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Bexhill-On-Sea, East Sussex

Bexhill on Sea East Sussex

What do Eddie Izzard, a Maharaja, Agatha Christie, Spike Milligan, Keane, and British Motor Racing have in common? Bexhill-on-Sea of course!

Bexhill on sea

Bexhill has a long past and existed way back in 772 AD although it was pretty much destroyed during the Norman conquest. It was recorded as being worth £18 in the Domesday Book in 1086.

Bexhill Old Town

There was a manor house (that was known to exist in 1148 and rebuilt in 1250 and you can see the ruins in the Old Town). It was probably re-built on the instructions of St. Richard, Bishop of Chichester (patron saint of Sussex). Travelling bishops would have stayed there.

The Manor Bexhill on Sea

In 1561, Queen Elizabeth I took possession of Bexhill Manor and later gifted it to Sir Thomas Sackville, Earl of Dorset who owned Bexhill until the mid-19th century. In 1813 Elizabeth Sackville married the 5th Earl De La Warr, and he inherited Bexhill. De La Warr is a name you’ll come across often in this part of the world.

Bexhill Old Town East Sussex

Earl De La Warr transformed the village of Bexhill into a stylish seaside resort, opening the luxurious Sackville Hotel whilst his son (Viscount Cantelupe and the 8th Earl)  built a Kursaal (renamed the pavilion during WWI) for entertainment. The 9th Earl was the driving force behind the construction of the De La Warr Pavilion which opened on 12 December 1935.

De La Warr Pavilion Bexhill

So what of our celebrities listed above?

Bexhill was the first town to have a Royal Charter delivered by motorcar. To celebrate, the 8th Earl De La Warr organised the country’s first-ever motorcar race along De La Warr Parade in May 1902. HRH Shri Sir Nripendra Narayan, Maharaja of Cooch Behar (1862-1911) died in Bexhill in 1911 having come to the town to convalesce. He was a well-known figure and had been received at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle and dined with the Prince and Princess of Wales. You’ll find references to the Maharaja throughout the town.

Bexhill Motoring Trail

Meanwhile, the second murder in Agatha Christie’s novel The ABC Murders (published 1936) was in Bexhill and comedian, Spike Milligan, was billeted in Bexhill between 1940 and 1943. Eddie Izzard lived in the town as a child. Bob Marley played his first UK gig at The Pavilion in 1972 and Sovereign Light Café written by Keane was based on a café in the town and the video for the song was filmed in Bexhill.

Bexhill on Sea


There are cinemas and theatres in nearby Hastings and Eastbourne and an auditorium at Bexhill’s s De La Warr Pavilion. The town has a leisure centre and a retail park where you’ll find some of the big brands such as Tesco, Next, Currys and Boots. There are also a number of smaller and independent shops in the town and at the Colonnade on the seafront. For restaurants and eateries, you have plenty of choice too, with the likes of the Sackville Bistro, Sobremesa, and a Trattoria amongst others. Combe Valley Countryside Park between Bexhill and Hastings has lots of paths for walkers, cyclists, and horse riders. To the west of the town, Gillham Wood is a small area of Sussex Wildlife Trust woodland in Cooden. There are two good golf courses nearby. The town has about 2 miles of beach with various amenities such as cafés, toilets, and beach huts.

Bexhill on Sea


Bexhill has a number of primary schools as well as Battle Abbey Prep School. It also has a secondary Academy school and an independent sixth form, Bexhill College. Other private schools in the vicinity include Bedes, near Eastbourne, Battle Abbey School, Eastbourne College, and Buckswood School in Hastings.

Bexhill on Sea


Bexhill has a train station and it takes about one hour and 45 minutes from London Victoria. By car, it’s about 75 miles from London and about 50 miles from Gatwick depending on the route you take. The town is just off the A259 which you can access from the A27 or A21. The town is well served by buses.

Bexhill on Sea


According to Rightmove, “Properties in Bexhill On Sea had an overall average price of £353,962 over the last year” (2022/23) with detached properties selling for an average of £562,691, and semi-detached properties fetching £362,144. The town has a number of estate agents.

Things to do in Bexhill

If you like this post about Bexhill-on-Sea, you may also like:

Things to do in Bexhill

A Weekend in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex

Things To Do In Hastings, East Sussex

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