God gives all men all earth to love,
Rudyard Kipling, Sussex
Sweet Sussex. She's not as rugged as some counties in England. She's not particularly wild. But in Sussex you will find, in miniature, all the beloved landscapes of the country blended in one brief but beautiful corner of the realm.
East is East and West is West, as the county's famous poet, Kipling, said. East Sussex has many delights, from the majestic coastline of mighty chalk and sandstone cliffs, to the fecund, womanly curves of naked downland; from the seething, life-rich flatlands of Pevensey Levels, to the sandy scrub acres of the Ashdown Forest; from the man-made delights of tiny, flint villages and elegant seaside squares, to the shyest places of the deep, wooded Weald.
Set out to walk from the East Sussex coast and you could be in central London within a day. But here is a land as far removed from the City as you would wish to find. There is no heavy industry, there is no motorway, the miles of dual carriageway you can almost count on two hands. Rustic rail lines take sleepy commuters to the capital.
The county keeps her secrets in the folds of a landscape whose gentle loveliness can be discovered in the gardens, castles, houses and major attractions of East Sussex, all within easy reach of The Olde Forge Hotel and Restaurant.
We have listed below a small selection of local attractions that may be of interest to visitors to our hotel. If you would like to find out more about what is going on in the areas of Eastbourne or Brighton, please visit the website www.visitsussex.org
Outstanding 20th-century garden, set around a romantic house and ruins, in beautiful woodland
Castle, Gardens and Grounds
Jacobean house, home of Rudyard Kipling
Perfect example of a late medieval moated castle
By 1800, however, the house was neglected and decayed. At this time the building was partially demolished leaving substantial fragments for use as barns, stables and cottages for labourers.
Over the next hundred years Sissinghurst slowly degenerated and would probably be a ruin today if it had not been rescued in 1930 by Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson.
The couple were both writers, she a poet and novelist and he an historian, biographer and diarist. They bought the romantic remains, repaired the brick structures and then gradually began to create a garden between the old walls and buildings.
Harold Nicolson planned the garden but it was Vita Sackville-West who devised the inspired planting schemes and carried out the work. She had an abhorrence of regimented rows of flowers and carefully grouped the plants according to colour, texture and season.
Take a picnic and drink champagne on the lawn of this world famous Opera house
Widely recognised as the best small zoo in the UK (many would say Europe!). They have earned that reputation by creating an animal and child friendly environment.
The volunteer-run Bluebell Line was the UK's first preserved standard gauge passenger railway, re-opening part of the Lewes to East Grinstead line of the old London Brighton & South Coast Railway in 1960. Since then it has developed into one of the largest tourist attractions in Sussex, yet it still remains true to its objectives of the preservation for posterity of a country branch line, its steam locomotives, coaches and goods stock, signalling systems, stations and operating practices.
Outstanding botanical garden with world's largest seed conservation project, leased and run by RBG, Kew
"A Unique Experiment in Colour Composition".
Created during the early 1990ís the beautiful gardens at Merriments have quickly developed into a stunningly beautiful 4 acres of densely planted borders where the plants grown in the nursery can be seen in a garden context with a truly remarkable depth of imagination.
Cycling around Sussex
To find out more about cycling around Sussex and guided rides and events, visit East Sussex Countryside Cycling
East Sussex is a welcome haven for walkers in the busy south-east of England, with over two thirds of the County covered by the High Weald and Sussex Downs Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There is also a wealth of picturesque villages, country houses and parkland hidden within its rolling landscape, waiting to be discovered. Please come and enjoy the unique splendours of our beautify East Sussex countryside.
For our more "energetic" guests there are a number of outstanding circular walks in southern East Sussex which are part of the Paths to Prosperity project. We have a number of these brochures here at the hotel for you to take away with you, however if you click on the links below, there are a small selection for you to decide from.
With a history stretching back over 16 centuries, Pevensey
Castle chronicles more graphically than any other fortress the story of
Britain's south coast defences.
The Cuckoo Trail follows the route of the old Cuckoo Line railway that used to link Heathfield with Tunbridge Wells and the coast. Look out for some reminders of the railway on this section, as there are a number of items of old railway furniture that can still be seen. This section of the Cuckoo Trail also has a number of points at which a rest can be enjoyed, with several benches and a picnic site.
Hellingly village is very attractive with the church on the mound providing the best views from all angles. Hellingly Church is built on the only remaining, undamaged ciric in Sussex. A ciric is a circular Celtic burial ground, raised to keep the dead dry. The Hellingly ciric, although once round, is now oval as the church acquired more land in the 12th century.
For a selection of all other walks in the surrounding area of the hotel, please visit: