Staycation in Sussex by Louise

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“Go and get dressed. We are going on a little holiday”. The word “holiday” is one that we have all taken for granted for so long yet had now just created a wave of pure excitement and joy in the house. So many questions of where are we going, how long for, can we go swimming? Holidays are something we all enjoy together as a family and certainly one of the things we have missed so much.

We packed up what seemed like all of our worldly belongings - summer clothes, warm clothes, buckets, raincoats, suncream - all eventualities covered, this is of course a UK holiday!  Just an hour and a bit down the road we arrived in Hastings, 1066 country. Set between hills that reach to the sea, Hastings is where the smooth bustle of modern life rubs along with the rough edges of tradition. The ruins of the castle watch over the town, as they have for nearly 1000 years. The seafront stretches from the fishing boats at the eastern end through the hustle and bustle of the arcades and funfair rides, to the newly refurbished pier and its promenade. The sun was shining and we were at last on our holidays! New procedures were in place to ensure everything was covid secure - from opening the sealed caravan ourselves, checking in on the app to say we had arrived, antibacterial wipes and gel in the welcome packs. It was all very reassuringly safe. We had slots booked each day for the outdoor swimming pool and what a great experience that was - we had the children’s pool all to ourselves and it was as warm as a bath. There was no excuse not to have a dip and the beautiful weather certainly made it even better. The evening entertainment was booked in the same way, we were taken to our table on arrival and ordered our drinks via the app which were bought directly to the table. It was all totally seamless and we were very impressed by it all. It was certainly an improvement on pre-covid times when you’d spend half an hour at the bar waiting!

Pevensey Bay was just a short 15 minute drive and a lovely little village with a tearoom and a traditional bucket and spade shop that reminded me of being a child again when we would spend our summer holidays at the beach and got to choose a new bucket to help build the biggest sandcastle! At low tide the beach stretched as far as the eye could see and left the best sand for digging and creating sand sculptures. Certainly, a great place for people watching with paddle boarders and kayaks coming and going all day.

We visited Eastbourne, 30 minutes away and found a crab washed up on the shore. Took an open top bus all the way up to the top of Beachy Head with its dramatic 530 feet high cliffs giving stunning views over Eastbourne and the English Channel. The day wouldn’t have been complete without a traditional fish and chip supper by the sea and a game or two on the 2p arcade machines.

Whilst we wait for the world to reopen and we can then jet off again on new adventures, a staycation this Summer has proved to be extremely popular. Although we were just an hour from home it felt like a world away from everything we had dealt with over the last year. A trip down memory lane from the holidays of my childhood where the sunny days lasted forever in a haze of sand, laughter and most importantly being together as a family.

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