Feeling fit? Then take a day trip from London to the Seven Sisters Cliffs.
There was no cutting corners with our group, our plan was to start at Seaford and hike all the way to Eastbourne… a solid 13.5 mile / 22 km walk. We were faced with strong south west winds but I was hoping this would be in our favour, pushing us over the hills. I think I was a little too optimistic!
Getting to the Seven Sisters
If you are planning on doing a similar route, then I suggest jumping on the Trainline website and finding some cheap train tickets. This will eliminate the hassle of retrieving your car at the end.
The journey from London Victoria to Seaford is only 1 1/2 hours, with off-peak tickets costing around £10 one way.
Starting at the Seaford train station, head towards the coast and move your attention to the left. It is fairly obvious where the trail starts, so you should have no problem here.
As you approach the coastguard cottages, this is in my opinion the best place to take in the expanse of the Seven Sisters. If the weather gods are on your side and the sun is out, you will be blown away.
Once you pass the coastguard cottages there is no easy shortcut to cross the Cuckmere River (even if it’s low-tide I wouldn’t suggest it). From my map below you can see where the trail leads inland and then back towards the cliffs. Exceat is well sign-posted, giving you alternative routes to reach the South Downs Way before tackling the rolling hills.
Here comes the fun part where you really work those leg muscles all the way to Birling Gap. Birling Gap can get fairly busy with all the tourist coaches but is a great pitstop for lunch and toilets. We brought a picnic with us but if your aren’t as organised as us, there is a National Trust Cafe serving food and hot drinks.
Say goodbye to Birling Gap as you climb the last of the Seven Sisters towards Beachy Head. The beauty of the Seven Sisters is not just the chalky white facade but how the cliff is unspoilt with no fences. If I was back in New Zealand there would be NO way this would be ok.
So please don’t be that idiot tourist who sits on the ledge to get their epic photo. Going up to the edge is enough to trigger a potential landslip.
As you walk further on keep an eye out for the Beachy Head Lighthouse just off the coastline. The red and white stripes make it hard to miss. After getting your snaps of the lighthouse it is now onto the home stretch to Eastbourne. Once you past the Beachy Head Pub on the left there seems to be a few routes you can take, not to worry as they all join at the end at Duke’s Drive.
It’s up to you where you go from here. We decided to carry on our walk along the beachfront up to the Eastbourne Pier and then went in search for a celebratory pint at a pub before heading home.
Whether you take on the Seven Sisters Cliffs alone or with a group of friends, I highly recommend the walk. It is satisfaction at its finest!