Accessible places to visit in Eastbourne

Accessible places to visit in Eastbourne

Visit Eastbourne website has a complete calendar of events occurring in Eastbourne ~ Airbourne, tennis tournaments, bandstand concerts, theatre programme, street markets, healthy walks, lots of free events on the seafront. You can also see a daily bulletin of what is going on in the town.

http://www.visiteastbourne.com/

or contact Eastbourne Visitor Centre 01323 415415

Here is a sample of things to do in Eastbourne that are accessible the Access Group Members have put together to help you enjoy our wonderful town.

Download a PDF list

2022 Accessible places to visit in Eastbourne 2022

Contents

  1. Beachy Head
  2. Eastbourne Promenades
  3. Public Parks
  4.  Swimming pools and water sports
  5. Sports Centres
  6. Tenpin Bowling
  7. Theatres
  8.  Cinemas
  9. Arts
  10. Museums / History
  11. For children
  1. Beachy Head

Beachy Head forms part of the South Downs National Park.

Wheelchair accessible toilet and blue badge spaces in main Beachy Head car park.

The Beachy Head Story, BN20 7YA. 01323 729926. Free exhibition and gift shop, all accessible. Open everyday, 9 – 5. Toilets and blue badge spaces in main car park. This is a brand-new exhibition that will allow visitors to discover the beautiful landscape of Beachy Head and the South Downs.

The Beachy Head pub and restaurant, BN20 7YA. 01323 728060.Level access to main entrance. Disabled toilet available. Own car park with blue badge space near main entrance.

The Peace Path provides a firm circular clifftop route with a view of the lighthouse. Wheelchair accessible but in some parts cambers can be awkward and narrow because the path follows the downland contours.

  1. What you can see and do along Eastbourne’s Promenades – Helen Garden to Sovereign Harbour

The Dotto Train will take you from the Holywell to Harbour Reach on a circular route, with stops on the way. Part of the route is on the road, the rest along the Promenade, walkers beware. Run by Stagecoach, timetable available from Seafront Office 01323 410611. Has a ramp to take small manual wheelchair user in rear carriage. Seasonal running times, check with the Visitor Services team before you travel 01323 415415.

Wheelchair Accessible Toilets & Changing Places. There are public wheelchair accessible toilets opened with a Radar key (National Key Scheme) at Helen Garden (rear of pavilion), Holywell (Lower Promenade). Bandstand (Middle and lower Promenade), Pier (Lower Promenade), Redoubt Bowling Pavilion, Fisherman’s Green and Langney Point.

Changing Places toilet facility on Middle Prom at The Bandstand. Residents can apply for their own key, membership form on Council website or visit The Seafront Office on Lower Prom.

Helen Garden Children’s play area, bowls, putting course, petanque, kiosk and toilets. Lots of seating, sheltered by hedges. Access from main road King Edwards Parade. Mainly level pathways and grass areas. Great views of the Downs and sea. Street parking.

Italian Gardens is a secret hideaway at Holywell below Helen Gardens. Access from the main road is via a steep slope or less steep from the promenade (not good for manual wheelchairs or some powerchairs). These unusual and secluded lawned gardens sit in a wooded amphitheatre carved out of the cliff face just yards from Holywell beach and Holywell Tea Chalet. They have open air theatre performances here. The main garden area is level.

Holywell area has three promenades levels. The main pathway runs along the King Edwards Parade, the middle promenade is mainly gravel, then there is the Lower Level Promenade along beach edge to the beach huts, public toilets and Holywell Tea Chalet 01323 410220 open daily. There is access to the different promenades via steps/slopes at different points, not all are accessible for wheelchairs.

Ramps for wheelchairs / buggies that lead to the Lower Promenade are found near the Wish Tower, Bandstand and Pier. You can travel on this lower level to the Holywell end (Beachy Head) where there are public toilets including accessible one and Holywell Tea Chalet. In the other direction you can travel all the way to Sovereign Harbour.

The Western Lawns are used for special events during the year e.g. 999 display, Magnificent Motors, Beer Festivals, Airbourne. Grassed area with many seats, ideal for picnics.

Wish Tower Slopes / Western Lawns has a small car park with blue badge spaces otherwise roadside parking on Grand Parade.

The RNLI Museum and shop, King Edwards Parade, BN21 4BY. 01323 730717. The lifeboat museum traces the history of these sturdy, versatile and increasingly high-tech vessels and their crews. Memorabilia. Lifeboat models. Fully accessible. Refreshment kiosk adjacent.

Bistrot Pierre, King Edward’s Parade, BN21 4BY. 01323 886484.Open daily with views of The Downs and seafront. Some outside seating.

The historic Martello Tower No. 73, known locally as the Wish Tower opens for tours by Wish Tower Friends, see website for details www.wishtower.org.uk.Only accessible by steps leading up into the tower.

Lifeguard Beach Station and first aid post. 01323 412290. Lifeguards are on duty from 1 May to 30 September. Offer Kidzone colour coded wristband system.

Beach huts can be hired yearly, monthly, weekly, daily. Those which are available for casual hire are fully accessible with decking and are located next to the Lifeguard’s station.  Contact Seafront Office on 01323 410611.

Deckchairs can be hired from the Pier to Wish Tower during the season.

Three Wooden pathways across the beach for wheelchair, mobility aid users and children’s buggies. The Jan Gould Way is by the lifeguard station, there is a small area where you can sit. The other two are either side of the bandstand. These offer a chance for wheelchair and mobility aid users to access the beach to high tide level.

Cafes and Refreshment kiosks, there are three cafes along on the Lower Promenade between the Lifeguard Station and Pier offering limited indoor and more outside seating on decking over the beach. Refreshment kiosks are located along the middle and lower proms. Many of the hotels along the seafront are open to non-residents some have wheelchair access as do some restaurants. (see our separate list of ideas where to eat out).

The Bandstand Grand Parade, BN21 3AD. 01323 410611.www.eastbournebandstand.co.uk. Wheelchair accessible. Accessible toilets on Lower and Middle proms, access via radar key. Changing Places toilet facility on Middle prom – residents can apply for their own key, membership form on Council website or visit The Seafront Office on Lower Prom. Some blue badge spaces along King Edwards Parade (beach side).

Carpet Gardens are the centre piece of Eastbourne Promenade between the Pier and Bandstand. Famous seasonal floral display. Get your camera ready!

The Pier, a popular Victorian Pier that has free entry, accessible from road level. Coffee shop and Chippy at the front, gift shops, candy shop, glass blowing shop, state of the art Arcade, bar serving drinks and food with live music with outside seating, some are wheelchair accessible.

Open top Eastbourne Sightseeing bus 01273 510181 from the Pier departs every 30 minutes. Operates daily in summer season. Ring about timetable and accessibility as some vintage buses are used. The modern buses are fully accessible.

East of the Pier the Promenade continues to …

Pavilion cafe bar, Royal Parade BN22 7AQ. Ramp access, wheelchair accessible toilet. Accessible patio area with views of the sea. Tel: 01323 415635.

There is also a public wheelchair toilet by the bowling green by Treasure Island Car Park.

Treasure Island playground, soft play and paddling pool, Royal Parade, BN22 7AE.01323 411077. Also offers miniature golf, this is partially accessible (there is one set of steps on the course).

Beach Deck cafe/restaurant indoor and outdoor seating with views of the sea 01323 720320 all accessible, ramp, accessible toilet. Car park adjacent with blue badge spaces or street parking.

No cycling is allowed on the promenades between Fisherman’s Green and Holywell, but powered chairs / mobility scooters are welcome. Skaters are allowed along all paths.

The Promenade then continues eastwards to Fisherman’s Green, car park with blue badge spaces and accessible toilet. Beware, this part is shared with road users and split for walkers and cyclists. You will pass fishing huts – fresh fish for sale, skate, tennis and basketball courts. A slope puts you back on the promenade with continuous split pathway for walkers and cyclists. Prom also used for Dotto Train. Although Highway Code gives pedestrians, wheelchairs and mobility scooters precedence over wheeled vehicles please remember this is a shared space and we ask everyone using it to please be aware and courteous to all you come in contact with.

Buzz Active (Water Sports), Royal Parade, BN22 7LD. 01323 417023 – See No.4 listing below for details.

Picnic tables and beach huts on promenade. Access from the Promenade via ramp to the Princes Park entrance on Royal Parade.

Princes Park with lake, 2 children’s play areas, splash pad, all accessible. Rose garden, grass areas for picnics and games. Bowls. Model boat club. Toilets by the side of cafe including accessible one. Perch Princes Park restaurant (01323 325757)level access, accessible toilet, views of the lake, outside seating. Large grassed park area used for special events like fun fair, circus. Use former Fort Fun car park with blue badge spaces or street parking.

The Promenade continues to Langney Point – Eastbourne Wastewater Treatment Works building, Prince William Parade BN23 6LW. Car park blue badge spaces and accessible toilet. Refreshment kiosk (seasonal opening). From here you can continue to Sovereign Harbour, The Waterfront and Sovereign Harbour Village Retail Park. Wheelchair users need to travel via estate road footpaths, walkers can cut across the pebble beach.

Sovereign Harbour, The Waterfront and Sovereign Harbour Village Retail Park.

Large waterfront development. Vehicular entrance in Pevensey Bay Road for Retail Park and The Waterfront. Free parking and Blue Badges spaces. Retail Park has shops and restaurants all accessible. Post Office in Asda. Boots chemist had midnight pharmacy. Defiant Sport Inclusion Hub providing sports and activities for all ages. Petrol Station is pump card payment only. Community Centre adjacent.

The Waterfront has restaurants and bars. Lift to first floor bars and units. Public wheelchair toilet and some restaurants have accessible toilets. Most of the harbour development brick walkways are accessible by wheelchair and are flat.

Visit the twin locks where you can watch boats entering and leaving the harbour, best to do this via the large bridge and head for the lock keepers office via the brick pathways, you will see the outer harbour on the way. The ground is uneven and mixed on the other side of the locks.  Modern houses and flats are built around the inner harbours. Entrance for the West and South Harbours is in Atlantic Drive (Langney Point) and entrance for the North Harbour is in Pevensey Bay Road. There is no vehicle access between the two parts of the development. Some of the paths are shared cycleways.

  1. Public Parks in Eastbourne

Gildredge Park. Entrances in Dittons Road, Compton Place Road and The Goffs. Small car park at Goffs entrance, otherwise street parking. Bowls Club including Blind bowls. Tennis. Skate park. Children’s play area. Cafe. Public toilets not accessible.

Hampden Park. Accessible paths through park and wooded sections. Level path round lake and play area. Accessible toilet by cafe. Skate park, bowls indoors and outside, tennis and rugby clubs. Roadside parking. Blue badge spaces in front of café.

Helen Garden. King Edwards Parade (seafront). Street parking. Rose Garden. Bowls. Putting.Kiosk. Toilets, accessible toilet behind pavilion. Lots of seats. Play area.

Motcombe Gardens. Motcombe Road, Old Town. Street parking. Small quiet park with pond. Bowls. No toilets.

Princes Park. Entrances in Wartling Road, Channel View Road and Royal Parade. Street parking or use former Fort Fun car park. Lake. Model boat club, Bowls, Children’s play areas one with splash pad. Picnic areas. Public toilets including accessible one on side of the cafe. Perch Princes Park restaurant has level access, views of the lake, outside seating, accessible toilet and baby changing01323 325757. Large field adjacent used for events.

Shinewater Park. Access from Larkspur Drive, Langney, BN23, Pigs Lane bridle path near The Mill or Edward Road BN23 8AS near Toby Carvery. Street parking. Large man-made lake, surfaced pathway approx. half way round otherwise a hard rough surface, fishing stations. Children’s play area, basketball and skate park. Also a cycle path. The 14-mile Cuckoo Trail starts here.

Western Lawns. King Edward’s Parade. Leads up to the Wish Tower (Martello Tower) – open days/tours. Large open space, lots of benches to sit on, used for public events, Bistrot Pierre restaurant, RNLI Museum. Small car park, blue badge spaces, gives access to promenades. Or parking on King Edward’s Parade.

  1. Swimming Pools and Water Sports

Sovereign Leisure Centre, Royal Parade, BN22 7LQ. 01323 738822. Free parking for vehicles displaying Blue Badges immediately outside. Accessible entrance with automatic doors. Reduced rates for disabled swimmers. Changing room for disabled people.  Showers available for disabled people.  Ramp into shallow end of fun pool.  Hoist available for entry into the water in main pool, please contact before attending to ensure hoist is available. Wave pool, diving pool, children’s pool and general pool. Ring for a programme as some of the pools are used for classes and swimming lessons.

There are many private swimming clubs and pools within Eastbourne, contact directly regarding facilities and access.

Buzz Active (Water Sports), Royal Parade, BN22 7LD. 01323 417023.

Buzz Active offers courses in sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, bodyboarding, and power boating. The centre caters for all abilities from beginners through to experienced sailors. Blue badge parking space. They have changing and showering facilities for disabled people.  There is also a fully accessible toilet.  Contact to discuss your needs and requirements.

  1. Sport Centres

Eastbourne Sports Park. Cross Levels Way, BN21 2UF. 01323 649214. All areas/pitches accessible. Parking allowed by main door. Athletics track also accessible for vehicles. 6 Accessible Toilets, one outside. Accessible Showers. 12 Changing Rooms. Astro Turf pitch. 6 lane Running track. Hammer cage. Long jump, Shot, Javelin, High Jump and Pole Vault. 3 indoor tennis courts, badminton, volleyball, netball and basketball.

Shinewater Community Centre, Milfoil Drive, Langney BN23 8ED. 01323 768614. Limited access. Access to ground floor, to get to the upper floor this is via the fire escape.  Accessible toilet via Radar key.

Cavendish Community Centre, Eldon Road, BN21 1UE. 01323 647683. Limited access can access the sports hall but not the gym.  Accessible toilet.

Hampden Park Community Centre, Brodrick Road, BN22 9RQ. 01323 509196.  Limited access – no accessibility to the 3G pitch or the tennis courts. Disabled toilet & shower.

Contact the local centres to discuss any requirements you may have and ask for programme of activities. Offer variety such as gym, badminton, 5 aside football, walking football, walking netball, classes – zumba, karate, etc. Holiday play scheme for children.

Defiant Sports Inclusion Hub Sovereign Harbour BN23 6JH Tel: 07887 755856 providing inclusive sports and activities in their new hub and within the community. All ages, all abilities. Accessible level access building with accessible toilet and a Space to Change toilet facility with mobile adult length bench, mobile hoist, screen and corner toilet.

Eastbourne Wheels for All. Eastbourne Sports Park, Cross Levels Way, BN21 2UF. Tel: 07881 282725. Offers accessible cycling opportunities for people of all abilities and ages.

There are many private gyms, sports clubs and facilities within the town, you need to contact these individually.

6.Tenpin Bowling

Tenpin. Broadwater Way, Hampden Park, BN22 9PZ. 0871 222 3675 (central reservations). Twenty fully computerised ten-pin bowling lanes. Accessible. Blue Badges parking spaces. Accessible toilet.

  1. Theatres

Eastbourne Theatres are in the Devonshire Quarter of the town. The Box Office Tel: 01323 412000is in The Welcome Building, Compton Street BN21 4BP.This is the main entrance to the Congress Theatre and exhibition halls which are on the lower ground floors. Lifts to all floors. DQ Terrace Bar and cafe open daily 10am to 5pm, extended opening on show nights.  The website has full up to date information www.eastbournetheatres.co.uk.

Eastbourne Theatres operates a free scheme for those who need somebody to be with them at a show in order to assist them. Please request an Essential Companion Scheme application from the box office.

Congress Theatre, Compton Road BN21 4BP. 15 Wheelchair spaces with seat for Essential Companion. Lifts to all floors. Accessible toilets on main auditorium level. General toilets on ground floor,1st and 2nd floors. Loop System in all areas of auditorium, Infrared System with headphones and neck loops available from Duty Manager.

Parking – Blue badge drop off bay on roadside allowing 30 minutes parking near The Towner so passengers can be escorted to enter The Congress via the ground level doors. Ideal for those with limited mobility/wheelchair when there are no Blue Badge spaces available. Blue badge spaces on roadside and in adjacent car parks. The closest Car Park is College Road, BN21 4JJ.

Devonshire Park Theatre, Compton Street BN21 4BW has 4 wheelchair spaces with seat for Essential Companion. Access from service road beside theatre. 6 Blue badge spaces in front of theatre or street parking. Loop system in all areas of auditorium and Infrared System with headphones and neck loops available from Duty Manager. Audio description is available Friday evenings and Saturday matinees for week-long performances. Accessible toilet.

Winter Gardens – Multi-functional event space, accessible toilet and lift access through the Welcome building.

Royal Hippodrome Theatre, 108-112 Seaside Road BN21 3PF has 2 wheelchair spaces. Accessible toilet. Box Office Tel: 01323 802020.Essential Companion Scheme. To join contact the Royal Hippodrome Theatre box office.

The Bandstand, Grand Parade, BN21 3AD. Wheelchair accessible. Public accessible toilet nearby on lower promenade and middle prom. Changing Places toilet facility on middle prom. Tickets from Seafront Office 01323 410611 or Eastbourne Visitor Centre (TIC).For up to date information see their website www.eastbournebandstand.co.uk. The Bandstand itself is closed due to essential improvements throughout 2022. Tribute shows are temporarily being held within the Welcome Building.

The Birley Centre and College Theatre, Carlisle Road, BN21 4JY. Accessible via ramp entrance, lift, accessible toilet. A contemporary performing arts centre. Part of Eastbourne College. Box Office01323 452255.

  1. Cinemas

The Cinema Exhibitor’s Association Card, The CEA card is for UK cinemas, to allow people with disabilities to obtain one free ticket for a person accompanying them to the cinema. To apply for the card, you must be receiving Disability Living Allowance/PIP or Attendance Allowance or be a registered blind person. For information or apply for a card visit www.ceacard.co.uk. Helpline 01244 526016. You will need to check if the cinema accepts the card.

All our local cinemas have wheelchair / carer places, please contact for more details and discuss your needs to see if they can be met.

Cineworld2nd Floor, The Beacon shopping centre, Eastbourne BN21 3NW.Tel: 0330 333 4444. Accessed via lifts or escalators. 8 screens. The Beacon has a multi storey car park with lifts and blue badge spaces, charges apply, and there is a vehicle height restriction5’11”. To find the cinema you need to use the car park lifts/stairs to go into The Beacon centre then walk to the lift/escalator near River Island that will take you to the first floor, where the restaurants are, walk across to the far end to another lift/escalator to 2nd floor where the reception/ticket office are. If you are going to sit in a wheelchair place at the back of a screen (this is not available in all screens) you will need to take a further lift, we advise you ask staff to take you to your seat especially if this is your first visit. (Please be aware they offer wheelchair spaces in the front row but members have found you cannot see the film from this position and your neck is not in a comfortable position).

Hailsham Pavilion George Street, Hailsham, BN27 1AE Tel: 01323 841414. 2 wheelchair spaces at the back of cinema with carers sitting in front. Offer Dementia friendly screenings once a month. Also monthly screening for Autistic children and their families.

Towner cinema – 4 wheelchair spaces in the front row. See details No.9 below. 01323 434670

  1. Arts

Towner Art Gallery. BN21 4JJ. Next to Congress Theatre. Fully accessible, loop system at reception, large print information and magnifying glasses available from reception, lift to all floors, café and accessible toilet on 2nd floor.

  1. Museums / History

The RNLI Museum and shop, King Edwards Parade, BN21 4BY. 01323 730717. The lifeboat museum traces the history of these sturdy, versatile and increasingly high-tech vessels and their crews. Memorabilia. Lifeboat models. Fully accessible. Refreshment kiosk adjacent.

Eastbourne Heritage Centre 2 Carlisle Road, BN21 4BT. 01323 411189. Learn about the rich heritage of Eastbourne. Unfortunately, this building does not have wheelchair access. Access via steps and stairs within building to different floors of the displays. Roadside parking. One Blue badge space nearby.

The Beachy Head Story, Beachy Head Road, BN20 7YA. 01323 729926. Adjacent to Beachy Head Pub. Exhibition and gift shop. Small car park in front of museum on a slope. Main car park is flat, blue badge spaces and toilets including a wheelchair accessible one.

The latest project from Heritage Eastbourne. The Beachy Head Story is a brand-new exhibition that will allow visitors to discover the beautiful landscape of Beachy Head and the South Downs.

  1. For Children

Information for Families 0345 60 80 192 part of East Sussex County Council can help provide details on activities and childcare, etc for families including special needs. There is thei-go passport to leisure activities for children and young people with disabilities and special needs in East Sussex email for more informationi-go@eastsussex.gov.uk.

Children’s Centres. Support families with under 5’s Tel: 01323 464340 for your nearest centre and services offered.

Defiant Sports Inclusion Hub. Sovereign Harbour Retail Park. BN23 6JH. 07887 755856. Providing inclusive sports and activities for all ages and abilities at the hub and within the community. Level access venue. Sensory room. Accessible toilet and Space to Change toilet facility with mobile full-size bench, mobile hoist screen and corner toilet.

Eastbourne Miniature Steam Railway, Lottbridge Drove, BN23 6JQ. 01323 520229 Travel on miniature locomotive for nearly a mile around beautiful country park. Play area, model railways, cafe, toilets, car park. Accessible except train ride. Accessible toilet. Open April to October.

Lifeguard Station and First Aid Post near Wish Tower slopes – Lifeguards on duty from 1 May to 30 September. Offer Kidzone colour coded wristband system.

Treasure Island playground and paddling pool, Royal Parade, BN22 7AE.01323 411077, with indoor soft play area and Beach Deck cafe/restaurant indoor and outdoor seating with views of the sea 01323 720320 all accessible. Also offers miniature golf. Car park adjacent with blue badge spaces and accessible toilet.

Many of the local public parks have play areas for children, see the list of parks above No 3.

Towner, swimming pools, sport centres, Defiant Sports etc have special activities and clubs for children during holiday times contact for details.

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This is not a complete list, only suggestions please let us know of any additional attractions and places to visit that we can include in future.

Whilst every care has been taken in compiling this information, Eastbourne Access Group and Visit Eastbourne cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies. Residents and visitors are advised to telephone the attraction for further details on access and to discuss individual needs.

Updated March 2022