Where are the Italian Gardens?

The Italian Gardens are situated below Helen Gardens, King Edwards Parade Eastbourne BN20 7XL and above the Holywell Café on the lower promenade.  There are two main routes to the Italian Gardens. One is from King Edwards Parade, via a path that takes you past a small planted and raised area called the Crow’s Nest . The entrance to this path is opposite Chesterfield Road BN20 7NU. From the Crow’s Nest, turn to the right and you will find a series of steps down to the entrance to the Italian Gardens. Alternatively, access can be gained by travelling down the restricted access road immediately to the left of Helen Gardens. 

Click here to see the location on Google Map

Where can I park my car? 

Free on street parking is available on King Edwards Parade and surrounding streets

What time does the Italian Gardens open when there is a performance?

Theatre goers are welcome at the Italian Gardens an hour before the performance is due to start, but please note the refreshment marquee does not open until 30minutes before the due start.

Can I obtain anything to eat or drink?

Yes. EODS has a refreshment marquee where theatre goers may purchase tea, coffee, wine , beer and home-made cakes - either before the performance or in the interval. 

Can I order drinks and cake for the interval? 

Yes, we will be delighted if you do!

Can I bring my own picnic?

Yes. Please do. There is a grassed area at the Italian Gardens that can be used for picnics. 

What happens if it rains?

If the forecast is for weather that makes the performance impossible, the performance will be cancelled. Ticket holders should retain their tickets and return to the Congress Theatre box office where they can swap their tickets for tickets of an equivalent value on another night, or if no such seats are available, a complete refund.

All seating is under cover as all theatre goers are sat within marquees with only the side facing the stage open. 

In the event of light rain the actors will continue in the rain.

In the event of rainfall or other weather that makes it impossible for the performance to continue once started, it will be abandoned. If the performance is abandoned before the interval, ticket holders should retain their tickets and seek a swap or refund as detailed above. For any performance that is abandoned after the interval, EODS regrets no swap or refund is possible.

Poor weather may result in a delayed start, but EODS regrets no swap or refund is possible in these circumstances.

How is the seating arranged?

Seating is available on three sides of the auditorium. There are three levels of tiered seating with two rows on each tier.  Please see seating plan below.

Click here for a layout plan

I am disabled. Is there anything I should know?

The performances take place in the beautiful Italian Gardens, a short distance behind and above the Holywell café. The Gardens are towards the bottom of a quite steep incline, which may cause difficulty for some. They can be accessed either by a path leading from The Crow’s Nest on the Seafront, which involves steps, or by the limited access road by Helen Gardens. (For further information see –Where are the Italian Gardens? above)

There are allocated wheelchair positions in the auditorium, which allow for a wheelchair and a carer. These are limited and it is recommended that they are booked in advance. Any unsold wheelchair spaces will be released to the general public 30 minutes prior to the start of the performance each evening.

There is a public disabled toilet at sea level by the Holywell café, again at the bottom of a fairly steep incline. An entry key can be obtained from the Box office at the Italian Gardens. 

Can I bring my dog?

We regret only disabled assistance dogs can be brought to the Italian Gardens

Is the Production suitable for children?

Older children may find the event enjoyable, but it is not recommended for younger children. For the comfort of other theatre goers, should children of any age make any unacceptable noise EODS asks that they be taken out of the auditorium please. 

Is there space for a pushchair/pram in the auditorium?

It is difficult to accommodate pushchairs or prams, because of the nature of the layout of the seating and the need to be mindful of health and safety regulations. It is not recommended to bring children of an age who still need a pram/pushchair. 

Where are the nearest toilets?

Portable toilets are situated close to the entrance to the Italian Gardens. Additional public toilets including a disabled toilet are available at sea level near to the Holywell café. Please ask at the box office at the Italian Gardens if you need a key. 

Can I hire cushions or blankets?

Yes, a supply of both cosy fleece blankets and cushions is available from the box office at the Italian Gardens. 

Can I smoke at the site?

For health and safety reasons, smoking is not permitted anywhere in the Italian Gardens.