Getting Oriented

The eastern part of the region takes in the cathedral town of Canterbury and the Kent coast, right down to the port city of Dover with its famous white cliffs. The next section heads inland to the pretty spa town of Royal Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding area of West Kent, where stately homes and castles dot the farmland. A third part encompasses the county of East Sussex, which includes the medieval hill town of Rye, the 1066 battlefield near Hastings, and the cool coastal city of Brighton. And the fourth section covers the western part of the region: coast-hugging West Sussex—including its county town of Chichester—and Surrey.

  • Canterbury. A UNESCO-listed medieval town dominated by a massive cathedral founded more than 1,000 years ago.
  • Deal. A quiet seaside town home to two famous coastal castles built during the reign of Henry VIII.
  • Dover. A busy port town, famed for its striking white cliffs.
  • Royal Tunbridge Wells. An ideal base for exploring nearby regal homes and gardens.
  • Hever. Home to Hever Castle—seat of Anne Boleyn's family—and close to Winston Churchill's residence Chartwell.
  • Tonbridge. A little market town within easy reach of renowned country houses like Knole and Ightham Mote.
  • Rochester. A historic cathedral city best known for its Norman castle and Georgian dockyard.
  • Rye. A pretty hill town popular with London day-trippers.
  • Hastings. A once-popular Victorian spa town, famed for the nearby 1066 battefield.
  • Lewes. A gem of a town with a crumbling medieval castle, a famous opera festival, and a penchant for bonfires.
  • Brighton. A funky and lively city that blends Victorian architecture with the best shopping and dining on the coast.
  • Arundel. A little hilltop town with an impressive castle, a neo-Gothic cathedral, and a medieval priory church.
  • Chichester. The charming capital of West Sussex, which once played an important role in ancient Rome.
  • Guildford. The largest town in Surrey, known for its historic merchants' houses and ruined Norman castle.

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