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It doesn’t take Sherlock to deduce that a park with ‘Sands’ in the name is going to be by a beach. So yes, we shall deerstalkingly deduce that it’s just a short walk to the beach from Winchelsea Sands Holiday Park at Rye in East Sussex, for sandcastles, surfing and sand in your sarnies. (Try sushi instead; it’s the twenty-first century picnic basket filler.)
But…Winchelsea Sands is a Park Holidays site, so it might take you a day or two to get down to the beach. The park is stuffed with things to do for all tastes, including kids’ clubs, adventure playground and heated outdoor pool. Then there’s the Lobster Pot Club with live entertainment, a games room, free wifi, Sky TV and a bistro including takeaway, as well as a launderette and shop right on site…
Caravans at Winchelsea come in a range of tariffs, and all have linen, gas, electric and entertainment passes included; there’s also a colour TV in each, for when you get back from the pool/Lobster Pot Club/exploring the Sussex coast and want to put your feet up…Wireless is available in caravans too for a reasonable extra charge.
Tourist board rating
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Many sites set a maximum occupancy of 6/8 people per pitch, so try breaking your booking down into smaller groups to generate more results. For example, if you’re a group of 10, enter 5 people in your initial search and then book 2 pitches.
However, where the pitch or accommodation occupancy allows it, you can make a booking for up to 30 adults and 30 children in one booking.
To book multiple pitches or accommodation, use the 'Special requests' box on the booking page to ask to be sited together. Complete the booking form for the first booking (you can add a password and save your card so that we remember your details). Then click "Make another booking like this" at the top of the confirmation page to make the next booking.
Large groups: check the listing page for any group restrictions set out in the terms and section titled ‘Please note’.
Large tents/caravans: check the restrictions on unit dimensions to ensure your unit is suitable for the space you will be provided with.
Leisure on site
Bar or club house
Indoor swimming pool
Outdoor swimming pool
Amenities on site
Ice pack freezing
Parent & baby washroom
Pick-up from public transport
Gas cylinders available
Commercial vehicles allowed
Dogs allowed all year
Single-sex groups welcome
Student groups welcome
Large (51-200 pitches)
- Coach stations
Hastings: Town Centre Coach Stops — 7.5 miles
7.5 miles Hastings: Sedlescombe Rd North Coach Stop — 7.6 miles
7.6 miles St Leonards: Warrior Square Coach Stop — 8.2 miles
- Train stations
Winchelsea Rail Station — 1.6 miles
1.6 miles Rye Rail Station — 2.7 miles
2.7 miles Three Oaks Rail Station — 4.9 miles
- Ferry ports
Folkestone Eurotunnel Terminal — 21.4 miles
21.4 miles Dover Western Docks Ferry Terminal — 29.4 miles
Lydd London Ashford Airport — 9.6 miles
* Follow the M20. Leave the M20 at junction 10, then at the roundabout take the 4th exit onto Bad Munstereifel Road.
* At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Bad Munstereifel Road - A2070.
* Branch left, then at the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the A2070 (signposted Brenzett).
* Entering Brenzett at the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Straight Lane - A259.
* Entering Rye, at the mini roundabout turn left onto Fishmarket Road - A259.
* At the mini roundabout, turn left onto Winchelsea Road - A259 and turn left onto Sea Road.
* Bear left onto Sea Road. Entering Winchelsea Beach, continue forward onto Pett Level Road.
* You have arrived at Winchelsea Beach.
Once you’ve dusted the sand off your toes and ventured off the beach, make for the seven seas of – sorry – the town of Rye, one of the medieval Cinque Ports and with a long history of smuggling through the centuries. The twelfth century Mermaid Inn was used by the notorious Hawkhurst Gang in the eighteenth century and in the twenty-first has an award-winning restaurant and medieval–style art inside. It was connected by an underground tunnel to the nearby Old Bell Inn – sadly the tunnel is no longer in use, although Famous Five fans in the family (all, we hope) should enjoy the tale anyway, and there’s A Smuggler’s Adventure at St Clements Caves to try too.
Also in Rye is the National Trust-managed Lamb House, once home to novelist Henry James and a host of other famous names (not all at the same time); the harbour with fishing fleet (fresh fish is available to buy at the quayside or take your own boat out) and tearooms and restaurants galore. The Rye Heritage Centre is a good intro to the area and has walking tours and ghost walks. You might also see Rye resident Tom Baker in the town to make Dalek noises at – just saying…
Just along the coast is Hastings, famous as the site of the Battle of Hastings and now known as part of 1066 Country; the 1066 Battle Abbey and Battlefield, and Hastings Castle and the 1066 Story are here, as well as guided walks and geocaching in the area and Europe’s biggest beachside fishing fleet in the town. The beach at Hastings is a top spot for watersports, or you could head slightly further along the coast to the beaches at Bexhill and Camber Sands.
There’s more history at Yesterday’s World in Battle with five floors and 150,000 artefacts from the past century, and a play village too if the kids are revolting; if they need to be mollified further, there are rhinos and safari rides at Port Lympe Wild Animal Safari Park, the Miniature Pony Centre at Dartmoor, dangling about at Go Ape! or going undercover at The Hop Farm to keep them happy. Then you can sneak off to the ten fishing lakes at Battle’s Wylands Angling Centre, open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year…
- Camber Sands (3.3 miles)
- A Smugglers Adventure at St Clements Caves (7.0 miles)
- Hastings Castle and 1066 Story (7.2 miles)
- Lamb House (2.5 miles)
- Smallhythe Place (8.7 miles)
Find local routes on the National Cycle Network - over 12,000 miles of cycling routes.