs or children my first stop was a walk to the Wish Tower and breakfast at Bistro Pierre. Even on a grey day it’s a beautiful view from there and made even better by a good cup of coffee and a croissant!

The Wish Tower

The civilian war memorial and peace garden around the Wish Tower is very special even on a grey day. It’s also heart-warming to see how many people and organisations have worked to create, not to mention the conservation of the Wish Tower itself. It just shows what can be done with a bit of collaboration. Bistro Pierre sits beautifully alongside it.

My next stop was The Story of Eastbourne exhibition in Terminus Rd. A brilliant walk through Eastbourne’s history and personal tales of some of its residents, including a straight tusked elephant in Terminus Rd itself! Next stop (after another coffee), was Eastbourne Heritage Centre.

The Story of Eastbourne

The Heritage Centre currently offers a fascinating exhibition about the architectural history of the town. The tiny (but very cute) cinema downstairs was showing various short films about Eastbourne. I watched ‘Eastbourne’s East End’ which shows the evolution of the town and its historic buildings. It was worth the £3 entrance fee just for that! I loved seeing how the town has evolved. 

On Sunday, I had a traditional lay-in followed by a cooked breakfast (I don’t often get either). I have visited the Towner recently and storm Ciara was starting to do it worst, so I checked out of the hotel and headed for The Beacon. I treated myself to blueberry pancakes at the Jamaica Blue cafe (you have to try them they are amazing) and then watched a movie at the new cinema. Perfect choice for a bad weather day.

There are numerous bars, cafes and restaurants in the Devonshire Quarter and believe me you can spend a day just sampling them. When you add in a seafront stroll, the galleries and museums and maybe a show at one of the theatres in the quarter, it’s definitely an area of Eastbourne to head for if you would also like to spend a weekend as a tourist in your own town.


Helen Burton



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