Naturist / Nudist Beaches in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland

Birling Gap - near Eastbourne

East Sussex


NT car park and a staircase descends to a pebble beach under white cliffs

2013 08 15 13.36.52
2013 08 15 13.36.52

Aug-13 • edwbaker on Flickr

nuffbirlinggap 10142066623

Birling Gap is a very long but narrow shingle beach below tall and fast eroding white cliffs. Access is via a tower staircase by an NT carpark and cafe. It is situated to the south of Eastdean, near Beachy Head in East Sussex. The nearest large town is Eastbourne. Naturists have traditionally used parts of the beach further west (i.e. to the right if facing the sea) from the access point.

Getting There

Satnav: BN20 0AB

Take the A259 from Eastbourne or from Seaford. On reaching Eastdean turn south on to a minor road to 'Went Hill' and 'Birling Gap'. When you get to the coast, the beach is accessible from the NT pay car park down an iron staircase. Since non-naturists don't venture far from these steps, a walk of no more than 500 yards along the beach (to the West) will take you to the area traditionally used by naturists.

There is a summer / winter weekend bus service from Brighton and Seaford Station via Birling Gap to Beachy Head and Eastbourne Pier


The beach is comprised of large pebbles with occasional patches of sand and backed by chalk cliffs. It is not overlooked and attracts few walkers. In the past the beach has been closed owing to cliff falls. The cliffs are fast eroding, which is how they're white - don't sit too close!

A visitor described the beach as:

"very clean" and "in a beautiful setting, the white chalk cliffs of the seven sisters behind you afford great views down the coast"

Safety and ease of swimming depends upon the state of the tide, owing to rocks which make entering and leaving the water difficult. Around high tide (when the rocks are well below the surface) or at low tide when the rocks are visible are the safest times:

"there is a shallow platform of sharp rocks... the waves push you back onto them (I've got the cuts to prove it!)"

Even at the height of the season the naturist section of Birling Gap is relatively quiet, with a mixture of couples and singles, the predominant age group being 40-50's.

"Another positive is that the beach allows you 30-45min walk up the coast over the pebbles to the headland, where a new bay begins.. I only passed three clothed couples beach walking, and to avoid confronting them, I sat down behind a boulder and waited until they passed... I would definitely recommend Birling Gap..."

Birling Gap made the news because local residents are campaigning for work to be undertaken to protect their properties from the on-going coastal erosion, while the National Trust feel that nature should be left to take its course. Thr row of houses by the car park is slowely falling into the sea.


There is an NT tea-room / pub, and toilets are available in Birling Gap.

Water Quality

Reported to be good.



Aug 2013



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2013 08 15 13.36.52
2013 08 15 13.36.52

Aug-13 • edwbaker on Flickr

nuffbirlinggap 10142066623