Hampden Park

Location BN22 9QR

Just under 3 kilometres north of Eastbourne town centre. 500 metres west of Hampden Park railway station via Rosebery Avenue.

Facilities

  • Lakeside Café (normally open all year except Christmas day)
  • toilets
  • children's playground
  • lawns for informal activities
  • bowls clubs
  • tennis courts
  • sports pitches marked for football and rugby according to the season
  • skate ramps
  • Arboretum and History Garden (open all year for free)
  • aromatic herb garden just east of the pond

Main attractions

The north side of the park is dominated by the Decoy Pond and semi-natural woodland with a wealth of native wildlife. There are also many fine specimen trees laid out across sunny lawns with picnic tables. During the spring there are large spreads of colourful crocuses and daffodils.

Near the central café a new Arboretum and History Garden opened on 31st July 2008. The trees and border plants are laid out to show how plants arrived in Britain throughout the centuries. Some have arrived by natural means and others have been brought by explorers returning from around the world.

The southern part of the park has pitches for rugby and football as well as a large concrete skate park. Athletics facilities can be found at the far south of the site and from part of the Eastbourne Sports Park complex.

History

Hampden Park opened on 12th August 1902. The land was formerly owned by Lord Willingdon but sold to Eastbourne Corporation in 1901 to create the first publicly owned park in Eastbourne. The lake and surrounding woodland were originally a wild foul decoy for Lord Wilingdon's estate. The local names Decoy Pond and Decoy Wood are still used and relate back to this time. In 2011 Hampden Park first qualified as a Queen Elizabeth II Field.