The sheltered position of the main town below the Downs contributes to Eastbourne's title of one of the sunniest places in Great Britain.
The focus of the tourism trade is the four miles (6 km) of shingle beach, lined with a seafront of hotels and guest houses. Eastbourne Pier, built in 1865, is a symbol of Eastbourne and today houses amusement arcades, a nightclub and a public house.
Opened in 1993, Sovereign Harbour is a development of the beachland to the east of the town centre. The marina now consists of four separate harbours, a retail park and an extensive housing development. The tidal Outer Harbour is only used for entrance to the marina through twin sea locks, operated 24 hours a day.
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