Top Attractions in Lewes
Published: Friday 7th Apr 2017
Written by: Elliot Hatt
Top attractions in Lewes
Located just outside Brighton, Lewes is a beautiful town bursting with history and classic buildings giving a glimpse into a bygone era. For centuries Lewes was the judicial and administrative hub for the whole of Sussex, and remains the County Town of East Sussex today, so is an important town in the history of the area.
Known for its independent shops, antique dealers and bookshops, its narrow streets and historic buildings, as well as being enclosed by the South Downs National Park and the River Ouse, there is an almost endless list of things to explore. We’ve listed a few suggestions below to help you on your way.
Almost one thousand years old, Lewes Castle which sits on top of a hill and comes complete with courtyard and two mottes is definitely one to tick off your list. It is worth making it up the narrow spiral staircases as you will be rewarded with incredible panoramic views of Lewes and the surrounding areas. Don’t neglect to visit the Barbican Museum to learn all about the history of the Castle and the town of Lewes, and see what the Sussex Archaeological Society have dug up.
Set up in 1934, Glyndebourne has put on high quality opera for over eighty years. Surrounded by the South Downs, the grounds are complete with beautiful gardens, an art gallery, and of course the 1,200 seat opera house. If you happen to be in Lewes during the summer months, put on your sparkling best and enjoy the shows at the annual festival.
Visit Anne of Cleaves House to find out how the Tudors and Elizabethans lived. This historic medieval house, now a museum, was once one of nine manors given to the fourth wife of Henry VIII as part of the nullity settlement in the sixteenth century. Visitors and non-visitors of the museum are welcome to enjoy a slice of cake along with a slice of history in the café and Tudor tea garden.
Being surrounded by the South Downs and home to a number of gardens open throughout the year, Lewes truly is a great place for those who love to be outside. Southover Grange Gardens is a beautiful space complete with stream, sculptures and lovely wildlife. Priory Park is another great choice, once the setting for Lewes Priory before it was demolished by Henry VIII after the dissolution of the monasteries, which now stands in ruin on the grounds.