Getting away from the city for a much needed breath of fresh air, these beautiful white chalk cliffs literally took my breath away (visually and physically!). If you’ve heard of the White Cliffs of Dover, the Seven Sisters are considered much whiter and more scenic. The Seven Sisters, stretching from Cuckmere Haven to Birling Gap in East Sussex, is one of the Southern England’s most striking landscapes.
You can make it a day trip from London as it is just a quick 1.5 hour train ride away, making it the perfect outdoor excursion!
The best way to experience the Seven Sisters Cliff is by walking along the coastal trail from Eastbourne to Seaford (or vice versa depending on your preference, most people prefer to do the opposite). I prefer to walk towards the view instead of seeing it immediately. It gives me the motivation and gratification at the end to round up a great day.
The trail is about 21.9km (13.6 miles) long, and it is rather easy with some uphills.
Eastbourne to Seaford Walk
Starting from Eastbourne Railway Station
Distance: 21.9km (13.6miles)
Time Needed: 7 hours with small breaks
I suggest taking the 8:45am train and 6:00pm train back to London
Waypoints: Eastbourne Railway – South Downs Way National Trail – Beachy Head Lighthouse – Belle Tout Lighthouse – Birling Gap – Seven Sisters Cliff – Cuckmere Haven – Seaford Railway
I chose this path also to have more time to explore Eastbourne in the morning before starting our hiking trail. We took a small detour to stroll along the iconic pier and walk along the promenade while enjoying a bratwurst we got along the way. I would recommend that you pick up some sandwiches or snacks before your trip, you would definitely want to have a bite while enjoying the view of these amazing white cliffs plunging into the clear cerulean sea.
Tips for the Walk
• Check the weather forecast
• Apply sun screen
• Bring along water and snacks
• Wear comfortable walking shoes with good grip
• Travel light
From the South Downs Way trail, you will be walking with the sea on your left the whole way. This will be your first uphill, when you’re at the top don’t forget to look back! You’ll have an amazing view of Eastbourne. Spot the cute little ferris wheel near the pier!
The Best Viewpoints
• Hike along the edge of the Country Park Trail from Beachy Head Light House
• Head to the deck at Birling Gap
• Classic viewpoint of all the seven sisters from Cuckmere Inn
We started off with the tallest of the cliffs standing at 162 metres (531 ft) above sea level. I felt really small as I stood there, looking out to the great beyond.
This walk was insanely beautiful. The hills were pretty steep at some points, but we were always rewarded by breathtaking views every time we reach the top. It was really sunny and windy that day, just the perfect combination to keep me going.
Getting There From London
Head over to Trainline and book two one-way tickets
• London Victoria to Eastbourne (No Change) Price: £12
• Seaford to London Victoria (One Change at Lewes) Price: £12
Don’t worry about the 4 minute transfer time, Lewes is a small train station, so it’s basically on the other side, you may want to walk faster though!
If you only want to do part of the way, these are the bus stops to shorten your hike
Take the 12, 12A or 12X coaster buses.
They come at about 10 – 15 minutes intervals, so don’t worry if you miss one!
• Eastbourne (Gildredge Road – Stop F) to East Dean (18 min walk to Birling Gap)
• Seven Sisters Park Centre to Seaford Rail Way
• Cuckmere Inn (Bus stop is right outside) to Seaford Rail Way
I would suggest that you end your hike at Cuckmere Inn for an amazing photo stop before taking bus 12 back to Seaford.
We made it back to Seaford at 5pm, dropped off outside the railway and walked over to Osborne’s for a good ol’ Traditional Fish and Chips. It’s about a short 5 minute walk from the station. There was just enough time to have a quick bite before taking the train back to London, ending my perfect outdoor adventure with a smile.