Days Out: De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea

Click to follow
The Independent Travel

This Modernist masterpiece, stunningly situated on the seafront at Bexhill-on-Sea in East Sussex, has recently been restored to its former glory and now hosts exhibitions, talks, tours, workshops and family events, as well as performances in the 1,000-seater auditorium. Designed by the German and Russian architects Erich Mendelsohn and Serge Chermayeff, the De La Warr Pavilion was built in 1935 and was the first public Modernist building in the UK.

For adults

You don't have to be an architecture buff to appreciate this unique building, with its sweeping spiral staircases, curved balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows, but if you fancy finding out more you can join the twice-monthly tours (the next is on 6 June at 2pm, £3, booking required). Current exhibitions (until 2 July) are "Bridget Smith: Rebuild", a photographic exhibition exploring the restoration of the building, and displays on Erich Mendelsohn. There is a free weekly Exhibition Walk and Talk at noon on alternate Wednesdays and Saturdays. For National Architecture Week (17-25 June) there is a programme of special events, including musical tours.

For children

There is plenty of space outside along the seafront where little ones can run around and older ones can skateboard and rollerblade (activities that are welcomed here). A good time for families to visit is the first Sunday afternoon of each month when they run Lift the Lid - free creative drop-in activities - in an area on the top floor.

Refreshments

Worth a visit for a Rocky Road Slice alone. These moreish chocolate, marshmallow and biscuit creations are produced on the premises by the Good Eating Company which runs the café/bar (open daily 10am-6pm) and restaurant (open daily 12-2.30pm, and Friday/ Saturday 7-9.30pm; 01424 229119). The restaurant serves organic produce such as fresh linguine with hot smoked salmon, roast sweetcorn and sorrel (£10) and beer-battered cod with chips and mushy peas (£9.50) - plus children's food, vegetarian meals and snacks, such as homemade soup. Reservations essential at weekends.

Access

All areas are fully accessible and there is disabled parking outside. A loop system operates in the auditorium. Large print copies of the guide are available and guide dogs are permitted where practicable.

Admission

Open daily 10am-6pm. Entry to the building and exhibitions is free; prices for the events vary.

How to get there

De La Warr Pavilion, Marina, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex TN40 1DP (01424 229100; dlwp.com)

By public transport: trains run from London Victoria and Charing Cross to Bexhill-on-Sea (0845-127 2920; southernrailway.com; 0845-000 2222; setrains.co.uk)

By car: off the A21. There is pay-and-display parking right outside the building.

Comments