Attractions – Places to Visit in Lewes
Nestled in the beautiful East Sussex countryside right on the South Downs, Lewes has a wonderful variety of attractions.
Lewes Bonfire Night – 5th November
Many people will know Lewes for it’s yearly Bonfire Night celebrations. During this evening, which attracts many thousands of visitors, all traffic is closed off in the centre of Lewes, including taxis. There has, however, been a temporary taxi rank set up by the Cuilfail tunnel some years. If you’re thinking of visiting Lewes for Bonfire Night, we’d advise you to first check travel arrangements with Lewes Tourist Information or Sussex Police.
Lewes is also surrounded by other beautiful places, all within an easy taxi ride, including Brighton, Seaford, Alfriston, Newhaven, Ditchling, Rottingdean, Plumpton, Falmer, Glynde and Firle. There are also various vineyards in the area if you’re interested in wine – just give us a call on 01273 47 44 44 and we’ll be delighted to pick you up and assist in your visits.
Walking Holidays in Lewes and East Sussex
Many people enjoy walking holidays and we are happy to assist with picking you up or moving your luggage, or both!
Lewes now boasts it’s own independent cinema, Depot, in Pinwell Rd near the train station, complete with a beautiful modern bar / refreshment area serving soft drinks, alcohol and food.
A Brief History of Lewes
Lewes is a traditional market town, with roots stretching back to prehistoric dwellers, according to archeological evidence. It went on to be a Saxon village until the Norman conquest, when the Normans built the Castle, large parts of which still stand today.
The Battle Of Lewes
The town was the site of the Battle of Lewes between the armies of Henry III and Simon de Montfort in what became known as the Second Barons’ War in 1264. The battle took place in fields now just west of the Landport area of Lewes.
The Lewes Martyrs
Lewes was the site of the execution of seventeen Protestant martyrs, who were burned at the stake in front of the Star Inn (now the Town Hall). The Lewes Martyrs were a group of 17 Protestants who were burned at the stake in Lewes, East Sussex, England between 1555 and 1557.
These executions were part of the Marian persecutions of Protestants during the reign of Mary I. Together with the Gunpowder Plot, the Lewes Martyrs are commemorated annually on or around 5 November by the Bonfire Societies of Lewes and surrounding towns and villages.
The Avalanche of 1836
Another of Lewes’ more tragic episodes came in 1836, when a snow avalanche in the town killed 8 people. That’s why the pub at the end of South Street is called the Snowdrop.
Lewes as a Port
The advent of the railway in 1846, along with the development of Newhaven, put an end to Lewes’s previous incarnation as a port, due to goods being transported by rail instead of ship.
You can watch a fascinating film detailing the full history of Lewes in the museum by the Castle. This is also where the timeline in the picture on the right comes from.
Roman Road Lewes to Newhaven
There is also a Roman road stretching from Lewes to Newhaven on the south coast, taking in local villages Kingston, Swanborough, Iford, Northease, Southease, Rodmell and Piddinghoe. We are happy to pick you up or drop you off at any of these locations. It is also situated on the Greenwich Meridian.
By 1901 Lewes was a prosperous market town with a population of 11,000. Today Lewes remains an attractive market town with a population approaching 17,000.