The East Sussex coast has always attracted crowds; in the height of summer, you may have to fight your way onto the beaches, just as the Romans and Normans once did.
Despite its perennial bucket‑and‑spade appeal, the region – which for former resident Rudyard Kipling was ‘beloved over all’ – is also a realm of chalky downlands and tranquil villages, ideal for long walks followed by a congratulatory visit to a cosy country pub. The softness of the landscape is reflected in the quiet cobblestone charm of mediaeval market towns such as Rye, and in the creamy Regency façades and Victorian pleasure pursuits of Brighton. It’s not all chocolate‑box quaintness though; Sussex’s proximity to the capital also gives the county a sharper, cultivated edge. Brighton in particular has a wealth of restaurants, clubs and cultural events worthy of its popularity with weekending urbanites.
Britain is an unpredictable blighter for weather, so don’t let that dictate when you go. In summer, the coast can get crowded, so go midweek if you want quiet romance.