For my first ever hike in the U.K. (yes, a long time coming since I moved here over a year and a half ago!) I wanted something coastal, with great views, fresh air and within easy travelling distance of London. I decided on a Seven Sisters & Beachy Head hike that gave me all of the above (and I chose a bloody perfect day to boot!).
I cannot tell you how amazing it felt to get out of London for a day, move my body and breathe in the fresh coastal air! As I grew up on the bayside in Brisbane, Australia – heading back to the ocean always seems to make me feel better no matter what has been going on in my life – and this hike with friends was just what I needed to clear my head and recharge over the Easter long weekend.
The main hike is 22.3km long and starts at Seaford and ends in Eastbourne. Unlike many mountain hikes where you can hike for hours to reach an amazing view at the summit, my favourite part of this hike is that the entire trek is one incredible view from several angles.
This hike is said to take 7 hours walking time and up to 12 hours all up to allow for the entire hike including meals (and photo) breaks. For us, we soldiered on and finished the hike in around 5 and half hours walking time. We drove from Kent to Seaford (around 1.5 hrs driving time) and took the connecting bus back from Eastbourne to Seaford (around 30 minutes) to collect our car, it is definitely an entire day trip if you decide to take on the entirety of the 22.3km main hike.
Other than the incredible uninterrupted sea views, other places of note that you will see along the way are Cuckmere Haven, The Seven Sisters Nature Reserve, Beachy Head, Birling Gap, Belle Tout Lighthouse, Beachy Head Lighthouse and Eastbourne Pier.
One of the reasons we chose this hike was it’s easy access to London. Both Seaford and Eastbourne have trains that go straight in and out of London, meaning that if you do not have access to a car you can simply catch a train to Seaford, hike to Eastbourne and catch a train straight back to London. If you are trying to save on costs, you can easily grab a off-peak return ticket to Seaford and catch the bus back from Eastbourne (about £3.50).
If you can, bring a picnic lunch to have by the seaside. We were extremely envious of a group that brought an entire picnic set up including BBQ… We did however, remember to bring a bottle of prosecco (priorities) to share at Beachy Head overlooking the blue sea and adorable red & white Beachy Head Lighthouse. There are a few places to stop along the way, but we found their selection to be somewhat (very) limited.
Don’t forget water and a portable charger if your phone is as useless as mine! For more information and a step-by-step how to map check out Walking Club.