Seven Sisters To Eastbourne Walk
Route Summary: A linear walk on the South Downs’ Sussex Heritage Coast that’s planned around the use of public transport from Eastbourne Railway Station.
A linear walk on the South Downs’ Sussex Heritage Coast that’s planned around the use of public transport from Eastbourne Railway Station.
|12.29 km||329 m||3–4 hrs|
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Start and Finish: Seven Sisters Country Park Visitor Centre
Seven Sisters To Eastbourne Walk Route Map and GPX Download
Seven Sisters To Eastbourne Walk Details
The Sussex Heritage Coast is located at the eastern end of the South Downs National Park and is primarily known for the landmarks of the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head. This stunning section of coastline is also the final section of the South Downs Way and will be one of the jewels of the England Coast Path once it’s officially completed. You don’t need to wait for that to open as this walk takes you to the best locations on this stretch of coast. It’s recommended that you set off via public transport from Eastbourne Railway station, though you can also start the walk from Seven Sister’s Country Park and return by bus.
The walk starts off from the Seven Sisters Country Park and follows the South Downs Way along the Cuckmere River to arrive at the sea above Cuckmere Haven. From here, the walk continues up and along the Seven Sisters, a series of white chalk cliffs located between Seaford Head and Birling Gap. You’d be forgiven for thinking that these are the White Cliffs of Dover as they are often used in movies as a stand in for the more famous cliffs further east. That’s because The Seven Sisters are both less deveolped and whiter than the protected cliffs at Dover which are greening due to increased vegetation.
From the Seven Sisters, the walk then arrives at Birling Gap, which is a small hamlet owned by the National Trust who also run the cafe, shop and visitor centre. There’s a small terrace of coastguard cottages here that are falling into the sea, one by one and will probably be lost to the sea in the coming decades. The only access to the pebble beach is by a set of metal steps. From here the walk passes the Belle Tout Lighthouse, often called “Britain’s most famous inhabited lighthouse” due to it’s striking location. So imptessive is the location, that when the grade II listed lighthouse was threatened by coastal erosion, the entire building was moved 17 metres inland.
Eventualy the route reaches Beachy Head, the highest chalk cliff in Britain at 162 metres high. This makes it an impressive pace to view the south coast, with the vistas stretching from Selsey Bill in the west to Dungeness in the East. Sadly, it has also made it into a notorious spot for suicide. The walk finishes by descending down into Eastbourne.
More information and a leaflet with full route information on the Seven Sisters To Eastbourne Walk can be downloaded from the South Downs National Park website here with this walk features on page 15. Or you can complete a shorter route betweeen Seven Sisters Country Park and Birling Gap.