The Beautiful White Cliffs of Beachy Head & The Seven Sisters

The White Cliffs of Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters.

Winning the lottery can sometimes feel more likely than a hot and sunny day in the middle of October. In the last few weeks it has become remarkably colder and darker so you can imagine how lucky my friends and I felt as the sun broke through the dim and dreary clouds and persisted to shine along the south coast of England for much of the day – a place we so happened to be.

My friends and I live in London and although we love all the treats it has to offer, it doesn’t offer everything. Want to listen to your favourite band live? Sure you can! But can you listen to the sound of the sea? Nope, no siree, ‘fraid not.

Sadly, Mother Nature isn’t a frequent dweller of the inner city so we decided we’d visit her at Beachy Head and up to Seven Sisters along the southeast coast of England. Lured in by the name of the place, as much by the prospect of its chalky white cliffs and grassy plains, we jumped in the car and headed south away from the hustle and bustle of London.

 

The Road Trip

The drive takes somewhere in the region of 1.30 -2 hours depending where you live in London and passes some very scenic spots and popular tourist towns like Tunbridge Wells, so its worth stopping off for a little meander if you’re feeling curious or simply want to stretch your legs. By any standards it’s a pretty town, what you’d describe as quintessentially English.

Since we were on a mission to get there as soon as possible we pressed on and sang along to the tunes blaring out from the car. Being in the car with two French guys – one driving and the other assigned to the role of DJ –  I found myself listening to music I couldn’t always understand yet enjoyed because, well, a good beat is a universal language no matter where you are. Though if there’s a time you’re going to regret not paying attention in French class, it’s during a road trip with native speakers. On the other hand, if you wish to improve your French skills, then date a Frenchie. That’s what Ruchi’s doing – he gives her a reduced rate – lucky girl!

As well as music in full flow, we had a large packet of gummy sweets which (I’m sure you’ll agree) no road trip is complete without. Thankfully Ruchi is prone to motion sickness so she forfeited her share which meant more for the remaining few.

As our destination grew closer, we began looking at the road signs to ensure we didn’t miss a turning, and in doing so we noticed names of places that are so charming they would fit perfectly into a children’s novel. Say hello to names like, ‘Paradise Drive’, ‘Summerdown Lane’, ‘Beechy Avenue’, ‘Honeybell Cottage’, and my favourite, ‘Wordsworth Drive’.

 

Walking from Beachy Head to Seven Sisters

We soon arrived and pulled into the car park and paid the £5 fee. A few moment’s walk away there’s a pier where you can get a glorious view of the beach lined by striking chalky cliffs. They were even more gorgeous than I imagined and they provided a nice glimpse into what you should expect to see on your walk.

We opted to follow the trail from Beachy Head to the Seven Sisters; on a sunny day I honestly can’t think of a more beautiful walk to be had in England. Almost as striking as the cliffs were the bright, white clouds which created playful patterns in the sky above. But like so many beautiful and high areas surrounded by sea, Beachy Head is also a magnet for suicides. To tell you the truth, as I stood out on the cliff edge, and looked at the sea lapping back and forth across the beach below, I could see why. If you’re looking for a final resting place, then this is about as peaceful a place can be.

The Chalk Cliffs at Seven Sisters, England

Hiking the white cliffs of the Seven Sisters

Walking from Beachy Head to Seven Sisters

Equally, on a stormy day, this place must look and feel unreal. Completely exposed to the elements, I could see myself in a little cabin or cottage, listening to the sound of the sea and the roaring wind. Call it cliché if you like, but how nice and cosy would that be? Sign me up!

But on this particular day, the weather couldn’t have been any further away from cold and rain, it was hot and we were beginning to feel thirsty and overdressed in our coats and jumpers. We wanted a drink, and we wanted one now.

Hiking from Beachy Head to Seven Sisters - one of the UK's most beautiful places

Momentarily distracting us from our thirst were several messages created from pebbles and chalk… we unanimously agreed that the apostrophe in ‘don’t’ was a work of art produced from only two single pieces of chalk.

Cliffs at Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters

As we trudged on, hunger also began to strike and if there’s one thing we couldn’t ignore, it’s an empty stomach so collectively we decided that a country pub would be our next port of call. I didn’t have any reception on my phone, but Ruchi’s boyfriend, Pierre, did and he found a place within walking distance.

Now following a different route to our initial plan, we steered away from the cliffs and moved closer inland where the landscape became grassier and more untamed. It reminded me very much of the Yorkshire Moors where hundreds of sheep graze and stone-cobbled walls surround you in every direction.

Walking from Beachy Head to Seven Sisters, UK.

Walking across the Seven Sisters in England

 

Saltmarsh Kitchen

Ending the walk in Saltmarsh Kitchen, which was every bit the cosy eatery you’d imagine a 16th century converted farmhouse to be, was a good choice. The warm smell of food, the chitter chatter of strangers and the appealing vision of white-washed stone walls against wooden beams offered a welcomed retreat. It wasn’t a pub, but it had charm and a lovely courtyard to rest your feet and slurp a beer or two.

However, true to British weather, the heaven’s opened and the rain came pouring down. A part of us couldn’t believe our luck, a few minutes earlier and we would’ve been sodden, but on the downside it meant we couldn’t enjoy a leisurely walk back to the car. (Although none of us admitted it, I think we were each secretly pleased that we had an excuse to take a bus back).

After some deliberation, we made our orders and waited with the expression of a ravenous dog. I think we’d reached that point in the day where hunger had completely taken over our capacity to talk, I can’t remember a single word that was spoken before the food arrived! What I did notice though were all the walkers – young and old, English and American – we were sitting among an eclectic crowd of people as well as some serious looking hikers, dressed in outdoorsy clothing.

Eating at Saltmarsh Kitchen at Seven Sisters

When the food arrived, it took the whole of 2-seconds for me to finish, it was like the devil within had spoken. It was very tasty and the portions sizes were okay but could have been a bit bigger for the walker’s appetite. However, there was an array of scrumptious baked treats, including chocolate fudge slices to lemon cake, and coconut slices to Victorian sponges, that I ‘d been ogling as soon as I entered the place. Those, my dear, finished off the meal perfectly.

Hiking from Beachy Head to Seven Sisters

So tell me, when will you go?



A travel & culture blog specialising in Scandinavia and the Arctic, peppered with the rest of the world in between.


'The Beautiful White Cliffs of Beachy Head & The Seven Sisters' have 13 comments

  1. October 29, 2016 @ 5:03 pm Richard

    Looks like this walk was made for ITV’s ‘Walks with a view with Julia Bradbury’ programme. And very daring of you to sit on the cliff edge like that!

    Reply

    • November 1, 2016 @ 8:59 am Shing Yoong

      I love the episode where Julia Bradbury is in Iceland!

      Reply

  2. October 30, 2016 @ 11:17 am Eddie Hewitt

    Shing, you’re scaring me, seeing you sitting right on the edge of the cliff. Get back! Another wonderful write up and another place you’ve summoned me to without even realising, haha! The chalk cliffs are spectacular and Summerdown Lane sounds like a delightful diversion en route.

    Reply

    • November 1, 2016 @ 9:04 am Shing Yoong

      Haha one of my friends on the trip got really annoyed with me, hence only one (poor quality) photo of me sitting at the edge before I was summoned away. A shame because I would’ve liked a better photo :p

      It’s incredibly beautiful Eddie, I hope you visit.

      Reply

  3. October 31, 2016 @ 8:05 pm Feetoutofbed

    Love the view and the white color of cliffs. Being there always seems like beeing somewhere on the edge of the world.. You’d love for sure the cliffs of Portugal, South of Portugal.

    Reply

    • November 1, 2016 @ 9:18 am Shing Yoong

      I’m sure I’d love the cliffs of southern Portugal too! I fell completely in love with Lisbon, and Porto is a great city so I’m itching to see more of the country.

      Reply

  4. November 2, 2016 @ 6:11 am David Yoong

    Brave Yoong girl sitting dangerously at the edge of the white cliff??? Bill Bryson in his book The Road to Little Dribbling–More N otes from A Little Island wrote—page 56 You can ,if you dare creep right up to the cliff edge and look over. Generally you find a steep drop two hundred feet to a rocky beach. But almost no one does this. It is too unnerving and way too dangerous.The cliff edges are crumbly and everyone keep well back. Even frolicking dogs brake and retreat when they see the fall.

    Reply

    • November 30, 2016 @ 10:39 am Shing Yoong

      Hi Uncle David, sounds like I need to read that Bill Bryson book! I love your recital!!

      Reply

  5. November 3, 2016 @ 3:35 pm Jenna

    SO beautiful! Looks like the perfect day trip. I’ve been there, but it was many years ago, and I can barely remember it. However, those white cliffs are still vivid in my mind.

    Reply

    • November 30, 2016 @ 11:56 am Shing Yoong

      Those white cliffs are something else, eh? I’m not surprised you remember them Jenna, even after the memory of this place has faded, those white cliffs remain vivid.

      Reply

  6. November 3, 2016 @ 5:19 pm Katie Featherstone

    I used to live in this neck of the woods, so beautiful. I’m glad you got to visit Shing!

    Reply

  7. November 4, 2016 @ 2:27 pm Victoria @The British Berliner

    Oooo! I love walking on the edge of cliffs with the wind blowing and the sounds of the waves below. Add a pub lunch and I’m in clover lol!

    Reply

  8. July 20, 2017 @ 6:42 pm Charlie Marchant

    Just Google image searched Seven Sisters and got to your blog post! I’m doing the hike in two weeks time across all of the Seven Sisters. I’ve not been before so super excited. Gorgeous photos.

    Reply


Would you like to share your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published.

Copyright © 2016 Shing Lin Yoong | All Rights Reserved | Designed by Paradigm Creations | Links