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Beachy Head & Eastbourne from East Dean

South Downs Walk

Nat Park - South Downs

County/Area - East Sussex

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 6.2 miles / 10.1 km    Ascent - 900 feet / 273 metres

Time - 4 hours 0 minutes    Grade - easy/mod

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Ordnance Survey Explorer OL25Sheet Map1:25kBUY
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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Beachy Head & Eastbourne
Click image to see photo description.

This linear walk in the South Downs National Park explores a wonderful section of the East Sussex coast including Belle Tout lighthouse, Birling Gap and the spectacular cliffs at Beachy Head. The route uses sections of the South Downs Way and ends in Eastbourne. A relatively frequent bus service from Eastbourne is a convenient way of returning to the start.

The walk starts at the free car park in the middle of East Dean village (Grid ref. TV558978). You can also use the no. 12 bus service that runs between Brighton and Eastbourne fairly frequently and walk to the car park from the bus stop on the main road.

Exit the car park and walk south along Gilbert's Drive towards the coast. Just before this road bends sharp right, continue ahead onto the signed bridleway. This leads past Birling Farm on your right. Ignore the first bridleway on your left and continue to the next junction of bridleways (grid ref. TV559969) where you go right. Continue past Cornish Farm walking almost due south to reach a road (grid ref. TV564956). Cross the road to a junction of paths. Turn left. Belle Tout Lighthouse is on your right as the path follows the road to reach the cliff tops.

Turn left along the South Downs Way National Trail, with the sea to your right. This well used path is followed to Beachy Head where there are some wonderful views down to the lighthouse and along the high chalk cliffs. After enjoying the view continue along the clear path until you are near the trig point on your left. This route leaves the South Downs Way here and turns right onto the Weald Way. The path descends quite steeply towards the coast with path returning to the cliff top until you reach the outskirts of Eastbourne at Holywell.

The path joins the B2103 and South Downs Way (grid ref. TV600971). Turn right along the B2103 for approximately 250 metres until you can veer right and down to the seafront once again. You can now enjoy a leisurely stroll along the promenade continuing as far as Eastbourne Pier. All that remains is to catch the bus back to the start.

Other walks nearby

Walk 1357 The Seven Sisters from Exceatmoderate14.0 miles
Walk 3516 Eastbourne to Alfriston by the South Downs Waymod/hard12.5 miles
Walk 3575 High and Over White Horseeasy2.0 miles
Walk 3120 Alfriston to Rodmell by the South Downs Waymoderate9.0 miles
Walk 3574 Firle Beacon & Cuckmere Valleymoderate10.4 miles
Walk 1015 Ouse Valley & Beddingham Hill from Newhaven Tide Millsmoderate12.0 miles
Walk 1633 Charleston Farm & Firle Beaconeasy/mod4.6 miles
Walk 2419 Southease, Ditchling Beacon & Lewesmod/hard17.0 miles
Walk 1038 Firle Beaconmoderate13.3 miles
Walk 1770 Southease or Rodmell to Falmereasy/mod6.8 miles

Recommended Books & eBooks

Walks in the South Downs National Park

Walks in the South Downs National ParkGuidebook with 40 circular walks throughout the South Downs National Park, exploring the beautiful chalk hills between Eastbourne and Winchester. The walks range from under 5 miles to 11 miles, including Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters, Ditchling Beacon and hundreds of prehistoric sites. Accessible all year, but wild flowers best in spring.
More information

The South Downs Way

The South Downs WayGuidebook to walking the South Downs Way National Trail, a 100 mile (160km) route between Winchester and Eastbourne through the South Downs National Park, described in both directions over 12 stages. Easy walking on ancient and historical tracks, taking in wooded areas, delightful river valleys and pretty villages. With 1:25K OS map booklet.
More information

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