"LEWES - 'IT'S NICER THAN BRIGHTON!'" Top 5 Page for this destination Lewes by themajor
Lewes Travel Guide: 48 reviews and 125 photos
Lewes is one of my favourite towns in the United Kingdom. Although I don't happen to live here I do visit every week pursuing my long-held love of antiques and auctions. I often pause by estate agents windows and go through my customary daydream - which has lasted almost 40 years now - of pretending which expensive flint built townhouse i will be moving into next week. I never quite realise these lofty ambtions as the small matter of money always gets in the way. I am working on it.
The town is a delight. A curious mix of conservative tweedy respectibility (for Lewes was the county town of East Sussex before administrative governmental meddling started juggling with our delightfully ancient traditions) and green eco-warriordom (WWOOF, Willing Workers On Organic Farms is based here together with the worlds' supply of dried lentils...well, more than the odd bagful anyway.) in recent years a new brand of resident has been thrown into the mix - the DFL!
DFL's or Down From London's seem have attracted a rather 'mixed' response from some born and bred locals. Basically they are Londoners who have either sold up in the capital city and relocated with their juicily inflated capital reserves or they are well-heeled second home owners who seem to be able to afford what many grown-up offspring of locals can't - a home in Lewes. One wonders whether the image they painted of the DFL is gross caricature but to be honest, I've seen it myself. Stroll along the High Street on a Saturday and peep into the cafes and artisan bakers. Look for Yummy Mummies bearing mobiles and errant children with slightly unusual names - Boris, Tarquin, Esmerelda, Violet. Watch the children run rampage whilst their parents studiously ignore the ensuing tumult whilst sipping their decaf lattes and pouring over the Arts section of The Guardian. Feel their lofty indignation as a local asks their children to 'be careful' or 'pick up their rubbish'. Priceless!
Such is the Jekyll and Hyde nature of the place that you get wonderfully earnest ventures selling organic nuclear-free hemp sitting decorously alongside shops that purvey Philippe Stark lemon squeezers. Add a real life mediaeval castle, Anne of Cleves' Tudor hideaway, twee cottages, art galleries and a splendid smattering of characterful shops and you can't go wrong. And I haven't even mentioned the UK's most extraordinary Bonfire Night celebrations.
I have an extraordinary tale to tell. Before it was purchased and used as council offices, the buildings behind Lewes... more travel advice
Well this is one tourist trap you really ought to fall into. The Lewes Tourist Information Centre is packed with... more travel advice
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