Chapter Eight - Beachy Head and Eastbourne

Trip Start Sep 28, 2012
Trip End Oct 14, 2012

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What I did
Beachy Head Eastbourne
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bands of heavy rain sweep the town momentarily as we leave by way of the coastal road. This is familiar territory for me as my family would drive this route in the early 50s from our home in Droxford to visit my mum's sister, aunt Iris, who lived in Eastbourne with my two cousins Tony and Jeff. Although there has been much construction since then, the road is still quite narrow, winding its way through the lovely South Downs.

We’re going to see the famous "Seven Sisters" chalk cliffs and I’ll revisit spectacular Beachy Head, which I often visited with my cousins.

As we arrive at Birling Gap, the weather is still windy but we are free of rain for the time being. The view along the white chalk cliffs is dramatic. Called the Seven Sisters because there are seven distinctive promontories or eroded hills between Birling Gap and the town of Seaford.

“Just look at those crazy surfers down below us:” retorts Miryam. “They’ll do anything to get the perfect wave. That water must be freezing.”

Continuing on towards Eastbourne we stop at the viewpoint for Beachy Head. It’s an amazing sight to see the lighthouse far down below at the bottom of the cliffs. There are no railings or protection at the edge of the cliffs and because of the height and easy access, it’s one of the top suicide locations in the world.

“If no one’s interested in abbreviating their lives at this beautiful spot, I recommend we don’t get too close to the edge. With this strong wind you might get blown right over and end up as a statistic.”

Having no desire to be statistics, we continue our drive towards Eastbourne.

As mentioned, I used to visit my aunt Iris often at Eastbourne. It seemed a much more elegant place back then, but perhaps because we are out of season, now it looks pretty forsaken. Nevertheless the so called “carpet gardens” are just as lovely as I remember them.

Its tea time, and we espy a sign at the Pier Hotel for cream teas.

“I must try a cream tea” sighs Cecilia. In spite of the immensely high fat content of clotted cream, it’s just too much to resist, so we enter to enjoy this typical English afternoon repast.

Afterwards we start to stroll along the seaside esplanade, but a very heavy band of rain catches us, and we have to rush under the pier to shelter with all the local noisy kids.

We give up on the rest of the day and decide to return to Lenham by way of narrow country lanes.

“I just can’t believe how fast people drive on these lanes. Hopefully they know all the twists and turns by heart. I suppose they use these winding routes to avoid the busy main roads and motorways.”

This evening we dine at home, enjoying a bottle of Mateus bought from the local store. Later we pop into The Dog and Bear for a drink. The pub offers free wifi access to the internet, so the girls are totally immersed in their iphones, and there is very little genial pub conversation.     
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derrick241 on

I hate to say it, but most pubs now have Wifi, and pub conversations are a thing of the past, eveyone reading, texting on their phones, plus the price of a pint is ridiculous now, the great British pub is in decline

BUT some of the old country pubs that are out of the way are a great place for Sunday roast (and if you are lucky, a good country ale)

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