Monday, November 1, 2010

Welcome to Lewes

Looking down a side road from High Street
I discovered while working on this blog post that I need more pictures of Lewes. Lewes is an fantastic town that really feel like a small old European town.

As you walk down the main street of town called High Street you see small shop after small shop with restaurants and flats mixed in.

High Street is the main road for traffic through Lewes and yet for the part through the middle its only has one lane and uses traffic lights to keep everything moving smoothly.

One day while walking down High Street I noticed something that surprised me a little. There was a little plaque on the wall of one of the buildings called the "Bull House" and it stated that this was the home of Thomas Paine.

Finding a link to home all the way over here was really awesome. It showed how connected our story in the United States really is to the story of other countries. I feel that we sometimes forget that and this was a nice reminder for me.

Lewes Castle
A little way past Thomas Paine's old house is a castle! There is a hill right off of High Street and up on it is a castle. The hill is the highest point in Lewes so you can easily see it from all over the town. 

I really enjoy seeing the castle as I bike around the town. Its something that really makes the area feel unique to me.

As you continue down High Street you will pass the town hall, pass a monument and head down a hill towards Cliffe Street.

Cliffe Street is a great area with a lot of small local shops mixed with a few bigger chain stores. But even these chain stores have a small foot print (no parking lots!)

Cliffe Street is cobble stoned and is mostly traffic free. Most days the street is filled with people walking up and down visiting the shops. It is a street that is owned by the people walking not by the cars. The result is that most of the cars stay away.

The river Ouse and the cliffs overlooking the town
Cliffe Street goes over the river Ouse which flows through part of town. Right next to the bridge is a local brewery called Harvey's. It is one of the only local breweries still in business in England. 

On the first Saturday of every month there is a farmer's market on Cliffe Street. When the market is there the street is just packet full of vendors, people shopping and some street performers.

Lewes is a great town. You can walk or bike everywhere. You do not need a car to live, work, shop and play in Lewes. All around the town are farmers fields and natural areas. You should come visit!

1 comment:

  1. Lewes really is fascinating. It struck me how much Tom Paine is celebrated here. There is a "Tom Paine Printing Press & Press Gallery" in the town, and his picture is featured on the local currency. There is a plaque in a historic part of town that tells of the life he lived in Lewes before going across the sea, and also his role in American history. A pub that he frequented holds a plaque in its door stating,

    "Thomas Paine here expounded his revolutionary politics. This inn is regarded as a cradle of American independence which he helped to found with pen and sword."