High Weald is one of England’s most beautiful natural areas, with fairy-tale forests, blooming meadows, and vintage steam trains breaking up the countryside. But towards the coast, the landscape is transformed into a haven of sandy beaches, fishing villages, and coastal cottages.
The High Weald coastline stretches from Kent in the east, to Sussex in the west, taking in classic seaside towns such as Eastbourne and Hastings along the way. Coastal holiday cottages have been popular here since the Victorian era, when Londoners would make a beeline for the busy beaches and popular piers of South East England. Today, there is still a Victorian sensibility in the colourful seaside cottages and grand architecture of Brighton and Folkestone, but most people now visit the coast in search of a very modern type of adventure.
Between Hastings and Rye, the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty comes all the way down to the sea, so visitors can combine a forest trek with a coastal hike all in the same day. The steep sandstone cliffs are a favourite with rock climbers, and the calm waters of the River Rother are perfect for kayaking and competitive fishing.
Kent and Sussex are fast gaining reputation for their vineyards, and tours are available throughout the year, followed by a tasting session of course. On a warm summer evening, there is nothing better than a chilled glass of local rose in the garden of a cottage by the sea.
Sea view cottages are particularly good for spotting local wildlife such as puffins, kestrels, and even the odd dolphin. Bird watchers are particularly fond of Pett Pools and the Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, where you can see some rare sea birds during nesting season.
While the High Weald coast is best enjoyed on a sunny day, the natural beauty of the area and the sheer range of activities on offer mean that it is a great spot for a holiday at any time of the year. Just choose a cosy cottage with an enviable view, then relax and enjoy this unique area.