Eastbourne is a town and seaside resort in the non-metropolitan county of East Sussex on the south coast of England, 19 miles east of Brighton and 54 miles south of London. Eastbourne is immediately to the east of Beachy Head, the highest chalk sea cliff in Great Britain and part of the larger Eastbourne Downland Estate.
The seafront consists largely of Victorian hotels, a pier, a state of the art theatre, a contemporary art gallery and a Napoleonic era fort and military museum. Eastbourne was developed at the direction of the Duke of Devonshire from 1859 from four separate hamlets. Eastbourne boasts a newly-modernised town centre, consisting of a large shopping centre, 'The Beacon', and an extensive high street. It has a growing population, a broad economic base and is home to companies in a wide range of industries.
Though Eastbourne is a relatively new town, there is evidence of human occupation in the area from the Stone Age. The town grew as a fashionable tourist resort largely thanks to prominent landowner, William Cavendish, later to become the Duke of Devonshire.