As you may or may not have heard, the UK government recently launched a new short term let consultation, seeking feedback on potential changes to the regulations that currently apply to home owners and property managers who offer short-term rentals.
So, what does this new consultation mean for you as a home owner and us here at Simple Getaway? Here’s what you need to know:
Potential Changes to Regulations
The consultation is exploring a range of potential changes to the regulations that apply to short-term rentals in the UK which can be broken down to two possible schemes:
Introducing a registration or licensing scheme: This would require hosts to register their property with their local authority or obtain a license to operate. This could include requirements around safety and quality standards, and hosts may be subject to inspections and fees.
Planning permission: The consultation is seeking feedback on whether short-term rentals should require planning permission, particularly in areas where there are concerns about the impact on local communities.
During the Short Stay Summit this past Thursday we were invited to a round table discussion and had the opportunity to speak with Charlie Reith (UK & Ireland Gov’t Affairs), Shomik Panda (Director General STAA & CEO Inline Policy), Carl Thomson (Public Policy Manager Airbnb), and Andy Fenner (CEO STAA). From our conversation, it appears that the government recognises the value the short term stay industry brings to local economies, and their preference is to have a “light touch”, which is in reference to the registration and licensing Scheme. In keeping with a light touch approach, the plan is for the registration scheme to be digital and upon completion to immediately be given confirmation/license number, ensuring no delays in the application process. However, there is a debate currently as to whether or not the registration scheme would be implemented equally across all of England, or allow for local authorities to determine if they wish to opt into the scheme or not. It appears that for simplicity and ease of implementation, the UK government preference is to make it national.
When asked, what is the driving force behind the implementation of these regulations, it was made very apparent that the main issue lies with the current housing market crisis. Local governments have made the short term industry as the scapegoat for why locals are being priced out of the market. By being able to register all short term stays under this scheme, proper data could be collected and hopefully give national and local authorities substantiated data and show that the impact is not as great as it is currently made out to be.
As far as the position of Simple Getaway on the matter, we have always believed that there was a need for stronger regulations here in the UK, although our reasoning is different from that of the UK government. In our experience, there is a severe lack of responsibility of property managers in their duty to guest and home owners alike in ensuring a certain level of professionalism. By bringing in new regulations, we would hope that the overall standard of our industry would be raised resulting in the elimination of any bad actors which may give our industry a bad name.
It is our expectation that the consultation period will take some time, and we will assuredly keep you up to date about any changes to the regulations and requirements as they come in . This includes monitoring the progress of the Short Term Let consultation, as well as keeping up to date with any changes to local regulations and licensing requirements
By staying informed and adapting to any changes in the regulatory landscape, we can ensure that we will be able to continue to operate in compliance with the law, while providing a high-quality and safe experience for our guests.
Steeped in history and brimming with character and charm, the County Town of Lewes sits just 10-miles from Brighton & Hove, surrounded by the beautiful South Downs countryside. It is home to an 11th Century Castle, Anne of Cleaves’ House and Harvey’s Brewery, plus it also enjoys a thriving antiques & art scene which have put the town on the map for anyone visiting Sussex.
The very name ‘Lewes’ is synonymous with its annual Bonfire Night which is the largest November 5th event in the world. Carnival comes to town with pagan processions, traditions, costumes, fire sites and fireworks which attract people from far and wide – it’s quite the spectacle.
November festivities aside, there is plenty to entertain you in Lewes with art galleries, antique emporiums, museums and many cafes, local pubs and boutique shops, all serving and selling artisan produce made with love by local businesses and residents.
Take a walk through the cobbled streets and sample some fine craft ales on a brewery tour. Stroll along the river with the swans or seek out Downland public foot paths, drinking in the views over Sussex for miles around (and stopping off at one of the many pubs en route). From the Lewes Castle to Lewes Priory, there are numerous historic sights to explore, so it is easy to fill a weekend or a fortnight here.
Lewes was founded in the 6th Century by the Saxons. The name Lewes is derived from a Saxon word, ‘hluews’ which meant slopes or hills – which seems an obvious choice once you’ve walked up the main High Street!
Saxon Lewes was a busy little town and river port with grain and wool being its largest exports. Lewes had weekly markets and in the 10th Century, it also had two mints, showing it was a place of some importance. Brighton was a mere fishing village in Medieval times…Lewes was where it was at.
The Normans later built the castle and the Priory (small abbey) which was later dissolved by King Henry VIII. The castle remains one of the most visited attractions in Lewes and the remains of the priory can be visited for free. The grounds are very beautiful and often host summer celebrations and historical tours and talks.
The railway reached Lewes in 1846 which meant the end of Lewes as a port as it was now easier to transport goods by train than by water. Lewes was made a borough in 1881 with a new Town Hall built in 1893. Victoria Hospital was built in 1910, and in 1920 Wynne Baxter gave the Pells to the town of Lewes; a large pond and recreation ground formed from part of the River Ouse. By 1860 this also included the Pells Pool which remains today and is the oldest freshwater outdoor public swimming baths in the UK. Be warned – even in the height of summer it is freezing cold!
Where to eat in Lewes?
Nestled into the South Downs countryside, the eateries of Lewes regularly serve only the finest, locally sourced produce. From Sunday Roasts to al la carte menus, or homemade cakes and savouries, there is always a delicious bite to be found. You’ll also find recognisable high street chains such as Pizza Express or Cote, – so the cuisine of Lewes is varied, delicious, inventive and will suit all holiday budgets.
The Swan Inn sits at the eastern end of Southover Street, making it the ideal lunch or dinner stop after visiting The Priory or Anne of Cleaves’ House – or it forms the starting point and finishing point of many circular Downland walks.
Not only do they serve an incredible array of ales, wines, spirits and non-alcoholic fayre, their food is exceptional. They have a sun-filled beer garden, friendly staff, a vinyl only music policy – and they’re also welcoming to your four-legged friends. If you are visiting Lewes on a Sunday, their roasts are not to be missed. Serving a minimum of three different options for vegetarians and vegans, alongside locally sourced meat options, they have something for everyone.
Sometimes there’s nothing you need more on a Sunday morning than a full English breakfast (be that a veggie or vegan option too)!! Robson’s of Lewes is the longest established coffee shop and café in Lewes having been under the same ownership for 25-years, so they have honed the art of the perfect breakfast, homemade cakes and even the gingerbread latte! Their many, many 5* reviews on TripAdvisor speak for themselves.
If you’re after something special, celebratory or indulgent – look no further than Fork Restaurant. Fork is a neighbourhood restaurant in Lewes serving modern British cooking.
Their constantly changing, seasonal menus reflect their support for local farmers and artisan producers. Their meat, vegetables, fruit and cheeses come from small local farms, while their fish is fresh off the boat at Newhaven. This small, organic-feeling independent restaurant comes complete with a Scandi-style interior and lovely staff, making it the perfect place for nice meal out.
The Depot is a complete night out in the heart of Lewes; tucked in next to the station. It is, ostensibly, a cinema, yet it is home to much, much more than popcorn and movies. Glass-clad and contemporary, its southerly wall opens completely to a large garden where you can sit and enjoy a drink or dine in the sunshine during summer on comfortable sofas below canvas sails and parasols. Their menu is subline, and very reasonably priced considering the quality, alongside a sophisticated range of wines, beers and non-alcoholic drinks. During winter, you can sit inside with coffee and cake and simply watch the world go by.
Walking & Cycling
From strolling around the village to walking the South Downs Way, Lewes is the perfect base from which to start a rural adventure. There are several mapped footpaths leading through the patchwork fields at the base of the Downs, or up to the windmill where the panoramic views over the county are breath-taking.
You can jump on the train at Lewes and go one or two stops to Firle or Berwick to climb Firle Beacon or Mount Caburn; both favoured spots for paragliders – and being the Sussex Countryside, you are never far from a pub serving delicious local foods and a pint of Best.
If you want to stay closer to the town centre, Grange Gardens are a joy for summer picnics, coffee and a stroll, as are the grounds of Lewes Priory where you may even see a jouster during a summertime Medieval event!
Art & Culture
From Glyndebourne Opera House, to Chalreston Manor and the many art-studios and galleries dotted around Lewes and its surrounding villages, there is no shortage of creativity, art and culture in the town. It was once home to writer Virginia Woolf, and a favourite country retreat for the Bloomsbury set, and you can still visit these houses for tours and events.
In September, the full range of the artistic talent of Lewes is showcased in their annual arts event, Artwave where artist residents open their homes for an Open House trail through the town, and the streets and galleries are abundant with new work. For theatre, live music and comedy nights, The Con Club offers several shows each week and there are many more pubs offering live-music at the weekend. For workshops, music events, local theatre productions and more, visit: https://www.visitlewes.co.uk/whats-on
Holiday Homes to Rent in Lewes
Whether you’re a seasoned Lewes Bonfire Night visitor; a history buff or simply looking for a romantic rural getaway for two, Lewes is full of places to enjoy, from history, to dining, to walks and shopping. Lewes a creative, quirky and hugely attractive Sussex Town with a wonderfully welcoming community that must not be missed on a visit to the county. Give Simple Getaway a call and find out which Lewes Holiday Home will suit you and your family.
Already ready to book your holiday rental? Book direct with Simple Getaway and save the unnecessary fees on Airbnb and VRBO, we offer the cheapest rate every time, guaranteed!
Approaching from the west, your first glimpse of Bosham will be of Holy Trinity Church spire, on the horizon above a stretch of corn fields and harbour marshes. This village comprises of Bosham and Old Bosham, both beautiful, but the real flare is by the waters edge in the heart of Old Bosham. Here you’ll weave through a clutter of cottages towards the water lapping the stone walls where you’ll see dinghies and kayaks all year round. Take the sea road back into the vestiges of the village but beware, this road floods at high tide and many tourists have lost a parked car to the ‘Bosham Car Wash’. At a high spring tide swans and ducks will waddle right across the main road. It’s a wonderfully Bosham-esque quirk.
History of Bosham
Holy Trinity Church in the heart of Old Bosham dates back to the Saxon era. It’s said that legend of King Canut arose here where he set his throne upon the shore and commanded the incoming tide to halt and not wet his feet. Of course, the tide could not be stopped and King Canute, with sodden robes, turned to his men and saluted the almighty exclaiming, ‘Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings, for there is none worthy of the name, but He whom heaven, earth, and sea obey by eternal laws.’ King Canute’s young daughter was buried in the church in 1020 after slipping into the Millstream and drowning.
There is an old tale of pirates who sailed into Bosham and stole the Tenor bell from the church. During the escape back down the Bosham channel, the bell fell through the boat and sunk into ‘Bell Hole’. In light airs, it still rings beneath the water in time with the church bells.
Samaritans of Bosham gave aid to the people of Chichester barred behind the closed city gates after an outbreak during the plague of 1664. Food was brought to Chichester by locals from the village, and in return Bosham tradesmen were later allowed to sell their goods in Chichester without a hawker’s license.
What to do in Bosham?
Bosham is simply a place to walk and wonder. Its oldness and crooked beauty is really a sight to be marveled at. The rural road skirting the water’s edge bends one kilometer in a horseshoe and runs alongside big beautiful properties which only add to the beautiful route. Chichester Harbour is an area of outstanding natural beauty and is obviously fantastic to explore by boat (many locals/companies offer tours or boat hire). Bosham Channel is another busy little leg of it and perfect for a paddle around in a kayak or paddle board.
Where to eat in Bosham?
Anchor Bleu is the iconic pub in Old Bosham where you can eat al fresco beside the water on a calm evening, or be the first to sound the alarm on spotting another parked car going under the rising tide below the terrace. In main Bosham the Millstream Hotel is a lucrative award winning venue boasting two restaurants. The Crate Cafe is a small and intimate cafe in the heart of Bosham with a backdrop of the South Downs. This cafe will keep you topped up on tea and cakes and is dog friendly.
Looking for holiday accommodation in Bosham?
Simple Getaway have various properties to suit your requirements. Check our properties to rent here.
Bracklesham is like a quiet outpost for old-time surfers and wild wind lovers. It’s a place of few distractions suited to these sea sentinels who watch for white horses on the waves and grab a board, or kite, or sail when they come. A laissez-faire slant on life’s responsibilities is fairly usual in the un-abrasive beachy community of Bracklesham. It’s not a place of material luxury. It’s a place for relaxation and simplicity.
Bracklesham bay attracts fossil hunters year round. Fossil bearing clay offshore is eroded by turbulent winter seas and strong tides, freeing 47 million-year-old Eocene-era treasures which work their way to shore. Tens of thousands of ancient shark and ray teeth, gastropods and more are found in the sand at low tide each year. Using a trowel or stick and a keen eye you’ll find many. With a scuba kit, you’ll even find the remains of a WWII tank sunken during landing trials on the beach.
The Rolling Stones aren’t only a shore performance, the band also had a home here well known for reckless partying. Famously, Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithful were once whipped from their residence and marched to Chichester Crown Court to be charged. Many Celebrities are still located here and are well-known to locals.
Food & Drink
If you’re wondering where to eat in Bracklesham, you can’t come to Bracklesham and not dine in ‘Billy’s on the Beach’. The iconic cafe/restaurant is great for foodies, dog walkers and sun seekers alike. It’s on the beach, vibrantly popular and delightful.
Further up the road, you can stop in the quaint thatched-roof ‘Bracklesham Bay Tearooms’ for traditional English Tea and Cake. The newly opened ‘GOAT Coffee’ is also by the beach and offers warm Quiches, flaky Pastries and mighty fine hot Coffee for cold hands in winter.
What to do in Bracklesham?
In summer, visit West Wittering sands (AONB) 5 minutes down the road. This mile-long sand spit on the edge of Chichester Harbour is a gift from the tides. The sheltered bay behind the dunes often has up to 50 small motor boats and yachts anchored in clear shallow water here in fine weather. You will feel abroad. This place brims with summer spirit.
The Roman city of Chichester 15 minutes away is well respected for its history, marked centrally by the beautiful Chichester Cathedral and gardens. You’ll be very pleased with yourself if you drive the scenic route from Bracklesham and visit Birdham pool, Chichester Marina or other quaint waterside villages on the way.
Looking for holiday accommodation in Bracklesham?
Simple Getaway have various properties to suit your requirements. Check our properties to rent here
Emsworth, a borough of Hampshire, sits on the edge of Chichester Harbour (AONB). It’s a village the locals are proud to live in, everybody has a dog and, unique to the south, you’ll get a hello and a smile from most people. Community-feel welcomes you here across most doorsteps. The pubs are always busy and the surrounding woods, brooks and paddocks are much loved and open for strolls and dog walks. The bottom of South Street runs right into the harbour and is amock with all the birds in the book. The mill pond hard, which damns the River Ems, works perfectly as a feeding platform for them now that Emsworth’s historic shipbuilding days are over.
Emsworth came to be in the 13th century when King John divided it from Warblington and handed it to William Aguillon for the yearly rent of two gilt spurs. Shipbuilding on West Brook was common until it was dammed to create the mill pond and tidal mills were built on either side of the town – the Lord’s Mill on Queen St (1570) and later the Quay Mill and Slipper Mill on South St and in the East respectively.
In about 1760 the quay at Swear Lane was built by Thomas Hendy and Emsworth became important in the coastal trade of goods including flour, corn and coal, and exported sand and gravel dug from the harbour by ship throughout the country.
Fishing was always an important part of life in Emsworth and over time oyster dredging became popular until it greatly supported Emsworth’s wealth. Emsworth was once one of England’s finest oyster trading ports.
Where to eat & drink?
Emsworth was a bit of a pub hub back in the day. 14 pubs stood on corners across the village and Emsworth was notorious among the weekend flock of drinkers and socialites from a mix of demographics and military. A few have closed, but 8 good ones still stand. Loosen up on the golden mile loop with a pint in each, or stop for dinner. The 3 neighbours on South Street are ‘Bluebell’, ‘JJ’s’ and ‘The Coal Exchange’ each with an entirely different ambience. Classy pub grub is enjoyable in the Blue Bell, JJ’s flamboyant everything will blow your mind, and The ‘Coalie’ is a free-spirited joint.
A few steps further toward the water on South Street you can stop for fine Michelin dining at either ‘36 On The Quay’, or ‘Fat Olives’. Book ahead to guarantee an exquisite meal.
If you’re weighing up where to eat in Emsworth, there are a couple of curry houses, but outstanding and unique is Darbar’s. This flash curry house is unconventional by British standards of Indian cuisine and you’ll notice an emphasis on specific flavour and finesse.
A local favourite and long-standing family-run restaurant, however, is the famous Italian, Nicolino’s. Little has changed on the menu over the years and it hasn’t needed to. The meals are hearty, large and rich like mama’s cooking for growing boys and girls. The service has character – no frills, (no need), they just have that Italian thing. You’ll leave here full and happy.
What to do in Emsworth?
The local market has run on Saturdays in the central square since Henry III permitted it in the summer of 1239. It’s quaint, and if you’re around it’s worth a visit. Typical to markets; cheeses and meats, hot food stalls and fresh veg from the rich soils of lowland farms around Chichester Harbour are all trading here. Emsworth has quite an arty influence with many art and textile shops and regular art trails showcasing the work of these talented locals whose creativity is blessed by the beauty of nature here.
The mill pond walk is a must and on it you can parade a quarter mile along the ten-foot wide hard with water on either side of you, feeling fully drawn into the harbour amongst the small fishing and sailing vessels. Swans, ducks, gulls and geese will be with you on the water.
From the mill pond, the coastal path goes about 2 miles all the way to Langston alongside woodland and fields. It’s a good hours trek and two iconic pubs await for lunch at the other end. The path floods at highwater springs but if so, you can find your way across the fields anyway.
Overall, Emsworth is a place of tradition and character and a keen visitor will find everything they need to leave feeling refreshed.
East Preston, situated roughly halfway between Worthing and Littlehampton, is a village and civil parish in the Arun district of West Sussex. East Preston is home to some beautiful properties and beaches and really has that cosy and quaint small village feel.
East Preston has a population of around 6000, it was once a very small town, however after the second world war the population grew.
The original Saxon settlers farmed the area and the sea was a great source for farming salt, which was needed for preserving food.
In the 19th century Reginald Augustus Warren began purchasing farms, buildings and land in East Preston, ultimately becoming squire. After his death in 1911 his estate was broken into smaller areas, some parts sold and some left to the village.
In 1991 a war memorial was built in the foreground of the library to commemorate those who gave their lives in the wars. Many commonwealth troops were stationed in the village and surrounding areas during 1939 to 1945.
Things to do
The Beach, Littlehampton is a watersports centre which is a great hub for all things watersports. Whether you’re looking to rent equipment, receive lessons or grab a bite to eat in the cafe, The Beach will have something for everyone.
Kingston Gorse is a private residential estate in East Preston with a private seaside and green. Kingston Gorse is home to some of the most luxury and lavish properties in Sussex and is the perfect spot if you want to partake in some scenic dog-walking or just to appreciate some of the amazing architecture on these showstopping homes. This estate is open to the public, so long as you respect the rules stated at the entrance.
Norfolk Gardens mini golf
Norfolk Gardens not only has mini golf which consists of loads of fun, challenging courses but it also has a huge play area for children, a mini railway which runs to Mewsbrooke Park, tennis courts, a bowling green and exotic inspired gardens! This option really has something for the whole family.
Mewsbrooke Park is a great little day out with plenty in the park to keep you occupied for the day. If you are visiting in the Summer there are outdoor picnic areas, public toilets, football pitches and lots of greenery to play any bat and ball games. Additionally, weather depending, you can also hire a pedal boat or if the weather is not on your side, Littlehampton sports and swimming center is located in the park. There is also a conservation area called Ruby Gardens which is gorgeous no matter the weather!
Just over 2 miles away from East Preston is Littlehampton Museum. This museum is home to Roman treasures, Seaside souvenirs and in the school holidays hosts all different kinds of historical events and workshops and entry is also free!
Food & Drink
This newly renovated hotel dates back to the 1820’s but is the perfect modern setting serving modern cuisine and exquisite drinks.
Grub & Gumption
This cafe is the perfect mix of cosy and quirky. This eclectic cafe’s interior is made up of mismatched, rustic furniture and its food matches its aesthetic, serving hearty, tasty brunch options. It also has really great Coffee!
The Clockhouse Bar
This bar/pub receives a whopping 5/5 stars on tripadvisor. It’s the perfect place for relaxing and socialsing, hosting entertainment during the week such as open mic nights and quiz nights. As well as great traditional English ‘pub food’ it also has a great selection of Wines and Beers.
Fig Cafe and Tapas
If you want a little taste of Spain, this is the place for you. This is also a really great evening option for a date night or to enjoy with friends as they have some great Tapas options and a really great Wine selection. They are also praised for their great service!
West Wittering, situated in Chichester, West Sussex is the ideal location if you’re looking for a relaxing yet scenic UK getaway. This village, although small, is home to one of Britain’s most gorgeous sandy beaches and is rich in history.
West Wittering lies in Chichester Harbour and was designated an area of outstanding natural beauty in 1964 because of its scenic landscape and seascape. It is an early Saxon settlement and in 1086, at the time of the Domesday Survey, the land around West Wittering was held by Lord Roger Montgomery and by the church with a population of about 150. There’s evidence that West Wittering was in use as a port in the 14th century with the boats loading at Snow Hill. Until the mid-20th century the West Wittering area remained a rural backwater despite proposals for a West Wittering Harbour Reclamation scheme in the 1930s, which weren’t implemented. The village became a favoured retreat for the wealthy and a famous resident was Henry Royce, who moved to West Wittering in 1917 and remained there until his death in 1933. This is also where the ideas for the famous Rolls Royce were first discussed.
Offering one of the only sandy beaches in Sussex, West Wittering beach is worth the visit even if you aren’t staying nearby. The West Wittering beach is a private one though and although you have to pay to park there for the day, you get the benefits of parking attendants, lifeguards and a truly well looked after seaside. There are also stalls and cafes on site so you don’t need to worry about bringing food that will go off in the heat, all the refreshments you’d need are right at your fingertips. This beach is perfect for watersports, soaking up the sun and enjoying a BBQ with loved ones in a heatwave but is equally perfect for a crispy winter walk or a boxing day dip! Whatever floats your boat, West Wittering beach is sure to be the perfect Sussex seaside spot.
Things to do
Just 3 miles away from West Wittering and drenched in history this cathedral is well worth the visit. It’s been the heart of Chichester community for over 900 years and is also a shrine to St. Richard of Chichester. If you are into your historical buildings then this cathedral is definitely one you won’t want to miss, especially as it hosts both modern, contemporary art as well as infamous medieval stone carvings. If you’re looking for more than just to witness a cathedral rich in history, but want to actually get involved in the events held there, you can expect a variety of exhibitions and concerts.
Located just 5 miles away from West Wittering, this farm is a great place to go if you are on a getaway with children. You can feed the farm animals and there are also places for your children to let off some steam in the play barn, climbing walls and soft play to name just a few child-friendly areas!
If you are on a child-free, adult only break, Staunton Farm is still a great place to relax in the beautiful landscaped gardens, the sensory gardens or to take a browse in the farm shop. Day tickets are under £10 and there is on-site parking making for a low-cost and hassle free day out.
Chichester Harbour water tours
Located in East Wittering, just next door to West Wittering, you can tour the Chichester Harbour on board the Wingate (originally a rescue vessel) from April to October. This cruise is ideal for families and ideal for those who are into their bird watching as you’ll be sure to spot an array of sea birds so bring your binoculars! You’ll also be sure to see some of the 12,000 magnificent boats the Harbour is home to. Tickets are also under £10 so another great budget-friendly option.
Places to dine
The Lamb Inn
Located just 1 mile from the beach, this cosy little pub is the perfect pub to warm up from a chilly day at the seaside or to cool down with a cold pint in the Beer garden after a long day in the sun. Offering classic pub food favourites such as Fish & Chips, wood fired Pizzas and local fresh Seafood, this pub really has something for everyone. It also is dog-friendly and has on-site free parking.
Rosarios Mediterranean Tapas and Wine bar
Offering a delicious tapas menu, Pizzas and Pasta options. Their Tapas will leave you with a full belly though as the portion sizes are super generous and all priced very reasonably too. They also offer a variety of Vegan and Vegetarian options so everyone can enjoy their menu. Rosarios also receive rave reviews about their great customer service so if you are looking for great Mediterranean cuisine with great service, this is the place for you.
Located in East Wittering, this bar and restaurant is rustic, relaxed and modern. Close to the beach and with a large wooden decking outdoor area, this is the perfect place to socialise with friends, grabbing dinner or drinks after a day of watersports at the beach. They have a wide range of quirky cocktails, small plates and lots of seafood mains.
Taking the coast road east of Brighton Pier and City Centre, you will find yourself amongst the diverse and stylish mix of boutique shops, cafes, restaurants and bars of Kemptown and Kemp Town Village.
Kemptown is renowned for its creative, colourful and friendly community spirit. It has a central road lined with every type of eatery you can imagine; serving exquisite food from around the globe, to suit all tastes and budgets. There are bars and traditional pubs – all vying for the best Sunday Roast, and during summer you may well come across a street party or carnival to enjoy.
Independent and artisan shops are a plenty in Kemptown, yet Brighton’s city centre is also just a 5-10-minute stroll along the promenade. Here you will find Brighton Pier, nightclubs, theatres, and the cultural North Laine Shopping District. If you don’t fancy the walk there are several busses which take you into the city, or along the coast and beyond to the rolling hills of The South Downs National Park.
During the early 19th Century, Brighton was transformed from a quiet fishing village into the fashionable, stylish and vibrant city we see here today. Construction in the east of Brighton Town began during the early 1820s when the uniquely beautiful squares and terraces rose up along the seafront with their stuccoed facades and manicured garden enclosures. The area was eponymously named after the development’s brainchild: Thomas Read Kemp, who hoped to create a new ‘mini-town’ to echo the distinguished Nash townhouses and squares in London. He sought the expertise of esteemed 19th Century architects Busby & Wilds to begin the design and construction of these elegant homes and gardens which have come to characterise Kemptown Seafront.
The arrival of the London to Brighton trainline in 1846 saw the mass influx of holiday makers and residents to the city, instigating a huge building boom which closed the gap between Brighton and the new ‘Kemp Town’. This expansion included holiday lodgings, residential homes and leisure attractions which put Brighton firmly on the map as the most exciting holiday resort in the country.
Food & Drink
Eat, drink and be merry in this foodie haven where you can find anything from loaded fries and Brighton Rock, to award-winning a la carte dining and everything in between.
Busby and Wilds
A popular independent, family-owned gastropub located in the heart of Kemp Town village is Bubsy and Wilds. Named after the architects who built much of the Kemp Town estate and Sussex Square, this welcoming pub offers mouthwatering roast dinners on Sundays, as well as a combination of traditional British and modern international delicacies the rest of the days. We strongly recommend booking ahead to avoid disappointment!
Lucky Khao Thai BBQ use only seasonal local Sussex farm produce, local organic meat and quality Asian ingredients to prepare north-eastern and regional Thai food. Food here is big on barbecued meats over a charcoal fire with spicy sharing curries and zingy fresh salads. Their signature dish may well now be the barbecue corn spare ribs – often imitated, never matched. The great thing about the small sharing plates here, is you get to try a lot of amazing, unforgettable flavours. Also renowned for their cocktails, music, and their neon-nightlife decor – Lucky Khao sits perfectly with the Kemptown vibe.
The Thomas Kemp
If you’re feeling the effects of Saturday night on Sunday morning, there is no better place to relax and unwind with the Sunday papers and a hearty lunch than the Thomas Kemp Pub on St Georges Road. Their roasts are legendary, while their menu caters for vegetarians, vegans, carnivores and flexitarians alike, and their children’s portions are generous too! Sit on their comfortable furnishings by the open fire or outside in the courtyard garden depending on the time of year – but I would definitely book for a table if you’re more than a party of two!
A treasure trove of delights awaits in the Marmalade takeaway kiosk on Edward Street. Homemade cakes and bakes, fresh salad boxes and quiches of the day fill their counter with colour and scents to tantalise the taste buds. Wash them down with a sweet chai latte, a freshly ground coffee or a bottle of pink, locally made lemonade – and while you can sit outside to eat, you may prefer to take your lunch to the nearby gardens of Sussex Square or down onto the beach where you can eat alfresco along the prom.
The Plotting Parlour
Love a good cocktail in an intimate, 1940s style bar? Then you’ll love The Plotting Parlour. This low-lit, award-winning cocktail bar specialises in signature creations and classic cocktails. The best? all of their drinks are made with the best locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and are paired with the highest quality spirits and liqueurs. Bonus – they only do table service so you can sit, relax and enjoy your drink!
Festival & Culture
Kemptown has become synonymous with festival time as it is host to the original and most popular Pride Festival in the country.
Brighton Pride Carnival Parade is one of the biggest and brightest events in Brighton & Hove’s calendar, with over 300,000 people thronging the city’s streets to participate in and watch the parade with its all-singing, all-dancing carnival of colour as it wends its way from Hove Lawns to Preston Park for the ‘We Are Fabuloso’ party.
The Pride Village Party in Kemptown continues the weekend with entertainment zones within bars and cafes, live performances & cabaret, DJs, drag artists, singers, performers and musicians, all coming together for an unforgettable weekend of fundraising celebrations. THIS IS A VERY BUSY WEEKEND – so if you’re after the quiet life, avoid August 4th-8th and book well in advance if you want to join in the festivities!!
Since 1987, Brighton has hosted its own ‘Brighton Festival’ to celebrate its many artists, performers, poets, designers, dancers and creatives who have made the city their home for decades.
Kemptown has its own trail on the Artists’ Open House map, where artists open their homes as galleries to be explored by the public each weekend in May. There are treasures to behold from jewellery to greetings cards, original paintings and prints to sculptures – with art and crafts to suit all styles and budgets. Their homes are often as wonderful to explore as the art itself, and it’s always a pleasure to take a unique and bespoke souvenir or gift home with you.
From Kemptown Seafront you can potter through the ‘Village’ where you’ll find everything from delicatessens, organic butchers and bakeries, to antique emporiums and gift shops, so you have plenty to explore in your immediate environment.
For those who enjoy the outdoors, you can walk the undercliff pass to the east, passing Ovingdean Café (amazing cake and tea in a proper china mug to take onto the beach) towards Rottingdean, a picturesque village with plenty to explore of its own, where there is access to the rolling hills of the South Downs National Park. This is also a great route for cycling, where you can hire a SoBi Smartbike from many locations – there are several along the seafront, and a map of them can be found on their website. They are very low cost and a fun way of exploring the coast where we have an excellent cycle path system too!
Just five minutes to the east of Kemp Town Village is Brighton’s Marina. Taking a stroll along the boardwalk, you can look out over the boats as they come in and out of the harbour or while dining at one of the many family-friendly restaurants. Take the family bowling or to the cinema, or bungee jumping if you’re brave enough. Enjoy a night out at the renowned Rendezvous Casino after a meal and cocktails on the balcony of Malmaison. For fishing and boating enthusiasts there are several boat trips every day, plus yachting, sailing and water sport lessons available (weather and season permitting). Get pampered and any one of the spas, hairdressers and beauty salons, and for shopping there are several boutiques within the inner harbour. There’s almost too much to do here in one stay!
Kemptown Beach is far quieter than Central Brighton, lining Madeira Drive which hosts weekend events – from car rallies to marathons. Grab some fish & chips from below the arches, take a seat on the pebbles (they are more comfortable than you think), and watch the world go by for a truly authentic Brighton experience!
Recent regeneration to the seafront includes several new restaurants and eateries opening, including Soho House’s Little Beach House Brighton, all opening in spring 2022.
Volks Electric Railway
The Volks Electric Railway is the world’s oldest working electric railway. It was built in 1883 but has been extended and modernised over the years. It now runs for one and a quarter miles along the top of the beach from the Aquarium Station near Brighton Pier to the Marina and back again. For holiday makers staying in Kemptown, it is the fun way to travel between your lodgings and the city, and there is a half way station where you’ll find Yellow Wave Café and volleyball courts plus a large crazy golf course ideal for adults and kids.
It is a novelty train with open carriages, so it only operates from Easter to the first Sunday in November, but it offers a unique experience to all ages and is not to be missed when visiting the city. No need to book. Just turn up and ride.
Where to stay
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Nestled in behind the rolling hills of the South Downs National Park, just 10 minutes by car from Brighton & Hove, sits the historic village of Ditchling. Characterised by beamed and flint cottages with picturesque gardens surrounded by beautiful countryside; Ditchling offers its visitors a feast for the eyes… but it is more than just a pretty face.
There is plenty to entertain you in Ditchling with art galleries, museums, vineyards and many cafes, local pubs and boutique shops, all serving and selling artisan produce made with love by local businesses and residents.
Take a walk or a cycle along any number of woodland or Downland public footpaths, drinking in the views over Sussex for miles around (and stopping off at one of the many pubs en route). There are festivals and the famous London to Brighton bike ride which passes through the village to where competitors brave the steep incline of the beacon before the final leg, rolling downhill into Brighton!
It is a wonderful place to stay at any time of year as it changes so beautifully with the seasons. There are bluebells in spring, champagne picnics during summer, the russet tones of autumnal trees as the weather cools, and the pull of the roaring pub fire during winter. It is easy to fill a weekend or a fortnight here as Ditchling offers the perfect rural escape to all who visit.
Ditchling has a rich historical past dating back to the Anglo-Saxon Period. It was first mentioned in text in 765AD so it offers a unique insight to over 1000 years of Sussex heritage.
Over the centuries, Ditchling passed through many notable hands, with Ditchling Garden Manor being awarded to Anne of Cleaves as part of her divorce from King Henry VIII. The house – now known as ‘Wings Place’ remains one of the village’s most iconic landmarks and is considered one of the best examples of a complete Tudor house in the country.
It was the 20th Century, however, which brought Arts & Crafts to Ditchling. The arrival of sculptor and letter cutter Eric Gill in 1907 attracted a wealth of artists and creatives who were inspired by the incredible landscape and natural materials within the area. There burgeoned a creative community who continue to produce artworks and crafts which can be seen in the Ditchling Museum and Gallery of Art & Craft.
Food & Drink
Surrounded by Vineyards, farms and independent food producers, the eateries of Ditchling serve nothing but the finest, locally sourced produce. From Sunday Roasts to al la carte menus, or a sausage roll from the café – the cuisine of Ditchling is mouth-wateringly delicious.
The Green Welly
The Green Welly sits in the heart of the village serving breakfasts, lunch and afternoon tea to happy cyclists, walkers and residents alike – also welcoming their four-legged friends. Everything in the café is home-baked and can be served with a selection of individually roasted coffees, a variety of teas, or cold drinks. They are also a licensed premises serving wine, beers, cider and prosecco which can be enjoyed during the summer in their courtyard garden – bliss.
The Nutmeg Tree
Step back in time to the 1940s when popping into The Nutmeg Tree. It’s a colourful and quaint tearoom styled in the era, complete with uniformed waiters & waitresses and with the light sounds of period-appropriate music. It is the perfect place to fuel up for a walk or bike ride, or for an indulgent, old-school lunch. Breakfasts are fantastic – from full fry-ups (with good veggie options) to hot buttered crumpets, and if you’re after a picnic there are fresh pasties and sausage rolls to take away.
The Bull Hotel & Restaurant
If you’re after something special, celebratory or indulgent – look no further than The Bull Restaurant. Showcasing the best of British, the Bull’s menu highlights the finest produce of the season. Hearty, luxurious and quintessentially English, their dishes bring elegance and majesty to the table.
Choose from their famous grazing food, small plates – ideal for sharing, and their bigger plates for when you arrive with an appetite! Their Sunday Roasts are also legendary, with options for meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans – but definitely book to avoid disappointment.
Ridgeview Vineyard and Wine Estate
Ridgeview has pioneered English sparkling wine and has been producing world-class wines for over 20 years from their vineyard and winery at the base of the South Downs. Sip a selection of their wares in the tasting room with Downland views or take a tour of the vineyards. During the summer you can make a day of it by reserving a hamper and soaking up the Sussex sunshine in the Wine Garden.
Walking & Cycling
From strolling around the village to walking the South Downs Way, Ditchling Village is the perfect base from which to start a rural adventure. There are several mapped footpaths leading through the patchwork fields at the base of the Downs, or leading up to the ridge where the panoramic views over the county are breath-taking. The ridge links Devil’s Dyke with the Jack & Jill windmills and Ditchling Beacon where there is often an ice cream van waiting for refreshments, or there are some fantastic pubs in nearby villages of Plumpton and East Chiltington, both of which are accessible on foot.
For cyclists, Ditchling Beacon is one of the great cycling challenges in the south-east, and every weekend the village sees dozens of cyclists gliding through the streets. Bikes can be hired at Hassocks Community Cycle Hire, for an afternoon, day or longer, and they offer guided rides as well as route suggestions and advice.
Within easy walking distance of the village, Stonywish Nature reserve offers 50 acres of natural parkland, home to a wide variety of wildlife including several species of birds, foxes, deer and owls. Ditchling Common is just a mile or two further but has free parking and 188 acres of beautiful grassland, woodlands and fishing ponds where you can spend the day exploring, climbing trees and picnicking during the warmer seasons.
Art & Culture
Many artists and craftspeople came to live and work in Ditchling from the beginning of the 20th Century onwards establishing this village as one of the most important places for the visual arts and crafts in Britain.
Visit the nationally renowned Ditchling Museum of Art & Craft which is host to a lively programme of events and exhibitions held throughout the year. Likewise, The Turner Dumbrell workshops are home to many resident artists and craftspeople who open their doors during the Artists’ Open House Trail during the May Brighton Festival. For beautiful bespoke jewellery, look no further than Pruden & Smith Goldsmiths which also provide tours of their workshop and an insight into the Pruden family history within the village.
Biannually, a fair has been held in the village for the last since 1312, bringing the whole village together – both residents and visitors alike, to celebrate the rich traditions and keep the stories of Ditchling alive. During autumn, don’t miss the annual apple fair where residents and businesses celebrate all things appley! From freshly pressed apple juice to cider and smoothies – there is something to drink for everyone, plus ‘welly wanging’ and dancing the night away to live music in the orchard.