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More Top Hotels East Grinstead
The Royal Pavilion
The Royal Pavilion in Brighton was built in the early part of the 19th century as a Royal residence for the Prince Regent, who later became King George IV. It was largely designed by the architect John Nash and has an exterior that is built in the style of an Indian mausoleum, whist the interior is influenced by both Indian and Chinese designs. It was primarily used as a seaside retreat for the young Prince, where it is said that he used it to entertain his secret lover, Mrs Fitzhubert away from the scornful eyes of his family in London who disapproved of the relationship because she was catholic. Following the death of King George IV it was used on a few occasions by his successors King William IV and Queen Victoria but neither of these monarchs liked the Royal Pavilion very much. They felt it lacked privacy, which became more of a problem after Brighton was connected by rail to London in 1841. In 1850 the local council acquired the building. Today the Royal Pavilion is a popular tourist attraction. Details of opening times and admission prices are available on the website.
The history of the castle dates back to the Norman Conquest when one of the Norman nobles, Richard Fitz Herbert, was given land at a crossing of the river Medway. A typical motte and bailey wooden castle was built, but this was destroyed some years later during a rebellion. It was rebuilt in stone and the twin-towered gatehouse was added in the 13th century. The gatehouse still stands and is considered among the finest in England. The castle had a succession of owners but the Civil War saw an end to its existence and parts of it were gradually demolished and used for buildings elsewhere. The grounds are free of charge and are open daily 8am to dusk. There is an admission fee for the castle which is open 9am to 5pm Mondays to Saturdays, and 10.30am to 5pm Sundays. There is an audio tour which lasts about one hour and is also available in French, German, Dutch and Spanish. The tour offers interactive displays and tableaux recreating medieval life.
Prince Regent Swimming Complex
Prince Regent Swimming Complex has recently undergone a major refurbishment program. Facilities include four different swimming pools, a health suite, crèche and meeting rooms. The standard opening times for the swimming pool are: Monday - from 10.30am until 9.30pm Tuesday - from 10.30am until 6.45pm Wednesday and Thursday - from 10.30am until 9.30pm Friday - from 10.30am until 5.45pm Saturday - from 9am until 4.45pm Sunday - from 10am until 9.30 pm Early morning swimming is available for members Monday to Friday from 7am until 9am. Various membership packages are available but non members can use the facilities at the complex and pay on the door.
The Hop Farm
The Hop Farm is set in 400 acres of the Kent Countryside and has a museum where you can see old farming traditions and some of the machinery that was used. There are around 12 Oast houses which are located in the Oast Village and here you can see how they used to make beer. They still grow hops purely for demonstration purposes. There is also a small farm holding area where you can walk around and visit pigs, sheep, cows and many other animals. Facilities also include a new Skypark which provides activities for visitors, a gift shop, craft centre and tea rooms. Car parking is available and free. Opening times are 10am to 5pm (last admission at 4pm) and they are open year round,except between 24th-31st December
Hever Castle in Kent dates back to 1270. It was enlarged into a Tudor dwelling in the early 1500s when it was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn (wife of Henry VIII and mother of Elizabeth I). The castle was restored by William Waldorf Astor in 1903 with the building of the Tudor Village and the creation of the gardens and lake. The castle houses portraits, tapestries and artefacts from the sixteenth century. There is a costume exhibition in the Long Gallery and a large display of arms, armour and instruments of torture and execution in the gatehouse. The gardens include mazes, water features and fountains, and the Tudor garden and Rhododendron Walk. Open daily. Gardens: 11am - 5pm (March - October) Gardens: 11am - 3:30pm (November) Castle opens: 12am Tickets: Combined castle and gardens Adult: £ 9.80 Senior: £ 8.20 Child (5-14): £ 5.30 Reduced price for garden admission only Family tickets are also available. There is car parking available in the grounds. Wheelchair access to the castle is restricted.