Accessible Attractions in Eastbourne

Accessible Attractions in Eastbourne

for disabled residents and visitors

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

Please beware some attractions may have new opening hours, restrictions, require booking, or currently closed, etc due to Covid-19. Please check before your visit.

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 the PDF list here: 2020 Accessible places to visit in Eastbourne

Contents

  1. Beachy Head area
  2. What you can see and do along Eastbourne Promenades –

           Helen Gardens to Sovereign Harbour

  1. Public Parks
  2. Swimming pools and water sports
  3. Sports Centres
  4. Tin Pin Bowling
  5. Theatres
  6. Cinemas
  7. Arts
  8. Museums / History
  9. For Children
  1. Beachy Head

Beachy Head part of the South Downs National Park.

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

Beachy Head Countryside Centre, BN20 7YA. 01323 737273. With exhibition of history and ecology of Eastbourne, free, art gallery, shop, all accessible. Open from 28 March to October 2020. Mondays 1 to 4pm, Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 4pm. Bank holidays 10am to 4pm.

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 Promenades – Helen Garden to Sovereign Harbour

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.

Wheelchair Accessible Toilets & Changing Places. There are public wheelchair accessible toilets opened with a Radar key (National Key Scheme) at Helen Gardens (rear of pavilion), Holywell (Lower Promenade). Bandstand (Upper 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 Gardens Children’s play area, bowls, putting course, petanque, cafe 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 is 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 eg 999 display, Magnificent Motors, Beer Festivals, Airborne. 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.

Bristrot Pierre, The Wish Tower Restaurant, King Edward’s Parade, BN21 4BY. 01323 886484. Open daily with views of The Downs and seafront.

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. Sand pit on pebbles by wooden walkway, open when Lifeguard station is manned.

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 wheelchairs and buggies. The Jan Gould Way is by the lifeguard station, there is a sand pit and small area where you can sit. The other two are either side of the bandstand. These offer a chance for wheelchair 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 lots of 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. Offers a varied programme of concerts for all ages start 24 April to 31 October 2020. 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!

‘Story of Eastbourne’ free exhibition. 248 Terminus Road, Eastbourne BN21 3DE. 01323 415636. Open Tuesday to Sundays from 10am to 5pm and daily in school holidays. The Story of Eastbourne exhibition and heritage hub tells the story of Eastbourne through the eyes of the real people who lived it, as well as providing an information hub for heritage.

The Pier, a popular Victoria Pier has free entry, accessible from road level. Has entertainment, shops, Chippy, Victorian Tea Room, 1901 Jazz Lounge some are wheelchair accessible. The Ocean Suite, entrance at the end of the Pier has steps, no lift.

Open top Eastbourne Sightseeing bus 01273 510181 from the Pier departs every 30 minutes. Operates daily 30th March to October runs every 30 minutes, 10am to 5pm every day. Ring about accessibility as some vintage buses are used. The modern buses are fully accessible.

East of the Pier the Promenade continues to …..

Pavilion cafe Tea Room Royal Parade BN22 7AQ.  Ramp access, wheelchair accessible toilet. Accessible patio area with views of the sea. Tel: 01323 415779. Plus the FREE Eastbourne Remembers Exhibition area.

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

The Redoubt Fortress Museum, Royal Parade BN22 7AQ. Uncover over 200 years of history and discover its hidden secrets.  One of the South Coast’s most historic landmarks, is the unique Georgian fortress. The Outpost cafe. Access to the parade ground is via steep steps from the promenade. The only wheelchair access currently available is to the gun platform via a slope from Royal Parade road entrance where there are blue badge spaces. Can also use Treasure Island car park Eastbourne, blue badge spaces and wheelchair accessible toilet by bowling green. Street Parking. The Seafront Services are overseeing Cinema Events here May to October 2021, 01323 410611.

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).

Beachdeck 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 cyclist. You will pass fishing huts – fresh fish for sale, skate, tennis and basket ball courts. A slope puts you back on the promenade with continuous split pathway for walkers and cyclists. Prom also used for Dotto train so walkers take care.

Buzz Active (Spray Water Sports), Royal Parade, BN22 7LD. 01323 417023 – See No.3 listing below for details.

Fort Fun amusement and rides park, Royal Parade, BN22 7LQ. 01323 642833. Cafe, indoor soft play area, giant outdoor adventure play area, bouncy pillow, water park, American golf and lots more.  Accessible. There is a fully accessible toilet.  Car park with blue badge spaces.

Picnic tables, beach huts on promenade and refreshment kiosk. Access from the Promenade via ramp to the new 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, some outside seating. Large grassed park area used for special events like fun fair, circus. Use 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. 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 near cafe. Skate park, bowls indoors and outside, tennis and rugby clubs.

Helen Gardens King Edwards Parade (sea front). Street parking. Rose Garden. Bowls. Putting. Accessible toilet beside pavilion. Lots of seats.

Motcombe Gardens Motcombe Road, Old Town. Street parking. Small quiet park with pond. Bowls.

Princes Park Entrances in Wartling Road, Channel View Road and Royal Parade. Street parking or use 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 changing.

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 pathways, fishing stations.  Children’s play area, basket ball and skate park. Also a cycle path. The 14 mile Cuckoo Trail starts here.

  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.

Motcombe Swimming Pool. Motcombe Road, BN21 1PU. 01323 410748 A community pool. Open daily all the year. Level access and changing facilities for wheelchair users. Accessible toilet. Hoist into pool, there are also some special steps that are less steep and usually in following rehab and OAP sessions, during the day.  Visually impaired people need to be accompanied by a sighted person. Ring for a programme as some of the pools are used for classes and swimming lessons. Street parking.

Motcombe Pool is used by Sovereign Swimming Club for Disabled People on Sunday afternoons Tel: 01323 484165.

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

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

Buzz Active offers courses in sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, body-boarding 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 509859.  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.

Eastbourne Wheels for All. Eastbourne Sports Park, Cross Levels Way, BN21 2UF. Tel: 07881 282725 or 01273 482490. 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.Ten Pin 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 412000/415415 is 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 a show nights.

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. Audio brochure available.

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 (old) doors, open 6.15 pm on a show night. Ideal for those with limited mobility/wheelchair when there are no Blue Badge spaces available. Blue badge spaces on road and in adjacent car parks.

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. Accessible toilet.

Winter Gardens – CURRENTLY CLOSED FOR REFURBISHMENT – opening 2021.

Royal Hippodrome Theatre, 108-112 Seaside Road BN21 3PF has 2 wheelchair spaces. Accessible toilet. If a Carer is registered with East Sussex County Council and has their Carer’s card with them and is bringing the person they care for with them, they get 50% off the top price ticket.  Box Office Tel: 01323 802020.

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 Visitors Centre, in the Welcome Building BN21 4BP.

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 Office 01323 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.

Cineworld 2nd 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 restriction 5’11”. To find the cinema from the Beacon’s multi storey 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 – 2 wheelchair spaces in the front row. See details No.8 below

  1. Arts

Towner, Devonshire Park, College Road, BN21 4JJ. 01323 434670. Towner is the contemporary art museum for South East England. Admission is free. The gallery is fully accessible with lift, accessible toilet, cafe. Some exhibitions are chargeable. Accessible Cinema with 2 wheelchair spaces. Car park with 16 Blue Badge Spaces adjacent.

  1. Museums / History

The Redoubt Fortress Museum, Royal Parade BN22 7AQ. Uncover over 200 years of history and discover its hidden secrets.  One of the South Coast’s most historic landmarks is the unique Georgian fortress.  The Outpost cafe.  Access to the parade ground is via steep steps from the promenade. The only wheelchair access currently available is to the gun platform via a slope from Royal Parade road entrance where there are blue badge spaces. Can also use Treasure Island car park Eastbourne, blue badge spaces and wheelchair accessible toilet by bowling green. Street Parking. The Seafront Services are overseeing Cinema Events here May to October, 01323 410611.

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.

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.

‘Story of Eastbourne’ free exhibition. 248 Terminus Road, Eastbourne BN21 3DE. 01323 415636. Open Tuesday to Sundays from 10am to 5pm and daily in school holidays. Wheelchair accessible. No toilets nearest public accessible toilet on Lower Prom near Bandstand.  The Story of Eastbourne exhibition and heritage hub tells the story of Eastbourne through the eyes of the real people who lived it, as well as providing an information hub for heritage.

  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 the i-go passport to leisure activities for children and young people with disabilities and special needs in East Sussex email for more information i-go@eastsussex.gov.uk.

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

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.

Fort Fun amusement and rides park, Royal Parade, BN22 7LQ. 01323 642833. Cafe, indoor soft play area, giant outdoor adventure play area, bouncy pillow, American golf, water park and lots more. Accessible – there is one set of steps on the mini golf. Car park with blue badge spaces.

Life Guard Station and First Aid Post near Wish Tower slopes – Lifeguards on duty from 1 May to 30 September. Offer Kidzone colour coded wristband system. Sandpit on pebbles by wooden walkway, open when lifeguard station is manned.

Treasure Island playground and paddling pool, Royal Parade, BN22 7AE. 01323 411077, with indoor soft play area and Beachdeck 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 2.

The Redoubt Fortress, Towner, swimming pools, sport centres, etc have many special activities and clubs for children during holiday times contact for details.

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 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 2020