Treat yourself to a weekend of world-class tennis and air shows
With its dramatic chalk cliffs, pebble beaches and charming promenade, Sussex’s coastal town has been a star attraction for centuries. Today, the famous seafront is also where world-class tennis tournaments and spectacular air shows take place. If you fancy spotting the next Wimbledon champion or watching planes loop the loop, Eastbourne’s boutique hotels offer the height of luxury, in the heart of the action.
Anyone for tennis?
Just a few minutes' walk from the town centre, acclaimed Devonshire Park hosts six major tennis tournaments throughout the year. From late July to the end of August, players of all ages get to represent their county here in various junior and veteran events – all free to spectators.
The most highly sought-after tickets are for The Nature Valley International, held in 2019 from 21-29th June. This is when TV crews join the fans and competitors at the WTA Premier level and ATP 250 level tournament. Past years have featured John McEnroe, Rafael Nadal and Caroline Wozniacki, who triumphed at East-bourne for the second time in 2018. But pretty much every big name in tennis has played here since 1979. British No. 1 Kyle Edmund, Andy Murray and five of the world's top women are on the entry list for 2019, so Eastbourne looks set to host a thrilling week of tennis this summer.
All the action on the courts making you thirsty and peckish? Just a ball's throw away from Centre Court, you can enjoy a celebratory drink at The Bar, along with an artisanal British lunch or afternoon tea in the venue's restaurant.
Eyes to the skies
If gazing up at magnificent flying machines and supersonic jets is your idea of heaven, don’t miss Eastbourne’s celebrated International Airshow. Each August, two-mile-long flying displays fill the skies from 10am each day at what is the biggest seafront aerial show in the world.
This is when a variety of RAF and international display teams demonstrate their show-stopping skills in military and civilian aircraft. 2019 features the legendary tandem rotor helicopter, the Chinook and RAF Typhoon fighter jets. Wing walkers and the UK’s premier civilian aerobatic team, The Blades, perform exhilarating formations. And a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is set to thrill the crowds.
When the flying comes to an end in the evening, you can settle down to watch a popular family movie on the huge, open-air cinema screen. Then, look to the skies once more – a fantastic firework display is the grand finale.
Soar like a bird
Experiencing all the excitement and extraordinary stunts at the International Airshow may tempt you to take to the air yourself. If so, Eastbourne is the perfect place to learn how to paraglide or paramotor. A number of flying schools in the area have private sites that offer safe and expert tuition for every age and level of ability. In a matter of days, you’ll learn how to pilot yourself in all wind directions across the beautiful South Downs National Park.
Where to stay
Refreshing sea views. Marble bathrooms and flawlessly designed suites. State-of-the-art gym, hammam and Valmont Spa. The Chatsworth Hotel effortlessly blends contemporary style and ornate Victorian grandeur. And with a prime spot on the sea-front, overlooking Eastbourne's historic Pier, it's a stylish seaside getaway.