SWC walk 60c - Eastbourne Circular
Length: 18km (11.2 miles) - shorter option of 11.6km (7.2 miles): see ** below
Toughness: 5 out of 10: one big steep climb, a few little ones 9.47
train from Victoria
(9.53 Clapham Junction
, 10.03 East Croydon
) to Eastbourne, arriving 11.08. (Hopefully this train will not be affected by RMT working-to-rule, but if it is cancelled for any reason, get the 10.17.)
Buy a day return to Eastbourne
For walk directions
If you write it, will they come? The answer for the last part of this walk is not yet.
To explain: we all know the wonderful walk from Eastbourne over Beachy Head down to Birling Gap (If you do not, make its acquaintaince at once!)
. Traditionally this is linked with the "Full Monty" of the walk over the Seven Sisters and Seaford Head to Seaford (or vv). But some years back I wrote an alternative shorter ending inland to the lovely village of East Dean with its nice tea options.
This had a couple of winter outings, but people complained that 7.2 miles was too short and postulated a circular route back to Eastbourne. Walk directions for this - along a quiet downland valley, quite different from the busy coastal path, and then up over the crest of the ridge to descend with fine views of Eastbourne - have existed for two years or so, but have never, as far as I am aware, had a Saturday airing with the SWC. So this is their debut. **
You can of course, if you wish, finish in East Dean
and get a bus to Eastbourne (the very frequent no 12) from there - the 11.6km (7.2 mile)
option. Or if you want, you can carry on over the Seven Sisters from Birling Gap and maybe get the no 12 bus from Cuckmere Haven (in which case you might as well get it to Seaford and get a train from there). But I hope you will give the circular route a try
. Go on. It is different.
Whatever option you take, the lunch choice
is the busy but capacious Beachy Head pub
, which seems to insist on table service if busy but allows bar ordering if not. Maybe at this time of year it will be less busy than in high summer. A while later is the National Trust tea room at Birling Gap
. This is also a tea option, but you might want to wait till East Dean, which has the Hiker's Rest cafe
(open till 5.30pm?) and the lovely Tiger Inn
with its outside tables on the green. Trains back
from Eastbourne are at 35
past to 20.35
and then 21.35
. After this there is engineering works and bus replacement services.