Holywell Beach (Holywell Retreat)

Holywell Beach - East Sussex
© David Dixon and licensed for reuse under this Licence

Located at the western end of Eastbourne\‘s promenade is Holywell, a quaint and peaceful throwback to pre-war Britain. The name possibly comes from a mineral water spring which was purported to have certain curative powers.

Whatever the case, the beach here is similar to much of Eastbourne\‘s beach in that it consists of steep banks of shingle divided up by wooden groynes. However, it is also very different with a much more laid back, peaceful ambience.

The Italian Gardens which the beach backs onto were formerly known as Holywell Retreat and nestled amongst the greenery is the Holywell tea chalet.
Further evidence of Holywell\‘s seaside pedigree is the collection of blue and white beach huts one of which was used by King George V and Queen Mary during their visit to Eastbourne.

To the other side of the beach are the white chalk cliffs which lead to the sheer 500ft of Beachy Head. This can easily be reached via the South Downs coastal path.

Also known as:

Holywell Retreat

Type of beach


Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

Dogs allowed

Dogs are welcome on the beach but must be kept under control.

East Sussex dog friendly beaches »


  • Cafe/restaurant
  • Beach hut hire

Nearest town


OS grid ref.

TV 6037 9727


Marine Conservation Society Recommended

Submit a correction