Eastbourne to Cuckmere Haven

Name of walk Eastbourne to Cuckmere Haven
Date of walk 2019-09-21

A walk from Eastbourne Pier via Beachy Head, Belle Tout Lighthouse, Birling Gap and The Seven Sisters to Cuckmere Haven. I had walked the Seven Sisters six years ago with Fr. John, but I fancied doing them again and extending the walk to include a couple of iconic landmarks. I set off from Brighton at 8.45am on a very sunny Saturday.

01

A gorgeous day taken from our Brighton flat looking out to sea. The bus stop was just at the end of the road, opposite the Sea Life Centre.

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It took nearly an hour and a half to reach Eastbourne Pier. Plenty of time to savour the excellent views from the front of the top deck.

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View west from the pier.

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View back to Eastbourne Pier from the promenade.

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Eastbourne Bandstand is on a grand scale! Must be fun to play here

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The Wish Tower is one of 74 Martello Towers built along the south coast to defend against Napoleon in the early 1800's

09

I need to head up there!

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The way up is steep, but you get great views back to Eastbourne and the pier.

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Despite the sunshine it is a windy day today. People are using the cliffs at Beachy Head to their advantage.

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Classic view of the lighthouse at Beachy Head. It is 43 m (141 ft) in height and became operational in October 1902. It was the last traditional-style 'rock tower' (i.e. offshore lighthouse) to be built by Trinity House.

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The view is stunning in the sunshine.

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For fellow cult TV nerds, the lighthouse was a setting in an episode of Patrick McGoohan's TV series 'The Prisoner' called 'The Girl Who Was Death'.

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The view ahead to Belle Tout Lighthouse and The Seven Sisters.

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I keep to the cliff edge on my walk...but not too close!

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Looking back.

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The route is undulating.

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The ups and downs are steep. This is my first long walk without my walking poles, the ups are fine, the downs I need to take care on. This walk is not designed for knee replacements.

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Approaching Belle Tout Lighthouse.

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Taken on my mobile by a couple I got chatting to.

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The Belle Tout Lighthouse built in 1832 is a decommissioned lighthouse. It is now a B&B and a popular TV and film location.

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There is a small cafe here.

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The Seven Sisters are getting nearer. I head for Birling Gap.

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The Seven Sisters.

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Taken just above Birling Gap.

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There is a set of metal steps down to the beach here, as well as an NT restaurant and toilets. I buy an ice cream and continue on.

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View from the top of the metal steps. I don't go down to the beach this time.

29

Each of the Sisters has a name, I take this for my record.

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More undulations!

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View back to Belle Tout Lighthouse.

32

This photo gives an idea of the scale of each hill. Most people are sensible and stay away from the edges.

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The Seven Sisters are not just up and down, but in and out too!

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Cuckmere Haven. This is an area of flood plains where the river Cuckmere meets the English Channel between Eastbourne and Seaford.

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Looking across to the coastguard cottages at Seaford Head.

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I follow the river, which contains several oxbow lakes, inland to Exceat and the Visitor Centre of the Seven Sisters Country Park. I have a well deserved coffee, then catch the bus back to Brighton.

40

The West Pier at sunset.

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Brighton from Brighton Pier.

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The West Pier and the BA i360, which I went on last visit.

The walk was eight and a half miles and took me five hours. A beautiful walk on a glorious day!

Jo.

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