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Tourism

We’ve been welcoming visitors for nearly one thousand years

Set on our sandstone hill top 400 feet above sea level, East Grinstead stands about half way between London and the South coast. The tower of St Swithun’s church dominates the skyline and has been a landmark for miles around. The church very much reflects the town’s associations with iron making in the surrounding countryside and contains the graves of the Sussex Martyrs, victims of past religious intolerance.

Bluebell Railway station

Surrounding the church our ancient market town boasts a wealth of architectural heritage and is surrounded by some of the finest countryside in the whole of the South East of England. This is where the River Medway rises, and the vast swathes of Ashdown Forest begin. Here you can ride on the steam trains of the famous Bluebell Railway, drift among the treasures of the National Trust’s Standen, or celebrate the famous Christmas Carol of Good King Wenceslas in the quadrangle of Sackville College.

Truly, East Grinstead has something for everyone. Friendly restaurants, pubs, bars and coffee shops are waiting to bid you welcome. Cosy accommodation in one of our outstanding hotels or bed and breakfasts is available through the year. The town also has self-catering facilities and campsites; you can even stay in a yurt!

Through the years buildings such as Sackville College have been lovingly maintained and it still serve as an almshouse giving homes for the town’s elderly. This is where the famous East Grinstead carol ‘Good King Wenceslas’ was written, you can visit the building and take a tour from mid June to mid September each year.

Sackville College

The Greenwich Meridian also runs through the town, in keeping with East Grinstead’s location as a hub for four counties, for this is the only place where East and West Sussex meets Surrey and Kent. The prime meridian that separates East from West is celebrated at East Court, the 1768 mansion set in its own parkland within the town.

Just on the southern outskirts of the town lies Standen, an Arts and Crafts family home owned by the National Trust. The house and gardens were created in the 1890s by James Beale and his wife Margaret. With the help of architect Philip Webb, and William Morris’ firm of designers, they created a unique House, notable not just for its Arts and Crafts interiors but also its homely charm. Open seven days a week in peak season, Standen also boasts 12 acres of hillside gardens with sweeping views over the Medway Valley. Please check the website for details of the opening times and seasonal events programme.

Standen

Tourist Information Desk

  • Visit our desk in the East Grinstead Library, call +44 (0) 1342 410121 or email us.
  • The tourism desk is manned 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday. When tourism staff are away from their desk a basic relief cover is kindly provided by staff of the West Sussex County Council Library service.

East Grinstead Town Council is not responsible for the content of external web sites.