A Scenic Dog Walk Along Eastbourne Promenade

Eastbourne’s seafront is an excellent destination for dog walkers, offering a mix of scenic beauty, historical landmarks, and a welcoming atmosphere. Eastbourne seafront is roughly 4 miles long (~6km). There’s a flat promenade that runs the whole length of the seafront from Holywell at the foot of the South Downs to the Sovereign Harbour at the east of the town.

We stayed by the pier in the centre and split the seafront into two separate walks, the first westwards from the pier to Holywell and the second eastwards from the pier to the harbour.

Pier to Holywell

The [one-way] distance is just over 2 km or 1.35 miles although this does not include any exploring along the way.

1. Eastbourne Pier

Eastbourne Pier and Beach, East Sussex

Start your walk at the iconic Eastbourne Pier, a Victorian structure extending into the English Channel. While dogs are not allowed on the pier, you can enjoy the pier’s exterior and admire the panoramic views of the coastline.

2. The Bandstand

Eastbourne Bandstand

A bit further along the promenade, you’ll encounter the Bandstand, a unique blue-domed structure that hosts live music and events throughout the year. The Bandstand’s architecture is striking, and the surrounding area offers plenty of benches where you can sit and enjoy the view.

3. Eastbourne Lifeboat Museum

Eastbourne Lifeboat Museum

Just under the Wish Tower, the Lifeboat Museum tells the story of nearly 200 years of lifeboating in the town. The museum is part of the old Eastbourne lifeboat house, built in 1898 and now includes a number of exhibits and a shop. As can be seen by our picture our early morning walk meant it was not open.

4. The Wish Tower and Gardens

The Wish Tower, Eastbourne, East Sussex

Next, you’ll arrive at The Wish Tower, a historic Martello tower surrounded by the beautifully maintained Wish Tower Gardens. The gardens are dog-friendly and offer stunning views of the coastline. The tower itself is one of the remaining Martello towers built during the Napoleonic Wars, adding a touch of historical interest to your walk.

5. Holywell Beach and Promenade

Holywell Beach and Promenade

You now have the long promenade walk along Holywell Beach, which is dog-friendly all year round. The promenade has lots of benches and also some thatched huts providing shelter.

The beach itself is pebble with wooden groynes, perfect for letting your dog run off lead, as it is less busy than the main town centre stretch.

6. The Italian and Helen Gardens

Helen Gardens

Near the end of the promenade behind the beach huts, you’ll come across the Italian Gardens, a beautifully landscaped area featuring formal flower beds, fountains, and benches. Alongside the Italian gardens and at the furthest point of this walk you have Helen Gardens. This lovely green space features a pitch and putt course, a bowling green, and spacious lawns where your dog can stretch their legs. These gardens offer a peaceful spot to take a break and enjoy the surroundings.

7. Holywell

Holywell Beach Huts

You are now at the turning point of your walk, although you may want to spend some time admiring the natural rock formations and beach huts. We loved the beach huts and wondered if they were available for rent; after a quick browse on the good old internet, we discovered you can rent them for the year, although the waiting list was 7 years.

If you want a pit stop, then the Holywell Tea Chalet offers outdoor seating and welcomes dogs. Enjoy the serene ambience and take in the stunning views of the chalk cliffs and beach.

Pier to Harbour

The [one-way] distance is just over 4 km or 2.6 miles although this does not include any exploring along the way.

1. Carpet Gardens

Carpet Gardens Eastbourne

Adjacent to the pier, you’ll find the Carpet Gardens in front of The Burlington Hotel, where we stayed for our weekend trip. These gardens feature vibrant flower beds and ornamental plants. They are a feast for the eyes and provide a pleasant spot for a leisurely walk. Dogs are welcome on leads, so take your time to stroll through and enjoy the colourful seasonal displays.

2. Elizabeth Curling Drinking Fountain and Marine Gardens

Elizabeth Curling Drinking Fountain

As you continue east, after a couple of minutes you’ll come across Marine Gardens a small ornamental park across the road. Beside the park, you will see the Grade II listed Elizabeth Curling Drinking Fountain. The drinking fountain was donated by Mrs Curling in response to a serious outbreak of scarlet fever in 1863 when many children died.

3. Redoubt Fortress

Redoubt Fortress, Eastbourne

Further along the seafront, you’ll encounter the Redoubt Fortress, a Napoleonic-era circular fort that now serves as a military museum. While dogs are not allowed inside the museum, the exterior and surrounding area are worth exploring. The fortress is an impressive historical landmark, and the promenade in this area offers excellent views of the sea.

4. Princes Park

Princes Park

Princes Park is a large open space with a lake, gardens, and plenty of room for your dog to run and play. The park is a favourite among dog owners, offering well-maintained walking paths and open spaces for off-lead fun. The lake attracts a variety of birds, adding to the park’s tranquil atmosphere.

5. Sovereign Park

Sovereign Park, Eastbourne

As you walk away from Eastbourne towards the harbour you have alongside you Sovereign Park. This Park aims to preserve some of the shingle beach habitat that was once common along the south coast, with areas left as semi-natural habitats. As this is a natural habitat, it is best to keep to the paths and your dog on a lead as we don’t want to damage the environment.

6. Sovereign Harbour & Waterfront

Sovereign Harbour, Eastbourne

Your easterly walk concludes at Sovereign Harbour, a modern marina complex with a range of shops, and restaurants. The paths around the marina are dog-friendly, offering a different type of coastal experience. Enjoy a leisurely walk around the marina, taking in the sights of the boats and waterfront homes.

You’ll find The Waterfront, a vibrant area with dog-friendly cafes and pubs where you can relax and enjoy a meal or a drink. It’s the perfect spot to unwind and reflect on the beautiful sights you’ve encountered along the way.

Amenities and Practical Tips

Dog-Friendly Cafes and Pubs: Numerous cafes and pubs along the seafront and in nearby areas welcome dogs.

Water and Shade: Limited shade can make it hot, so it’s best to bring fresh water and a portable bowl for your dog. Ensure your dog has access to shade and avoids the hottest parts of the day to prevent overheating.

Waste Disposal: The promenade has bins at regular intervals so it is easy to clean up after your dog, keeping the seafront clean and pleasant for everyone.

Leads and Control: Keep your dog on a lead in busy areas and public spaces to ensure their safety and the comfort of other visitors. Always be considerate of others and keep your dog under control.

Conclusion

Eastbourne’s seafront is a fantastic destination for dog walkers, offering a blend of natural beauty, historical landmarks, and dog-friendly amenities. Whether you’re enjoying a leisurely stroll along the promenade, exploring the tranquil gardens, or visiting the beach, Eastbourne provides a welcoming and scenic environment for both you and your dog. Enjoy the fresh sea air, stunning views, and the joy of exploring this charming coastal town together.

If you want more information on the area visit our local EASTBOURNE DESTINATION GUIDE.

Note: The photo of Carpet Gardens is not from our trip as they were in the process of summer planting when we visited. Likewise, Princes and Sovereign Parks our photos didn’t come out very well. See photo stamps for contribution info from geograph.org.uk.