I do like a local market and earlier in the year, I visited East Dean market in between Newhaven and Eastbourne. It’s a small market but a good one, and something you can combine with other things to do in the area. They’ve also got some Christmas events which makes it a great way to support local.
Small but perfectly formed
East Dean Village Market is held every Wednesday from 10 am to 2.00 pm. You’ll find it just off Gilberts Drive in the village hall and surrounding area. I parked on Gilberts Drive itself close to the nearby church. As a market, it’s got everything you want including meat, organic products, cheeses, vegetables, fish, bread, cakes, wine, chutneys, honey, sweets, and plants.
When I visited it also had craft gin (always a hit with me) and as you’d expect lots of crafts including silk scarves, cushions, knitwear, cards, jewellery, pottery and wood-turned products. And as it’s small, there’s a chance to talk to the stallholders and find out more about their processes. I came away with some pastries, a necklace, some gin (in the name of research) and some homemade jam.
Most people seem to be determined to ditch online shopping this year and support local, and small markets are a good place to start. East Dean is holding a Christmas Market on Saturday the 18th December (10 am – 4 pm) and Christmas events on 1st and 22nd December (from 10 am – 2.00 pm).
While you’re here …
When you’ve finished in the market, why not spend a little time exploring?
East Dean church
Just down the road from the market, the oldest surviving part of the church is the tower which is Saxon or possibly early Norman. It has the long narrow round-headed windows of the time, and a doorway rebuilt in the original style. Other parts from the 12th and 13th century respectively include two round-headed arches in the south wall of the chancel and a half arch in the nave north wall. A stone tomb slab in the nave north wall possibly dates to 1304.
East Dean has a helpful village website that lists 5 local walks, They range from 8 km to 13 km and take in local delights such as Birling Gap, Seven Sisters, Hope Gap, Friston Forest and Jevington which always makes me think of smugglers. Jevington was home to famous smuggler James Pettit AKA “Jevington Jigg”. He and his gang hid contraband from places like Birling Gap in the cellar of the Rectory and in the Inn (of which Pettit was the innkeeper). Pettit was quite a character but was eventually imprisoned at Battle, Horsham and East Grinstead before being deported to Botany Bay. Jevington also has a church that dates back to 900AD and the Vikings. Apologies, I have seriously digressed from the subject of East Dean market.
If you don’t want to walk. It’s a short drive to either Birling Gap or Cuckmere Haven along what has to be one of our most picturesque roads in East Sussex.
Lunch at The Tiger Inn
The Tiger Inn in East Dean does a good and hearty lunch and complete roaring fires, this is a great way to round off a bracing walk on the South Downs and some market shopping.
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