East Grinstead is an ancient market town that was the capital of the old High Weald, and lies at the meeting point of the four counties of Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex and Surrey. The carol Good King Wenceslas was written at the town's Sackville College.
The main roads into East Grinstead are the A22, which runs from the M25 down to Eastbourne and Brighton (as the A26), and the A264, which runs from Tunbridge Wells through East Grinstead to Crawley and Gatwick Airport.
The centre of East Grinstead is fairly small, and can easily be travelled on foot. As with most other towns in England, the town is well serviced by buses and taxis.
Metrobus is the main bus company that operates buses in East Grinstead. Timetables and fares are available on Metrobus. Buy your ticket from the driver when you board the bus. There are also buses from Eastbourne Buses (No. 54) http://www.eastbournebuses.co.uk/bustimes.htm and No. 409 from London buses. http://www.londonbusroutes.net/times/409.htm Tandridge (Surrey) council Buses4You will transport you from Oxted or Surrey villages, to and from East Grinstead (but not during morning & afternoon school bus times). http://www.buses4u.org.uk/areasOfService.htm#tanDistrict
The main taxi rank is at the train station, although you can order a taxi by telephone to pick you up from anywhere.
- Acorn Cars - +44 1342 410518
- Ivy Dene Cars - +44 1342 835835
- Raceline Cars - +44 1342 317555
- Roadrunners - +44 1342 324444
- Southdown Cars - +44 1342 317400
- Sackville College, ☎ +44 1892 770179, +44 1342 326561. Open Wednesday-Saturday, 14:00-17:00 from June to September. A beautiful 17th century sandstone almshouse, where the carol Good King Wenceslas was penned. Admission: £3.50 for adults, £1 for children.
- Standen, West Hoathly Road, RH19 4NE, ☎ +44 1342 323029, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Opening times - House: Wednesday-Sunday, 11:00-16:30 (last entry at 16:00) from March to October, plus Mondays in July and August; Garden: Wednesday-Sunday, 11:00-17:30 from March to October plus Mondays in July and August; Friday-Sunday, 11:00-15:00 in November and December. The National Trust's flagship Arts and Crafts country house, internationally renowned for its William Morris wallpapers, textiles and contemporary fittings. Also has extensive landscaped gardens. Admission: £7.50 for adults, £3.75 for children.
- The church of St Swithun's - contains the graves of the Sussex Martyrs
- East Grinstead Museum, Old Market Yard, Cantelupe Road, RH19 3BJ (located just off the High Street), ☎ +44 1342 302233, e-mail: email@example.com. Open Wednesday to Saturday 10.00 - 16.00 Sundays 14.00- 17.00. Free.
- Check out the local Theatre & Arts Centre, Chequer Mead - one of the best purpose-built venues in the south, with a good range of professional and community-based events.
- Bluebell Railway, Firbank Way, East Grinstead RH19 1QS (http://www.bluebell-railway.com/directions/), ☎ +44 1825 720800, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily Apr - Oct + weekends/holidays - between 3 and 7 trains per day. England's premier restored steam railway, has its Northern terminus located adjacent to main East Grinstead station. Trains steam 11 miles through the heart of the Sussex Weald throughout the year - other terminus is close to Sheffield Park National Trust gardens. Museum, Shop, Restaurant, Locomotive shed. 30 steam engines! £17 adult third class all-day ticket. £14.50 if booked 8 days in advance..
- Explore the wealth of walks and trails that lead from the town into the surrounding countryside. Several long distance trails pass through or near the town, such as the High Weald Landscape Trail and the Sustrans National Cycle Network Route 21 passes through the town.
- Also well known to climbers are the Stone Rocks overlooking the Weir Wood Reservoir on the outskirts of the town. There is free access to climbing these rocks which are suitable for most ages and levels of skills.
- The longest row of 14th century timber framed buildings in England, which are located on near the top of the High Street.
- The town is also an area of outstanding sporting excellence with an enviable range of facilities for all sports.
- Mc Donalds, Wimpy and Starburger Express all have outlets in the town.
- A few Italian chains like Prezzo and Pizza express have restaurants on the historic high street.
- One of the best and least well-known to visitors (but not to locals!) is the Cuisine Studio in the town's Theater & Arts Centre, Chequer Mead
- Lots of take-away outlets in the town. Generally, the best place for fish 'n' chips is considered to be Taylors, with queues stretching out onto the street at weekends. There are also several Indian restaurants such as Nizam Indian Restaurant, Shapla (good takeaway) and Chinese take-away restaurant places.
The town boasts a number of pubs. JD Weatherspoons have a branch, located on the ground floor of the Atrium Entertainment complex. The broadway, located on Railway Approach is another large venue. There are also a number of other smaller pubs located throughout the town.
Crows Nest - Live Bands every week The Dorset Arms - Gastropub The Sussex Arms - Open again, very posh The Sportsman - One of the smallest pubs England. Hidden down an alley. Often full of crazy people.
The town also has 2 main nightclubs. Tryst (previously Billy Rox), also in the Atrium and Bliss (previously Whitehall), located on Kings Street.
- Local weekly newspaper - East Grinstead Courier and Observer.
- Community radio station - 107 Meridian FM, on 107FM and online.
Other places of interest in the East Grinstead area
- Lingfield Park Racecourse, Racecourse Road, Lingfield, Surrey. Tel: +44 1342 834800. Buy tickets from the Official Site.
- The Bluebell Railway. Timetable and fare information is available here.
- Ashdown Forest is nearby, for walking, wildlife and Winnie The Pooh. (wikivoyage page:Ashdown Forest)
- Ashdown Forest Llama Park, 5 miles south of East Grinstead down the A22