One of the quirky things I love about that general part of the world is the hidden higgledy piggledy steps that weave up through the steep streets, bringing you out in unexpected locations. You'll come across similar ascending (or descending, depending on which end you start) passageways in Montmartre and San Francisco, but the East Sussex ones have a distinct flavour that somehow evokes Saxon adventure and smugglers' getaways. On a sunny Saturday in May we found one of these going up from St Leonard's seafront (next to the oldest motorbike shop in the country) and made our way in through the back streets, peering nosily into houses as we went.
The brochure recommended Norman Road and the 'Style Mile' as a place to find vintage and hand made clothes and home decor as well as good cafes, so we explored around there first and discovered a strip of interesting shops, that were pedalling everything from customised upcycled clothes to extortionately overpriced bits of old fairground rides. At the end of the strip, in the rather unimaginatively named 'Shop', we found retro trifle dishes, slinky summer dresses and a sprinkling of G-plan furniture, before crossing over spend a good half an hour rifling through vintage clothes at Xanadu.