Who needs to go to Cumbria, Wales or Scotland to climb mountains? You can do it on the south coast. I read about this walk in a walking magazine. So over the summer holidays 2011, decided to do it.
You start the walk in Seaford or Eastbourne. I chose Seaford. I parked on the seafront (free!). The walk along the seafront is pleasant enough, before you get anywhere near the cliffs. After a few hundred yards the first cliff is ahead. Your first thought might, well be, they are only cliffs, can’t be difficult.
The first climb certainly warms the muscles up. At the top you can look back to Seaford and Brighton in the distance. In the other direction you get your first glimpse of The Seven Sisters. Off to your left is a golf course and views of the downs. You are now walking along the top of the cliff, elevation 45 m. After some distance the descent begins and great views of the Sisters are always visible. You eventually descend down to sea level, and in front of you is where a river runs into the sea. There is no bridge!. You have to track inland for over a mile to cross the river then walk almost all the way back to the sea. So before you get near the Seven Sisters you have covered over 3 miles. On your journey back towards the sea lots of paths allow you to begin to climb if you wish to.
So, you are now officially on the beginning of the walk over the Seven Sisters. It is now a matter of following the up’s and down’s over the different cliffs. It might sound boring but it’s not. The views constantly change. You can look out to sea or inland. There are lots of flowers, insects, birds even rabbits to see also. Eventually you arrive at Birling Gap. Here there is a café and shop. You can also catch a bus here if you choose, back to Seaford or to Eastbourne.
I did not stop but carried on; by this time my legs were very tired. Every time you climb you ascend about 40 – 50 metres. Keep following the paths as your meander along the cliff tops. You come to Belle Tout Light house. There is a small shop here as well. Next you pass Beachy Head light house on your right (resist the temptation to end it all). At this point you climb up to 110m approx. Continue along and soon you arrive at the point where there is a restaurant and pub near the ‘tourist’ point for Beachy Head (143m). here you can catch a bus back to Seaford or descend into Eastbourne and catch the bus there.
This walk is more tiring than it looks, be warned. It is not a Sunday stroll, and make sure you have plenty of water, a hat, and sun screen with you.
I highly recommend this walk its better than it looks and by the end of it you will have climbed over 1000m (Snowdon). You can have long spells just sat on the beach if you wish its up to you.