While based in the middle of the Garden of England, visitors can take some time to visit nearby towns. Eastbourne is called the sunniest place in England for good reason. Visitors spend a day at the beach, listen to the London Philharmonic Orchestra when it appears annually at the congress Theatre and visit Beachy Head cliff, the highest chalk cliffs in the country.
Travel north to visit Southend-on-Sea in Essex and walk the longest pleasure pier in the world. It was built in 1830 and is 1.33 miles long. For those who world rather ride, there is a railway that runs the length of the pier. There is a lot more to do including a visit to the aquarium, amusement parks and cafes and restaurants along the sea front. Essex is also home to some of the best seafood in the country.
The Chafford Gorges Nature Park is also nearby with over 200 acres of former chalk quarries with several species of plants that depend on the chalk soil. There are nine types of orchids, unusual insects, woodlands and several large lakes and other wildlife, some of it not yet recorded.