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Eyes peeled for Airbourne

Eastbourne's own airshow swoops into town - it's free, it's got Red Arrows, it's a school hols life-saver!

Keep your eyes on the skies around Eastbourne this weekend as the free Airbourne festival swoops into town.

The Red Arrows, parachute display teams, jets, wing walkers and more will be dropping in (quite literally in the case of the parachutists!)

It’s a lifesaver if you’re flagging from entertaining kids this school hols and a fun day out even if you’re not.

I went to the opening day on Thurs and basically spent the afternoon making loud exclaimations (some of them unprintable) as planes cut their engines and dived, performed near misses and rolled with people on their roofs.

The highlight for me were the Breitling wing walkers – crazy women on loop-the-looping 1940s bi-planes who put my heart in my mouth (and no doubt flies in their teeth).

The parachutists battled strong winds to land right on the beach billowing smoke flares. A Belgian F-16 fighter jet ended the day, arriving silently as it preceeded the sound it was making. When the noise caught up I could feel it in my chest.

it was the first time I’d been and I was impressed with the pacing of the day. You and yours won’t get bored with displays almost seamlessly following on from each other. In fact it’s best to plan your loo breaks around your must-sees. It’s easy to see the action from anywhere on or above the beach west of the pier up to the Western lawns so you won’t be jammed into a crowd.

Getting into town might take a bit more planning however. The in-town car parks will fill up in the morning so if you arrive any later try the park-and-ride at Five Acre Field or, better still, arrive by train. Though note, a queuing system will be in place at the station after the displays on Sat and Sun. Hang around for movies on the beach to avoid the worst of the exodus.

There are different line-ups every day – starting around lunchtime and continuing to around 5pm. The Red Arrows are doing their impressive thing Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Battle of Britain flight is sadly off at the time of writing due to technical problems but there’s plenty more to see.

You can get a taste of the aerial life yourself with a helicopter pleasure flight from Beach Head (from £45. There’s a shuttle bus from Western Lawns).

So what’s on the ground?

Giant inflatables and bungee trampolining on the beach for starters! OK, halt the stampede, apparently they’re for children. The showground is open from 10am daily where there’s a chance to have a go in a flight simulator and tackle the Air Cadets’ training wall and plenty of food stalls.

When the aerial displays end you can still settle down to some family-friendly movies on the beach (Paddington on Fri, Planes 2: Fire and Rescue on Sat and The Jungle Book on Sun) or swing by the bandstand for ABBA and Rock n’ Roll tributes. On Sunday night the fun concludes with more action in the sky  – this time in the form of a firework display.

Enjoy the jaw dropping aerial stunts – just try not to swear in-front of the kids!

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