diamond geezer

 Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Every two years I walk the best walk in southeast England, across the top of Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters.

I walked it yesterday, and am pleased to report there was no sign of Sunday's rogue toxic cloud.

Lots of people were out enjoying the exhilarating views and getting very sweaty in the process.

Sometimes I walk west to east and sometimes east to west, to keep it fresh. This time from Eastbourne, not to.

Sometimes I stop at Exceat, but this time I walked all the way to Seaford, all 15 miles, in six hours.

The best thing about the Seaford extension is this classic view across the mouth of the River Cuckmere.

What better on a warm sunny Bank Holiday Monday than an undulating hike over the chalk cliffs?

» 2007 report and photos
» 2009 set of 30 photos
» 2011 photos
» 2013 photos
» 2015 photos
» 2017 photos (15 of them)

10 notes from along the way

1) A lone bagpiper was practising on the ridge above Eastbourne, droning to a tiny passing audience.
2) Several people wandered behind the chain fences atop Beachy Head to take a closer look at the bouquets and memorials on the edge, usually until those they were walking with pointed out this wasn't a good idea.
3) In October the National Trust are shutting off access to the beach at Birling Gap and shifting the steps inland, in the hope that the reopened bridge will last another seven years before erosion means they need to shift it again.
4) It's ever so easy to forget you're walking above a sheer drop until you get to the next rise, look back, and go OMG.
5) My unofficial opinion is that it's less knackering to walk the Seven Sisters east→west than west→east, because the slopes aren't quite so violently steep.
6) Folk from 7 to 70 were out completing the Seven Sisters section, although the smallest children weren't always as impressed by the experience as their parents told them they ought to be.
7) Two young gentleman walking the other way looked distraught when I told them there was no phone signal for the next 3 miles.
8) At the mouth of the Cuckmere you can save a 45 minute detour inland if you're willing to wade knee-high through the river.
9) The busiest places on the walk were Birling Gap, where the car park is, and the pebbly beach at Cuckmere Haven.
10) A '99' ice cream cornet from the Martello Kiosk in Seaford costs £2, and is really creamy.

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