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Lewes is a very beautiful old town nestling in the South Downs of Sussex and packed with history and the historic buildings to accompany it. It is famous for the spectacular annual Bonfire celebrations on November 5th, but there is so much more. Lewes Castle is a Grade 1 listed building formed of a traditional motte and bailey (mound and courtyard) formation. The castle is a rare example - having two mottes. The 14th century Barbican is one of the finest examples in England. As well as the Norman Castle there is the museum, housed in Anne of Cleves House, which was part of her settlement following her divorce from Henry V111. Anne of Cleves House is a fine example of a traditional timber framed Wealden type town house. There are a wealth of antiquarian bookshops, antique and bric-brac shops for browsing in and excellent restaurants and pubs. Glyndebourne Opera House is just 3 miles away, with a bus to and from the station in the Season. Seaside Brighton and all its’ attractions including a wonderful annual festival is 7 miles away with excellent bus or train services. Among other places of interest in the vicinity are Kipling’s house, Batemans (25 minutes by car), Michelham Priory and Drucillas, both great places to take children to, the Bloomsbury group’s Charleston, and Monk’s House, Rodmell, The home of Virginia Woolf. The list is endless.
Lewes is a terrific place to spend an interesting and relaxing holidayLewes is a town that stirs your exploration desires and has been a favourite holiday destination for years. Its naturally strategic position made the town a useful and well protected port. William de Warenne established his stronghold at Lewes following the Norman invasion of England in 1066.Lewes Priory was built on a massive site with buildings covering thirty acres and with further holdings of around 20,000 acres across Sussex. it was an obvious target for Henry the eighth and demolished in 1538. Although large quantities of stone were used in other town buildings, some ruins remain and guided tours are available in summer. During excavations for the railway in 1845, the tombs of William and his wife Gundrada were uncovered. There are ten lanes at right angles to the main street that form a
steep drops that you can walk to do your shopping which is characterised by small independent retailers, antique and second hand bookshops.Finally there are The Downs themselves. The walking is wonderful, straight from the town, and the views are spectacular - and Lewes Golf Course sits right on top.
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