A few weeks ago, on a sunny weekday, we made an impromptu trip to Lewes. I've visited the town just a couple of times since I've lived in Brighton so thought I'd venture over there with toddler in tow for a day out. Lewes has a very different vibe to Brighton. Brighton is always buzzing with excitement and young people. Lewes is quieter & more subtle, has an older age group, is a much smaller lower rise town and is surrounded by beautiful countryside that you can see in the distance.
The train ride from Brighton to Lewes takes just fifteen minutes. Once out of the station and a few minutes walk away, in the opposite direction of town, we ended up at the remains of Lewes Priory. I thought this would be a good place to explore the ruins and let toddler have some running space. Dating back to the 11th century several parts of the Priory still stand and there are descriptions of the buildings/rooms through the grounds. It was just nice to explore and ins and outs and absorb the history. Toddler ran around in the sunshine.
Our next stop was Southover Grange Gardens, a short walk away. This is a lovely little enclosed area with beautiful flowers and a stream. This is where we saw these amazing daffodils in full bloom, the first we'd seen this year. Toddler was quite mesmerised by the steam as we don't often see rivers or flowing water in Brighton, just the sea! We stood, watching it for a while, the water gushing under the bridge. We spotted the first blossom of the year too, a photo I included in one of my Sunday Photo posts.
We headed into town and decided to get some lunch at the Riverside Cafe. I've been previously and I will always go back as I love this little cafe. Located inside the Riverside covered market, which is full of independent shops including a fish monger, florist and art gallery, the cafe serves delicious food and has a river view. The food & staff were lovely. I'm finding it easier to eat out with my little boy now. I think he's finally getting the grasp of waiting and will happily sit and wait for food (most of the time). So it makes little visits to cafes feel like little treats. We had a brief look around the market although toddler was having his pre-nap energy burst at this point, doing some random big jumps in front of people and getting lots of attention!
We had a quick look in the shops and before venturing over to the Pells Pool area. I'd looked this up on Google street view beforehand (so handy if you want to check somewhere out before visiting) and it looked like a peaceful location for a river walk with a handy playground nearby. It was a 15 minute walk from town and toddler had a little run around and we stopped and watched the ducks. Pells pool is an outdoor pool and closed at this time of year but I bet it's crowded in the summer.
Next stop was the castle. I wasn't planning on going inside but wanted to get a view from the top of the hill. I decided to go the quickest way up but this consisted of a very steep climb, and pushing a heavy toddler up the hill in a buggy made the climb feel even steeper than it already was but I did it, whoo! At the top there's a lovely view looking over the town. I think I'll return to the castle when toddler is a bit older as there is no buggy access and many steps. I bet the views from the top are amazing though. Afterwards, we headed back to Brighton and toddler fell asleep on the way home :-)
I've decided to include this trip in my #take12trips challenge. Have you visited Lewes? Where did you go?