Visit Lewes East Sussex and the surrounding villages and stay in bed breakfast, hotel or holiday cottage accommodation provided by BedPosts members.
Lewes is built in a gap through the South Downs made by the River Ouse and with a Norman castle built to defend that gap. A town for leisurely wandering. South-eastward Mount Caburn rises steeply to 490 ft.; westward is Mount Harry (639 ft.) with the race- course. In Barbican House, by the Castle Gateway, is the museum of the Sussex Archaeological Society. See Anne of Cleves' interesting house at Southover and the tomb of Gundrada, William the Conqueror's daughter, in the church across the way. In the old tilting ground attached to the castle is a rare (intentionally) undulating bowling green.
A thousand years of history have left their mark on the county town of East Sussex. There are the remains of a Norman castle, a jumble of medieval streets and a variety of buildings in local materials, most of them Georgian. The downs rise over the town and the River Ouse runs through it. Barbican House, just outside the castle, is a museum. The Prince Regent, later George IV, stayed at Southover Grange, the big Elizabethan house in Keere Street. Anne of Cleves' House in Southover, now a folk museum with a collection of Sussex ironwork, was one of several houses given by Henry VIII to his divorced wife. Inns in Lewes include The White Hart, which was praised by William Cobbett, the 19th-century traveller, in his Rural Rides. Bonfire night on November 5 is celebrated with some of the biggest bonfires and torchlight processions in Britain. There is a good walk to the north-west, past Lewes racecourse and along the crest of the downs to Ditchling Beacon, more than 6 miles of open country with fine views. The route leads past Mount Harry, site of the Battle of Lewes in 1264 when Henry III was beaten by the barons who rallied under Simon de Montfort.
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