Last Update: November 2019
I still remember the day, it was late September 2007. I had just moved to the UK for my new crazy adventure as an Au Pair (at age 30!), as you can see it’s never too late to start over again!
I was hosted by a lovely Lady in a beautiful house surrounded by nature in the countryside, located just in between London and Brighton. In my first week, my host mom took me on a road trip to show me the beauty of the UK South Coast, and since then I’ve been blown away by its wild beauty!
My absolute favorite was our visit to Eastbourne to admire the famous White Cliffs. I hadn’t seen anything like that before in my life. Breath-taking!But the South of England has plenty of other places to discover, and in this guide, I want to show you my Top 5 favorites, with all the information you need to plan your holiday, including what to do and where to stay!
Ready to pack? Read on!
Spend your Holidays in the South UK Coastal Area!
-Nature, fun, interesting sites and breath-taking Landscapes. Discover all this and more by reading my personal Top spots on the Uk South Coast for your Holidays! You won’t be disappointed!-
INDEX: Click on the links to skip to the relevant area!
Brighton is a vibrant lively city, with the relaxing charm of the sea. Being popular amongst tourists, Brighton and its surroundings have many interesting and fun things to offer (I still remember tasting my first fish and chips ever, admiring the sunset on the pier!)
THINGS TO DO IN BRIGHTON
One of the main attractions in Brighton, this pier offers an amazing walk with numerous food stalls and little vendors along the way. It also has a Palace of Fun arcade, where you can enjoy some rides with your kids, or even if you just want to feel like a kid again.You can also watch the beautiful sunset from the pier while having a bite to eat or a classy glass of wine.
Chocolate Ecstasy Tours
I mean really, who doesn’t like some chocolate every now and then? It is as amazing as it sounds. Meeting at a specific location, the tour starts by visiting special and innovative chocolate boutiques. All creating their own unique luxurious flavors, and you get to taste all of them.A sweet tour indeed!
The Open Market
After a massive redevelopment in 2014, this market now hosts the 50 top creators and producers in Brighton. You can get anything from nutritious foods and products, to some locally designed fashion, crafts, jewelry, and furniture. So if you are just looking to browse through some creative goods, or feeling like a healthy meal, this market is definitely for you.
Yellowave Beach Sports Venue
Still somewhat of a local’s secret, this sports area is located on Brighton beachfront. You can hire a court to play some beach volleyball, football or rugby. If you are not really into the sports scene, you can relax on the sun deck of the infamous Barefoot Café, and grab yourself a cold drink or a bite to eat.
WHERE TO STAY IN BRIGHTON
HOW TO GET TO BRIGHTON FROM LONDON
Eastbourne is a large town and seaside resort on the south coast of England. It lies about 17 miles (27 km) east of Brighton. Being a seaside resort, it has many sights to see and tourist attractions.
THINGS TO DO IN EASTBOURNE
East Sussex Falconry
This is one of the best ways to experience these magnificent birds of prey. The setting is absolutely stunning as you watch the falcons soar through the sky. The owner and falconer is a very passionate guy, and he has spent his life dedicated to the birds. A great day to discover all about these raptors!
A coastal hamlet, situated on the Seven Sisters. Absolutely amazing view and quite an adventure. Climb down to the enclosed pebble beach via the large metal steps.There are some shops, cafes and a visitor centre. During the winter the waves will be crashing against the cliffs, but as summer comes along, the sea quiets down and you can move on down to the beach. Very picturesque landscape. For more info click here!
This is definitely the number one thing to see when visiting Eastbourne. Beachy Head is the highest chalk cliff in the whole of Britain, an astonishing 531 feet. Being so high, it offers absolutely stunning views of the south east coast. Looking west you can see Selsey Bill, and in the east Dungeness. One of my best memories of England so far, I couldn’t believe what my eyes were witnessing! Not a surprise it’s the N.1 Attraction by Tripadvisor!
One of the coolest bandstands in the UK. It was built in 1935, and is still hosting up to 150 shows per year. It has a unique circular design with a blue domed roof. The arena can seat around 1600 people, with a main area, upper area, balconies and seats. Definitely worth a visit when around Eastbourne.
WHERE TO STAY IN EASTBOURNE
HOW TO GET TO EASTBOURNE FROM LONDON
Poole is known as the “coast with the most”, and certainly live up to its name. A coast covered with things to see and do. Visit some beautiful beaches or hop to an island close by.
Less than an hour away from Southampton with the South West train And very well connected to some other amazing areas nearby. Just 1 hour by train and 25 min by car to Dorset and 10 min by train and 20 by car to Bournemouth.
THINGS TO DO IN POOLE, BOURNEMOUTH AND DORSET
Farmer Palmer’s Farm Park
Looking for something to do with your toddlers? With super friendly staff always willing to help, your children can take ponies for a walk, ride mini tractors, feed the goats or just take a walk in the woodlands to stretch your legs and enjoy nature. Your kids will leave this place exhausted from all the fun and entertainment. For the rainy days, there is an indoor play area with picnic tables and lots to keep the kids busy.
Visit Durdle Door Beach
Located in Dorset, Durdle Door (Check out this awesome video!) and its famous arch and beach are one of the most popular spots in the South England Coast! Loved by photographers, the arch at the end of the beach, eroded by time and natural elements, is simply magnificent. Enjoy your day at the beach and visit the nearby Lulworth Castle Wareham (15 min by car). Great to visit in both high and low season!
Rated in the Top 10 Beaches in the UK by TripAdvisor users (check out my article listing the other 9!),this beach is truly stunning. Just looking around, it is not surprising that it is some of the most expensive real estate on this planet. With amazing views and facilities, this beach has been dubbed as “Britain’s Palm Beach” by national media. Definitely worth the visit when you are in the area.
Formerly a private island, Brownsea Island has its own castle built by Henry George VIII. It is now a wildlife sanctuary and inhabited by one of the last red squirrel colonies in Britain. Great for a family day out, or even if you just want to relax and enjoy nature. There are cottages on the island if you would like to spend a few nights, as well as an amazing café to grab something to eat. To get to the island take the ferry from Poole. Check here for more info: Fares from 10£.
WHERE TO STAY IN POOLE AND BOURNEMOUTH
HOW TO GET TO POOLE AND BOURNEMOUTH FROM LONDON
This vibrant city is located on the waterfront and has so much to offer! Between its famous landmarks or beautiful countryside, busy streets or marine life, it has something for everybody at any time.
THINGS TO DO IN PLYMOUTH
If you are a wine connoisseur or just keen to taste some delicious wines, this is definitely for you. Le Vignoble is a Wine Lounge located in the Royal William Yard in Plymouth. It always has some great special going and the staff are very informative about the wines. They also offer a wide array of cheese to accompany the wine.
A massive open space adjacent and above the low-hanging limestone cliffs. It grants views of Drake’s Island and Plymouth Sound. Great for a day out for exploring local history.It has so much to offer, and has many pubs and restaurants to enjoy a drink or a bite to eat. Also great for walking and pay a visit to the nearby lovely lighthouse.
Feeling like a nice relaxing stroll with amazing scenery? Burrator Reservoir offers all of this and more. Beautiful for hiking, biking or just taking out the kids.Lots of parking and a few minutes of walking can get you into picturesque woodlands. Silence is only broken by birds and the sound of running water. Great place to just get away and blow off some steam. Check the official website for opening times and more info here!
Live Escape Rooms
This is one of the most interesting and fun concepts for entertainment ever. Being locked in a room, you’ll have to search for clues and solve puzzles to escape imprisonment. Best to do in groups of friends, or foes… this requires teamwork as you race the clock from room to room solving the puzzles and following the clues. Note to self: I HAVE to try this!! Check out their official website to have more info and book the experience!
WHERE TO STAY IN PLYMOUTH
HOW TO GET TO PLYMOUTH FROM LONDON
One of the oldest cities in the UK, Portsmouth offers lots of activities for tourists. Jam packed with museums and historical landmarks, makes Portsmouth one of the must see places when visiting the UK.
THINGS TO DO IN PORTSMOUTH
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
If you love history and ships, this is definitely for you. Even if you do not, it is still quite amazing to see. The dockyard offers numerous day trips, which includes boat trips that explore the whole harbor, a trip to the submarine museum in Gosport.The ticket prices are pretty expensive if you book them individually, so I recommend buying an all access pass. You also get to walk inside of the old ships, looking through the windows and exploring the rooms.
Blue Reef Aquarium
Want to experience some aquatic life in the UK? Blue Reef Aquarium, overlooking the Solent, takes its visitors on an underwater adventure. Explore the variety ranging from British waters to the more colorful tropical waters.The main attraction of the aquarium is the massive tropical tank, which even has its own underwater walk-through, where you can closely observe sharks and stingrays. Check out their official website for opening info and prices here!
Ever wanted to ride a hovercraft? Still one of the coolest and most exciting ways to travel if you ask me. Hovertravel is the only scheduled hovercraft operator in Europe. You can use their services to get to the famous Isle of Wight in a mere 10 minute ride.It is the quickest way to travel to the Isle of Wight and an experienced not to be missed as there are some beautiful beaches to explore or visit the Isle of Wight zoo. Check out the official website for more info: Fares from 15£
Definitely one of the must-see attractions when visiting Portsmouth. Its sail-like design makes it unique and it is very difficult to miss when you around the harbor. You have to pay a small fee to go to the top where you can experience the glass Sky Walk (not recommended if you are not a fan of heights). Right at the top is an open-air deck where you can enjoy the fresh cool ocean breeze. Check out their website for opening time and info: Fares from 9.50£
WHERE TO STAY IN PORTSMOUTH
HOW TO GET TO PORTSMOUTH FROM LONDON
Side Note: Do you want to visit more than just the UK by train? If you are looking information about the train passes to travel around Europe you can check this article, the information is complete but is in spanish, still worth checking it out!.
This is a video I found on YouTube with some amazing footage of beaches and places on the Southern Coast of England. Some of these places are not included in this list, but are definitely on my wish list! You can check my other article on the Top 10 Uk Beaches to see a few of them featured. A must watch video, truly Awesome! (Make sure to watch it in HD to be amazed!)
So guys! I hope you found this guide useful to plan your Holiday in the beauty of Southern England! Let me know if I left any of your favorite places out or some missing info, by leaving a comment below! 🙂
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