Nearby Winchelsea beach
A stone’s throw from the parish of Pett Village and stretching from Cliff End to Winchelsea Beach, Pett Level is a magical place to spend time. Whether searching for mussels and sea anemones in the shadow of imposing sandstone cliffs, or strolling along the Royal Military Canal only pausing to make way for the resident ducks, you can be assured of a relaxing stay.
Starting at Cliff End, the beach is a site of both biological and geological interest. It is famous for its sunken forest dating back to the Ice Age, and at low tide you can see the stumps of ancient trees amongst the rock pools. Children can spend hazy days on the beach hunting for hazlenuts thought to date back to 5,200BC, or searching for dinosaur footprints fossilised from the Lower Cretaceous period. Turtle bones and shark’s teeth have also been found.
Parish Church of St Thomas the Martyr at Winchelsea
Walk along the far-reaching expanse of shingle, leading to Winchelsea Beach, which is known for being the site of the original Saxon town of Winchelsea, washed away in floods during the 13th century. Don’t forget to stop off for an ice-cream or for something a little more warming; the Winchelsea Beach Café is the perfect spot for a hot chocolate. For a cool vibe, head to The Ship at Winchelsea where you can enjoy a fabulous lunch and buy some local goodies to take home afterwards.
Across the road from the beach are the Pett Pools, a mixture of expansive shallow lakes and reed beds which entice a multitude of both breeding and overwintering wildfowl and water birds. Pett Level is also famous for being the last point of the Royal Military Canal which runs from Cliff End to Hythe, originally built as a defence against Napoleonic invasion. Park the car nearby and stroll along the pretty canal bank, full of wild flowers in summer.
Pett Level is central to many little Sussex villages and towns, including the delightful Winchelsea, allegedly the smallest town in England. More like a village, it perches above the lower seaside part of Winchelsea Beach. Its medieval gates and hidden cellars make the town, which is made up of blocks of cottages surrounding the church of St.Thomas the Martyr - a captivating place to spend an afternoon.
"Pett Level is a magical place to spend time."
Five miles east of Winchelsea is the ancient Cinque Ports town of Rye, a bustling fishing harbour with traditional cobbled streets. Beautiful 16th century houses are nestled amongst antique shops, cafés and tearooms such as The Apothecary and Fletchers House, and restaurants including The George, Webbe’s at the Fish Café, and The Globe Inn Marsh, all of which are sure to make the perfect end to any evening.