“Another opening, another show”, er blog, and today we are going to be walking on the magnificent Seven Sisters. This is the series ofchalkcliffs that forms part of the South Downs between Seaford and Eastbourne, but first, we had to get there which meant a two hour drive. And that of course will mean two hours back as well, will it be worth it? The weather was not looking too good at this stage…..
Our destination was Birling Gap, where normally it would be possible to get a bus, but of course the bus route was closed for eight weeks! We walked back to East Dean to add 1.25 miles to our total, and caught a bus (another grumpy bus driver) to Exceat.
South Downs Way legs
Cuckmere River (Exceat) to Birling Gap 5 miles
After a restorative coffee and a massive flapjack we were on our way, climbing up the hill and getting our first views of the iconic coastguard cottages which are now mainly used as holiday cottages. They were built shortly after the National Coastguard Service was founded in 1822.The cliff face in front of the cottages has since retreated by more than 30 metres due to coastal erosion.
Then of course, what goes up must come down and this was the story of the day, with short, steep climbs and descents that needed care. Liz made sure that neither of us got too near the edge “what will I tell Marly?” Although we needed several breathers, it was very interesting and encouraging to note that our level of fitness has improved hugely (or was it that calorific flapjack??)
We must have been doing something good recently as once on the top of the cliffs, the sun came out and we were rewarded with the best picnic spot of the entire Odyssey, sitting on the top of the cliffs (well back from the edge!) looking out across the English Channel in glorious sunshine.