We agreed to a dog and house sit in Rottingdean on the Sussex coast and for us it was a delightful trip down memory lane, we hadn’t been there in over 30 years. Located just two miles from Brighton it remains the picture perfect ‘English Village’ that I recall, offering a vibrant art and music scene alongside it’s rich history dating back to the Saxon era.
The Grange is a Gallery and Museum. The exhibition running at the time of our visit was ‘Cinema by The Sea’ celebrating the Golden Age of British film, spotlighting classic films including Brighton Rock, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Genevieve and many more. Wonderful film clips and fabulous costumes were on show. Rudyard Kipling’s Study is a permanent feature in the museum and well worth a visit. The Grange is also a local “Visitor Information Centre”:http://www.rottingdeanvillage.org.uk/rottingdean-preservation-society
Famous People: Rudyard Kipling is one of the many famous people who have lived in Rottingdean and his house still stands today with lovely walled gardens lying adjacent. The gardens are open to the public year round. Many years after his death the house and garden had fallen into disrepair and his family were about to sell everything off to developers but the Rottingdean Preservation Society stepped in and rescued a very important historical site.
St Margaret’s Church: Just a stones throw from where we were staying is the 13th century church of St. Margaret, build of flint. Quite a strange fact: An almost exact replica has been built at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California. Apparently this is a church that our american cousins love to visit.
Sweetie Pie Café: Our full English breakfast at this cafe was a real treat and the local sausages outstanding. Excellent value, friendly service and Bayley the dog (little Shih Tzu) was welcome. 74 High Street: 01273 757242
Rottingdean has a whole host of exciting eateries from tasty pub grub to fine dining in a wide variety of restaurants. The White Horse Hotel on the sea front offers an excellent Sunday lunch, very reasonably priced
Walking: After breakfast we caught one of the frequent buses running along the seafront to Brighton Marina and then returned to Rottingdean following the Undercliff Walk for about two miles and although it was a chilly day it remained dry and there were plenty of people out and about. The wide path running alongside the beach is perfect for walkers, cyclists, wheelchairs, pushchairs and dogs; there’s room for everyone.
The iconic Black Windmill sitting high on Beacon Hill was still closed for winter the day we climbed up there. Well worth the effort for the panoramic views. It is open to the public on every 3rd Sunday from May-September between 2.00-4.30pm.
The hill is a local nature reserve. It was also well known for sport, having a cricket club founded in 1758 and having been a centre of fox hunting, especially in the second half of the 19th century.
Anthroped Arts is a highly individual shop combining art and science. Workshops in their ‘creativity lab’ are popular with children and they sell a wide variety of toys both fun and educational. Perfect birthday gift ideas.
Tel: 07701 072761 www.arthropodartsshop.com
Rottingdean has so much to offer and we will definitely be returning soon, if only to stroll through the Kipling Gardens once they’re in full bloom.