The Jolly Sportsman

South East England East Sussex Lewes

  • From £140 a night
  • 4 Guest Rooms
  • Pub with Rooms
  • Restaurant with Rooms

Just outside Lewes, this is a classic Sussex Downs pub with stylish rooms and terrific food.

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Situated in a great position on the edge of the South Downs, we love this classic Sussex pub with rooms. Not only is it located in a picturesque downland village, complete with an ancient church, a couple of pubs and walks galore in the countryside around, it's also a great place to eat, whether you're out for a special occasion or just want a drink and a pub lunch. Its name too betrays its location – very close to Plumpton's famous racecourse, just a mile or so to the west.

The pub itself is very attractive both inside and out, with a vintage Sussex clapboard exterior and a comfortable yet quite contemporary set of rooms inside. It's more of a place to eat these days than somewhere you stop by for a pint (though drinkers are by no means excluded), with stripped-back tables, stylishly comfortable leather dining chairs and cool, crisp art adorning pastel green and rusty red walls. There's a roaring fire in winter and in summer doors open onto a lovely beer garden and covered patio that makes a fine place for an early evening pint or an al fresco dinner.

Given the location, we couldn't blame you if you wanted to stay overnight, and they have three double rooms and a suite upstairs where you can do just that (and bring your dog, too). They are simply but very tastefully furnished, with white walls, super-king-size beds with high-quality mattresses and linen, good wifi and flatscreen TVs, and modern and well-appointed en-suite bathrooms with rainfall showers, fluffy towels and toiletries. 

Rates include a sumptuous breakfast, and overall, the food focuses on seasonal produce from local suppliers: fresh fish from the nearby coast, meat from farms within a 20-mile radius, bread baked in-house daily – you get the picture. The menu changes regularly, but you might start with oysters or pork and game terrine, followed by poached monkfish with brown crab, partridge or venison, or just good old steak and chips. They also offer a menu of pub classics that includes burgers, homemade pies and fish and chips. Desserts are often sticky old favourites – well worth leaving room for.

Finally, there's the location, just outside the very wanderable county town of Lewes, full of indy shops, pubs and restaurants, and close to Glyndebourne, the aforementioned Plumpton, and of course, nearby Brighton. There's also the allure of the Downs and its numerous walking opportunities. The pub recommends a couple of circular routes you can do right from the doorstep, but to be honest, they're virtually unlimited  – not bad for somewhere no more than an hour from London!

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Suitable For

Dog-friendly in pub and rooms


Open all year, seven days a week for food and rooms.


King-size rooms start from £140 a night, including breakfast.

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Contact Website  01273 890 400  The Jolly Sportsman, Chapel Lane, East Chiltington, East Sussex BN7 3BA

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  • Bar
  • Coffee/Tea Facilities
  • Gardens & Grounds
  • Parking
  • Restaurant
  • Smart TV
  • Wifi

Looking For...

  • Dog-Friendly
  • Exclusive Hire
  • Foodies
  • Hills & Mountains
  • Historic
  • In the Sticks
  • Rural Retreat
  • Sensational Views
  • Walking

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Rated ★★★★★ over 3 reviews


Lovely old traditional pub, comfortable rooms

Jolly Sportsman is tucked away in a beautiful location, foot of South Downs. Warm welcome, room was clean and very comfortable, only one-night stay. Proper county pub, food is top quality and surprisingly good wine list. Staff and service excellent. Everyone at the Jolly Sportsman was friendly and helpful. Good breakfast choice. We would stay again when next in the area.
Jul 22, 2023 by Nigel

Already booked to return

Very pretty pub with a roaring fire, and the emperor-sized beds are like sleeping on a cloud. Hot and strong shower, homemade elderflower cordial and chocolates in the rooms. I’ve tried all the rooms during the time I’ve stayed, and they’re all great. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff who are kind and attentive, including setting me off to work with a hot bacon sandwich because I was leaving very early. The food is also fantastic and VERY importantly, they are dog-friendly. I’ve already booked to return.
Jul 1, 2023 by Eloise

A truly fantastic country pub and B&B!

We booked to stay for one evening the day before we arrived. We reached The Jolly Sportsman after hiking from Eastbourne! Our welcome was extremely friendly and helpful, the room was excellent and the food was exceptional! The breakfast in the morning was very enjoyable and certainly helped for our next day of hiking! A frankly hidden gem!
Mar 28, 2023 by Joseph

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