Sunday 19 April 2009

Tour 2008 - Brighton To Pevensey, East Sussex - Fairfields Farm

Fairfields Farm is one of the most popular campsites on and we wanted to check it out for ourselves. Located just 4 miles from Eastbourne, and one mile from the sea, it’s ideally placed for visitors from London and the South East wanting a either quick weekend getaway or a longer holiday. The resident wardens are extremely friendly and take great care of the site, making sure it is clean and tidy, regularly mowing the grass and keeping the toilet block clean. They also advise on the best restaurants and takeaways (and, more importantly, which ones to avoid!)

Fairfields Farm attracts a lot of overseas visitors and we spotted Dutch, German and French number plates in the short time we were there. The key attractions on this site are the fishing pond and the wide range of unusual farm animals, which you can get up close to and stroke. We saw peahens with their chicks, hens, ducks, cute little Shetland ponies, miniature pigs, and goats.

A 5 minute flat walk takes you to Pevensey/Westham railway station, and from there, Eastbourne is a 10 minute or 4 mile train journey away, at a cost of just £2.70 adult return.

Eastbourne is an elegant Victorian resort, altogether more refined and restrained than Brighton. Prices were surprisingly reasonable for food and there was a huge range of places to eat, from seafront restaurants in the poshest hotel, to cosy tea rooms in the town centre. There were some interesting shops too. We found Eastbourne quiet, but this was unsurprising given the horrendous weather the UK had experienced over the preceeding days.

A must-see attraction whilst at Fairfields Farm is Pevensey Castle, 10 minutes walk away. An English Heritage-run property dating back to Roman times, it’s free to walk in the grounds (and dogs are permitted). We nearly didn’t go inside, but are glad we did, because for £4.70 you get to explore the inside rooms, and an interesting and entertaining audio tour is included. These places need our money if they are to remain viable so we were pleased we’d donated via our entrance fee. Dogs were forbidden from the inside rooms, but as we’d got the place to ourselves, we were able to safely leave her tied up nearby and she came to no harm. Nearby, St Nicholas Church, Pevensey, is the very first Norman church in England.

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