South Downs – Newhaven to Beachy Head

For our next adventure we will be returning to one of the most stunning coastal regions of the UK. The South Downs is a delightfully accessible national park situated less than 50 miles from London. It’s the perfect weekend escape to forget about the stresses and angst of modern urban life.

The south downs has been quite a feature for me over the last few years. My first trip there was an attempted trek from Brighton to Eastbourne and involved a ‘slight distance misjudgment’. We ended up having to bail two thirds in with 20 miles under our belt and one pair of knackered knees. A trip I would love to attempt again now that I’m at a better level of fitness.

Later we returned to complete the final 10 miles from Seven Sisters to Eastbourne which is arguably the most beautiful section of the whole South Downs Way. The money shot, if you pardon the phrase. This was in November which meant short days. A late start meant that it was pitch black by the time we got to Beachy Head.

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On the way to Beachy Head. Before it got dark.

This Summer was my most recent trip when I did a two day trip from Amberley to Southease on what was my most pleasant solo trip. And there was not a mountain in site!

So I’m very pleased to be returning to this magical part of the world once again. We are planning to go on the first Saturday of 2016 when the weather will be crisp, fresh and cold. Or extremely mild if December is anything to go by. We are returning to the Beachy Head section of the trail in an attempt to finally see it in daylight.

The obvious place to start is at Seven Sisters and walk along the cliffs to Eastbourne. However, at under 10 miles it doesn’t seem quite enough these days so we have decided to extend the route by starting in Newhaven. Options for getting there are either a 1.5 hour journey by car or a 2 hour journey by train. Going by train means you can return from Eastbourne otherwise it’s a bus journey back along the coastal road to Newhaven.

We will be taking the Vanguard Way (which interestingly starts in Croydon) for 5 miles which runs right next to the sea, through Seaford to Seven Sisters where hopefully we will be greeted by this:

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Seven Sisters on a cold Novembers day

From here it’s a case of heading inland to find the bridge to cross the Cuckmere River. Alternatively I reckon we could try and find a way to cross somewhere on the seafront. How deep/fast/cold can it really be?

From here the route joins the South Downs Way and it is rolling hills all the way to the high point (literally) of the entire route, Beachy Head. I cannot tell you what happens or what it looks like as I’ve only ever seen it at night. But I’ve been assured it’s bloody nice. Especially if it’s blowing 70mph winds and raining…

From here it’s downhill towards the shining lights of Eastbourne and all it has to offer… Hopefully a pint of ale and a glass of Whiskey…

So there it is people the perfect start to the new year. The ideal way to work off some of those mince pies whilst also taking in a spectacular piece of this fair isle we live on. If you are interested in joining then please send me a message on here or get in touch on my Facebook page.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Mum!! says:

    Sounds tempting!!

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