The truth is that some lies were told to make the walk happen.
‘Let’s walk the Seven Sisters from Seaford to Eastbourne’ he said.
‘It’s a bit long, but it’s very flat’, he said.
It turns out the Sisters are hills.
We set out from London Victoria (ew), just before eight, rushed to change trains with -2 minutes of turnover time, and made it to Seaford, all while our fruits and medicines rested quietly at home.
After a quick break from the herd to (re)supply, we headed up the first of the hills, which is not in fact a sister hill but is instead a pre-hill.
Some puffing was made, but the views from the top were already pretty impressive to make up for it.
It was only as we dipped down the other side though, that we started to see the sisters themselves.
We passed the famous Coast Guard Cottage (featured in Atonement and other films and media), and made our way down to Cuckmere beach.
If you make it there at low tide, you can wade through the waters where the river meets the sea, instead of having to take a 2 km detour up the river to the bridge.
That last photo shows me very excitedly finding a piece of driftwood that looks like the head of a cartoon duck.
If you’re ever in London I may grant you a showing of this now-prized piece of my collection.
It can be a bit hard to get an idea of the scale of the cliffs from a distance….
…. so you really need to go get a closer look.
Up close the chalk divides into white powder, sharper crystal-like threads, and glassy black rock.
With spots of (camouflaged?) life.
We took some selfies…
… did some face-painting…
.. and then started to climb.
Realistically, the climbs were not very hard.
And the track is broken up by an almost equal number of ‘downs’ as there are ups.
And the views, they are goood.
Before we knew it, we’d made it to Berling Gap, a small coffee stop that’s accessible by car and thus one of the busiest places on the Sisters.
We took a coffee, watched some birds, and then headed onwards.
Up to the lighthouse
.. and then further on east
While the grass flowed Miyazaki-like around us, we wandered across the hills.
.. and gradually got further away from the small bottleneck of people.
At one point, the path split into many possibilities, and we chose to go down towards the sea.
And then quite suddenly, we fond that we were no longer on the cliffs….
.. but had in fact found our way to the edge of Eastbourne.
All up, the walk took way less than the predicted seven hours, even with a fairly lengthy coffee/birdwatching stop.
We spent some time walking around, eating some (bad and fine) food, drinking (very bad) coffee, and having local speciality (fine) icecream.
Eastbourne is fine- in a way that British seaside towns seem to be be fine. It has a pier with a grandstand and a pub. It has white hotels that look too clean as to be fake, and if you’re very lucky, you’ll find a nice place or two to sit and eat or drink.
In fact, I feel like most of our adventures can be summarised in a very short montage gallery:
To be perfectly honest, if you’re going to be in the area, skip the town…
… and focus on the hills instead.
29th May, 2023