In 1859, local landowner the Duke of Devonshire hired an architect to redesign the town, creating a resort "built by gentlemen for gentlemen." Fortunately, Eastbourne is no longer so exclusive, but still retains its genteel atmosphere.
Eastbourne's seaside has been thoughtfully kept clear of development, so the beachfront is open to the public. A beautiful pier built in 1866 stretches 1000 feet out into the ocean, and hosts a Victorian Tea Room, souvenir stores, a dance hall, sweet shops, and a camera obscura.
A view along the Pier.
The Pier's Victorian Tea Room.
Eastbourne didn't seem to have many antique stores, but it was rich in souvenir and charity shops. I bought snowglobes, tea towels, magnets, postcards, keychains, miniature tea sets, and other assorted bric-a-brac in the store below.
A colorful souvenir shop.
And in a charity shop, I found these two homemade bears. During WWII, when mohair was scarce and teddy bear factories were converted to supply the war effort, British mothers excelled at crafting teds from whatever materials they could find, and some especially talented mums even knit bears for their little ones. These two teds are not so old, but I thought they were still rather charming.
Coming up next: Day Eight, Rochester, with a cathedral and a castle, and lots of dug-up treasures (literally!)