A Lewes Diary: Take Me Back

Note: This is the sixth part in an on-going series chronicling my study abroad trip in Brighton, England. I am joined on this trip by my classmates and friends Cassie JenkinsClaire RobertsonVy NguyenJhocelyn AlvaradoMorgan CollierAbigail Pennington and Susan Salvo, led by director of student publications, Andy Coughlan.

Day 6 — June 17

Approximately seven miles from Brighton is the quaint slice of heaven, Lewes. I’m not sure if any town can quite sum up the vision one gets of old-town England like Lewes. I don’t have anything to compare it to because, to me, it’s that unique.

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A semi-aerial view of Lewes. Photo by Olivia Malick

If you’re not visiting palaces in England, then you might as well visit a castle. Like, a real castle.

Lewes Castle was built in in the 11th century and is open to the public.

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It’s odd to see a medieval castle in the middle of an otherwise pretty modern town, but it’s cool nonetheless. Photo by Olivia Malick

As you climb up the stairs of the various levels of the castle, you see more and more of Sussex — the county in which Lewes and Brighton both sit.

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Each level offers a new view of Lewes.
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Photos by Olivia Malick

The castle is owned by the Sussex Archaeological Society, the oldest archeological society in England.

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It was so incredible that I tried to video call my dad so that I could show him everything I was seeing. Unfortunately, it was about 4 a.m. in Texas, so he wasn’t awake.

I’ll never forget how I felt on that day. I can’t remember the last time I felt so calm and content. It was a beautiful day — the sun was shining, the wind was blowing, but not too hard.

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No filter necessary — a sun flare adds the perfect touch to a perfect view. Photo by Olivia Malick

Seriously, it was one of the best days of my life.

It’s still so hard to fathom what 900 years of history really is, even though I’ve stood in castle that’s been in existence since almost 600 years before America was a country.

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The towering castle is oddly welcoming. It has seen many people throughout its almost 1,000 year history. Photo by Olivia Malick

It’s not just the history and the sunshine that made that day so good, though.

After we toured the castle, we headed over to the Southover Grange, sat under a shady tree enjoyed our lunch.

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Southover Grange. Photo by Olivia Malick
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The Southover Grange Café offers a variety of sandwiches and light snacks. One of my few American concessions on this trip was a Coca-Cola (£1.50/$1.87). There’s nothing better than a cold Coke. I also had a smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber sandwich for £4.25 ($5.29). It was my favorite sandwich that I had in England. And I had a lot of sandwiches. I had a packet of crisps for £1 ($1.25) and a piece of lemon drizzle cake for £2.50 ($3.11). An excellent lunch for an excellent day. Photo by Olivia Malick

After that, we spent a couple of hours at the Anne of Cleves House in the tranquility garden playing games like ring-toss (I don’t remember what the English name was), giant tic-tac-toe, and a lawn bowling game called Skittles.

It was nice to not feel rushed by impending deadlines or to feel the weight of a country gone mad on your shoulders (I’m looking at you, America).

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Not a care in the world. Tea was the only thing on our minds. Photo by Olivia Malick

I don’t know if I can ever fully describe what that day meant to me, but if I ever find myself in England again, I’m high-tailing it to Lewes.

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