I am aware that yesterday marked the first day of autumn. I am also aware that temperatures in Seville today are just about the same as they were during my visit to Eastbourne this summer. Sunny days, cooler nights, blue skies and inviting temperatures that make you want to spend your time outside. Perfect!
I really enjoyed my time in Sussex, exploring a part of England I’d not previously visited much. Having a local guide always helps when experiencing somewhere new and on this trip some of the ‘English Berrys’ were happy to oblige. We had some lovely days together and it really did make for the perfect end to a summer in the UK.
Here are a few places to visit in the area:
Eastbourne is a perfectly British seaside town and for many people the first thing that comes to mind is the pier. It’s quite an iconic landmark.
It partially burnt down in 2014 but it has since been bought and restored by Sheikh Abid Gulzar, giving it the nickname of ‘Shakespeare’, because it’s now the ‘Sheikh’s Pier’. The English do like their play on words…
Truth is, I didn’t actually visit the pier during my stay. We were walking the neighbours’ dog at what would have been the best time to stop by. Unfortunately for dog owners, dogs aren’t allowed on the pier. Besides, having just read The pier falls by Mark Haddon, all things pier related sounded a little less appealing (wonderful piece of writing, by the way). I’m sure it would have been nice but I wasn’t too fussed either way.
The other iconic feature is, of course, Eastbourne Bandstand. We wandered by during a performance and the air was filled with the tunes coming from the stage. I’m told the Christmas performance is particularly popular, with seats fully booked and crowds of people gathering around for the event.
The other famous event is Airbourne, which I missed by just a few days. Had I gone just a week later, the streets would have been full of people who had come to watch the air show. Nevertheless, we did catch a few planes doing a practice flight nearby.
We managed to fit quite a lot in to three days, in the end. We had a lovely drive up on the South Downs (the irony of the name still gets to me) and along to the pretty village of Alfriston. We also had a quick look at The Long Man of Wilmington, a chalk figure carved into the hillside, as we drove back to the house. Each of these could perfectly well deserve a longer visit, but there are only so many hours in a day. We did stop again at Beachy Head on my final afternoon, to see the lighthouse and the views.
We also went for a lovely walk past the meandering river at Cuckmere Haven and the Seven Sisters Country Park. It was wonderful to be out in the sunshine and the countryside, with sea views and pleasant company.
I’m not sure why but I really loved Hastings, more so than Eastbourne I think. Its fishing history is quite present, with characteristically tall huts, used to hang the nets to dry, peppered all over the seafront. We explored the Shipwreck and Fishermen’s Museums, went up the West Hill Lift, one of the two funicular railways, and stopped by the castle. The East Hill Lift looked like it would have some pretty great views too. Walking around the streets with their quirky shops, restaurants and buildings was good fun and we had a fantastic meal too. All in all it was a pretty awesome day out.
Our last stop was Rye, one of the medieval Cinq Ports. The river no longer brings big ships that far inland, but the little village has some charming architecture and very old buildings that I attempted to photograph. My camara decided to play up, though, so I didn’t capture its beauty quite as I might have liked. One thing we did do, was climb to the top of the church bell tower. The views were pretty spectacular!
So, back in Seville as I sit and write this, the sun is pouring in through my window. I’m still in short-sleeves and sandals but because it’s September we all feel we should begin to get out our shoes and wear long trousers. I know it would feel like shorts weather to many visitors and it is, really, but something in the general subconscience indicates that when school and work start back in September, shorts are to be put back in the wardrobe, not to be seen again until June.
The sun is shinning beautifully and I can’t help but think about my summer trip and long for some shorts again. However, there comes a point when I do miss some ‘proper’ autumn weather. I look forward to a bit of rain, a slight chill in the air and cloudier, cozier days. Because every now and then I tire of the sun and heat. I begin to fancy a nice warm drink, to be able to bake something in the oven without overheating. I long to be able to snuggle in a warm jumper or wrap a pretty scarf around me and I hope it won’t be too long before I swap my sandals for boots.
All this sun makes September the perfect time to visit Seville, though. So if rather than looking back on your holiday you are planning your next trip, maybe consider a September getaway in Sevilla.
What does autumn look like for you? Are you looking forward to this season?