SHORTSTAYLEWES - news from our Lewes bed and breakfast and self-catering accommodation 


Lewes in the light

Lewes is a great place to be this weekend when the Festival of Light will brighten the skies in the town.

LewesLight celebrates the town of Lewes, its history, architecture, people and its special location on the South Downs and within the Dark Skies Reserve of the National Park.

Come and see the illuminated installations around the historic town from today, 14 October, until Sunday 16 October.

There will also be guided walks and storytelling, taking in some of the lesser-known and sometimes darker stories and locations.

Visit www.leweslight.uk for more information.

Long-standing Beechwood Bed and Breakfast in Halland has been a draw for guests for 10 years. And no wonder. With its central location, making it easy to find, the luxurious homely accommodation and the extensive, beautifully maintained gardens, it fits the bill for anyone visiting Lewes, Brighton Eastbourne, Royal Tunbridge Wells and East Sussex in general.

Owner Carol Hyland, who has lived in the property for 22 years, has not only a wealth of experience but thrives on the interaction with guests. ‘We love welcoming a broad variety of guests here, of all ages and nationalities,’ she says, and points out that her nursing background gives her a natural affinity with caring and catering for people’s needs.

Beechwood’s room set up means it can accommodate up to eight guests. The three permanently bookable rooms feature two king-sized bedrooms with accompanying bathrooms and another twin-bedded room with en-suite. However, there is also a single room and another king-sized room to let in conjunction with one of the permanently bookable rooms. Named after gems – Emerald, Sapphire, Aquamarine and Gold – Carol’s rooms are warmly decorated and provide all sorts of comforts, from dressing gowns and blackout blinds to fridges and ceiling fans. Add to that her comfortable beds and a comprehensive breakfast menu, which is all cooked to order, and guests are in for a treat.

In summer Beechwood is busy with visitors attending Glyndebourne Opera, which is only a few miles down the road. ‘We understand guests often need to check in earlier than the stated 3pm time for events like this and weddings, so we do our best to accommodate that,’ explains Carol.

All in all, there is always a warm and friendly welcome waiting at Beechwood, which is a convenient base for a host of National Trust properties, such as Monk’s House, Charleston, Nymans, Sheffield Park, Bateman’s, Wakehurst Place and Petworth House, as well as the beautiful South Downs National Park and the popular Cuckmere Valley. The Bluebell Railway, Brighton Pavilion and Drusillas Park are other attractions close by.

So if you need accommodation, visit the group’s website, www.shortstaylewes.com, where you will find a range of wonderful accommodation and a warm welcome. The following bed and breakfasts can be found in and around Lewes and are part of the new group of quality-approved bed and breakfasts for the Lewes area: Beechwood B&B, Halland; Little Norlington Barn B&B, Ringmer; White Lodge B&B, Cooksbridge; The Corner House B&B, Lewes; Murrells B&B, Lewes; Aleberry B&B, Lewes; Berkeley House B&B, Lewes; no11 B&B, Lewes.

New this year as a bed and breakfast is Little Norlington Barn, an 18th-century Sussex barn on a tranquil country lane just a few miles outside Lewes.

‘We had no plans to become a B&B when we moved here three years ago,’ says owner Sandra Clement, ‘but we’ve really enjoyed having guests this summer, most of whom are coming for Glyndebourne Opera, which is two miles away.’

The barn’s layout works perfectly as a bed and breakfast. ‘I think people want their privacy these days even if they are in a bed and breakfast and the layout makes that possible here,’ says Sandra. At one end of the barn is a king-size bedroom with en-suite bathroom up its own private staircase and at the other end is a suite, again up its own private staircase. This consists of a double bedroom with small sitting room and a luxurious new shower room. There is also a separate apartment in the grounds, in what was once a milking parlour. This has a living room/dining room/kitchen, a large double bedroom, shower room and its own patio.

‘The rooms in the barn are full of oak beams, the Milking Parlour is light and contemporary, and all our rooms have beautiful South Downs views,’ explains Sandra. ‘We offer a peaceful rural stay while still being close to Lewes and not far from Brighton.’

Has Sandra found anything hard about doing bed and breakfast? ‘Yes, I’m not naturally a morning person and you have to be chirpy, motivated and organised early in the morning with guests. However, just a glance at the spectacular view and, I know it might sound silly, but you can’t feel grumpy after that – it uplifts you!’

Little Norlington Barn is one of the few places to stay in the Lewes area that accepts dogs – though only in the Milking Parlour apartment. ‘It wouldn’t be fair to my two deerhounds to have other dogs in the barn,’ explains Sandra. Rora and Orchy have been a hit with guests all summer. ‘Guests have been quite amused by Rora, who barely leaves her sofa in the hall. She is so lazy! Fortunately, most guests don’t mind about the dogs in the least, even though they are huge, but we are happy to keep them out of the way if guests let us know that dogs aren’t their thing.’

It isn’t just the dogs that guests seem to like about the barn. Sandra’s homemade granola is a particular favourite, along with her lemon drizzle cake, homemade spelt bread (husband Miles is the baker) and the sausages and bacon from Holmansbridge Farm.

Where would Sandra recommend guests visit while they are in East Sussex? ‘Definitely Charleston – it’s so zany, Nymans is lovely and there are lots of other National Trust properties and gardens not too far away. I haven’t done Sheffield Park yet but everyone says it’s great – I have that on my list. My background is in wine, so I would obviously suggest people visit some of our fabulous local vineyards, such as Nyetimber, Bluebell, Ridgeview and Breaky Bottom. Walking in the South Downs National Park is wonderful any time of the year – the Cuckmere Valley is stunning.’

So if you need accommodation, visit the group’s website, www.shortstaylewes.com, where you will find a range of wonderful accommodation and a warm welcome. The following bed and breakfasts can be found in and around Lewes and are part of the new group of quality-approved bed and breakfasts for the Lewes area: Beechwood B&B, Halland; Little Norlington Barn B&B, Ringmer; White Lodge B&B, Cooksbridge; The Corner House B&B, Lewes; Murrells B&B, Lewes; Aleberry B&B, Lewes; Berkeley House B&B, Lewes; no11 B&B, Lewes.