It feels like Sussex is not the most popular English county to visit for a day trip, but there are a couple of places where I would be happy to return to again and again. One of them is the pretty town Lewes with its crooked older dwellings, narrow lanes, and Georgian houses.
The history of Lewes goes back to William the Conqueror who built a wooden castle there. This was soon replaced by a large stone structure whose remains can be visited today.
The easiest way to get to Lewes from London is taking a train from Victoria train station. The journey takes a little over an hour which is perfect for such a day trip.
I’ve been to Lewes twice now which allowed me to explore it thoroughly and hence here are my 9 favourite places to visit there. If you look at the map of Lewes, I would recommend to walk from East to West and then return to the train station for the journey back home.
1. Keere street
Keere Street, also known as Scare Hill, is the cobbled street that drops sharply downhill from the High Street towards Southover.
2. 15th-century bookshop
Right on the top of Keere street, you will see this cute crooked bookshop. Watch out for opening times, which are from Friday to Sunday only.
3. Sandwich Shop
I simply love this cute house and it makes me smile every time I pass by. It is an independent deli and sandwich shop selling local and continental meats and cheeses, quiche, pate, olives with homemade dressings, pasta (including gluten-free), fresh local bread, eggs, and milk.
4. Flint Owl Bakery
This place is conveniently located in the centre of the High Street to have a coffee break. There is a backyard to enjoy good weather and get away from the busy streets. I had a quiche there and it was amazing!
5. Closet & Botts
I have a weakness for these kind of shops. It’s a homeware store, housing a unique collection of new, vintage and handmade clothes, homeware, furniture, and gifts. Sounds perfect for spending a good half an hour browsing through the items I think I desperately need in my flat. LOL.
6. Lewes Castle and the area around it
It’s easy to miss the entrance to the castle so watch out for this huge stone gate hiding between two houses. If you walk further up along the walls you will end up in a nice area with a couple of vintage cars parked.
7. The Needlemakers
A short detour from the High Street to the left and there is an industrial-looking building with a group of independent shops. My favourite one is the Victoria shop selling plants, homeware, jewellery, and other cute things. The Back Yard Cafe is great for another cup of coffee.
8. Antique shops
High Street is divided by the river Ouse and once you cross the bridge you end up in a pedestrian-only street packed with antique shops. The one that stands out the most is ‘No 1 Lewes’. Their window display is also the best in the town.
9. Chapel Hill
For the best view of the town go to Chapel Hill, which starts at the end of High Street. On the way up you will pass a couple of very cute cottages worth taking a photo.
Lewes is great for a day trip and shopping. I like browsing local shops, there is always something interesting to find. Recently I prefer checking local plant shops, the prices there are much better than in London. I can’t help but bring back a plant from trips like this nowadays 😉
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