DescriptionHistoric County Town
Facilities and additional information
Lewes is a large and attractive town with a full range of facilities including a Tourist Information Centre. It is a bus and rail hub. There are many speciality food shops and the town is home to Harvey's brewery (very fine ales indeed...). Historic buildings include the castle and Annes of Cleeve's House, both open to the public.Lewes is a good accomodation option if you're stuck for somewhere to stay in the Ouse valley. Coming from the west you can leave the SDW and walk straight into town. Heading east you can rejoin the SDW at Southease either by train or after a pleasant riverbank walk. Lewes is best known for its awesome November the fifth Bonfire celebrations, when costumed members of the six Bonfire Societies march through the street by the light of flaming torches, pulling barrels of burning tar. Six huge bonfires and fireworks displays mark the climax of the event. The Lewes Bonfire night is at least as much a commemoration of the 17 protestant martyrs burnt at the stake by "Bloody" Mary Tudor in 1555 - 1557 as it is a celebration of the foiling of Guy Fawkes' Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Despite Bonfire's anti-Catholic origins, Catholics are welcome these days - the pope being burnt in effigy is Pope Paul V, the Pope at the time of the Gunpowder plot and one of the infamous Borgias, not the present incumbant!Don't even think about staying in Lewes on Nov 5th unless you've booked a very long way ahead. And don't try passing through by car or train either. On November 5th, Bonfire rules Lewes. Bus 123 goes to Newhaven via Kingston and Rodmell hourly Mon - Sat, Bus 125 runs between Lewes and Alfriston via Glynde station, Selmeston, and Firle six times a day Mon - Sat. Bus 166 runs between Lewes and Haywards Heath via Plumpton and Offham five times a day Mon - Sat.