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Sunday, 12 July 2020

A Sunday Swimming Walk Along the Seven Sisters

Book 2 Walk 28 (in reverse): Eastbourne to Seaford t=2.28

Distance: 13.6 Miles or 21.9 km for those more metrically minded (with a shorter 10 mile option available by catching a bus at Exceat)

Difficulty: 9 out of 10

Train: Take the 9:45 AM Ore-bound train from London Victoria  (stopping at CJ at 9:52 and EC at 10:02), arriving at Eastbourne at 11:11. Return trains from Seaford are at 59 past the hour. Buy a day return to Eastbourne.

An iconic walk -- hopefully without the usual number of foreign tourists....and hopefully with some good swimming opportunities....the tide may be a bit low at Birling Gap (we will see)  -- but should be absolutely perfect at Cuckmere Haven....Fingers crossed the rest of the conditions cooperate....

This is a challenging walk with lots of ups and downs but can be shortened to about 10 miles by catching a bus at Exceat to Seaford. You can find more information about the walk and download the walk instructions and map here. For instructions from Eastbourne station to Beachy Head, the instructions for SWC 60 may also come in hand....

For lunch, I would recommend a picnic almost anywhere along the route with afternoon refreshments at the Cuckmere Inn in Cuckmere Haven. Traditionally, Trawlers in Seaford offers a good fish chips (though not sure if open on Sunday)….

Enjoy the walk and the swims!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Any particular reason to do this walk in reverse direction ?

Walker said...

Probably in this case to get to Cuckmere Haven for a late afternoon swim at high tide when the declining sun shines golden on the cliffs. But there are oodles of other reasons. The stretch along the Eastbourne seafront is much more cheerful in the morning than it is in the early evening (when it is in shade). You get the biggest climb - Beachy Head - out of the way early in the walk and then have a (largely, not entirely) downhill walk to Birling Gap. The Seven Sisters increase in magnificence as you walk over them. The descent from there to Exceat by the South Downs Way (if you don’t go for a swim, which some of us will) is glorious, with a grand view in front of you. The Cuckmere Inn, if open, makes a nice drinks stop, and if tired you can get the bus from there. And the ending over Seaford Head is fairly gentle and beautiful in the evening light, with a short and dramatic descent to Seaford at the end.

Also: because we say so!!! Do as you are told!

Stargazer said...

A perfect trifecta of swimming for some and an enjoyable day by the seaside (I hope) for others...in w=fine-bright-conditions-with-cooling-sea-breeze. Ten alighted from the specified train and split into two groups -- swimmers and non-swimmers...the latter set off ahead and were only very briefly encountered once on the sea wall....I am told they picked up one more regular at beachy head with 2 dogs, had a picnic on the cliffs before Birling Gap and enjoyed the offerings at the NT Cafe....They did the full walk up to Exceat and just missed the 16:59 -- so some enjoyed drinks in the pub and others chips before catching the 17:59.....Somewhat further behind, the swimming party also picked-up another while preparing for their first refreshing dip in Eastbourne...we then carried along the route with a picnic on the cliffs before Belle Tout...The Birling Gap area was a bit busy -- but most beachgoers were appropriately spaced and we enjoyed another swim in perfect conditions with the dramatic cliffs making a stunning background....a couple visited the cafe for take out before we headed along the seven sisters....which were not too crowed with plenty of wide open space on the downs...On the precarious decent down to the east beach of Cuckmere Haven we noted that the shingle seemed to have blocked the channel and after a lusciously long swim at high tide enjoying the panorama of the seven sisters from the sea....we experimented with a channel crossing....easy peasy even just past high tide...we arrived in Seaford just in time for the 18:59...but 3 opted for some fish and chips and a bottle wine before catching the 19:59....a full and fine day out....for n=12

Anonymous said...

small misunderstanding: the walker picked up at Beachy Head was w/o her dogs

Andrew said...

what is the sea temp like?
and
can you walk/paddle across the cuckmere haven river even near high tide?

Stargazer said...

Andrew,
I thought the sea temp was very pleasant....a bit chilly on initial entry -- but then really very comfortable....

The head of the channel into the sea is currently almost completed blocked by shingle -- even at high tide -- it is really just a small step over/across a mere trickle....