A Walk Around Seven Sisters and Cuckmere Haven

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seven-sisters-country-park

A friend of mine invited me to spend the weekend on the coast.  A change being as good as a rest and needing a break to clear my head from all of this job worry, I agreed to go and visit.

I love the sea.  I love the smell of sea air and I love the sound of the waves.  It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, I can sit and look at the waves for hours.  I find it really relaxing and therapeutic.  All of my troubles seem to disappear in an instant.  It is one of my many forms of meditation.

On Sunday, we went to Seven Sisters Country Park which is in the Sussex Downs and is an area of outstanding natural beauty.  The weather was glorious.  It was sunny, without a cloud in the sky.  It may have been a bit windy and a little chilly, but glorious just the same.  The views in this area are breathtaking, with the rolling hills of the Downs dotted around with sheep and their new lambs.

Here is an aerial map of our walk – from the centre square, and following the white line from the winding river straight to the sea.  For most of the way it is a concrete path, so the walk was flat and gentle.  There were many people out with the same idea as us.  Did I mention that the weather was glorious?  From the car park and back, it took us about an hour and a half, including contemplation of the cliffs and the sea.  We would have spent more time in contemplation, but we could see that some dark clouds were starting to roll in.

At the end of the path is Cuckmere Haven, where you can get a really great view of the chalk walls of The Seven Sisters.  Apparently, they each have a name and are called Heaven Brow, Short Brow, Rough Brow, Brass Point, Flat Hill, Baily’s Hill, and Went Hill.

The beach here is full of pebbles and is very pretty.  According to Wikipedia:  “The beach was commonly used by smugglers in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. For example, in 1783 two gangs of smugglers (each numbering 200 or 300) overcame officers of the law by weight of numbers and carried away a large quantity of goods.

In the Second World War the site was subject to significant attention from the Luftwaffe as they flew missions to identify potential landing sites for the invasion of the UK mainland. As a result a series of counter-landing constructions remains, including numerous pillboxes, anti-tank obstacles, ditches and tank traps. Cuckmere Haven featured heavily in the war effort: at night lights were placed to confuse bombers into thinking they were above Newhaven and an airfield was set up further inland. As well as the permanent constructions, the river was heavily mined.”

After our walk, we headed off to a lovely pub for our Sunday lunch.  We went to The Tiger Inn in East Dean, which has just re-opened after having been closed for refurbishment.  The food was excellent.  While we had our lunch, it poured with rain outside.  It seems we had timed our walk perfectly.

The weekend was all I could have hoped for and more.  Now let’s hope the rest of the week follows suit.

If you would like to see more photos of my walk, click here.

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