Monday, 12 November 2012

Hiking on the Seven Sisters

Seaford Beach Huts
As much as I love calling London my home, I also love leaving it behind on a weekend.
So last weekend we decided to hop on a train to the south coast and go hiking on the Seven Sisters from Seaford to Seabourne. A 22K walk.
Three walking buddies and I set out bright and early from Clapham Junction and boarded the train all geared up, ready to take on this challenge.
At  the shingled beach where the first of many challenging climbs towers in the distance. The coast in this part of the country consists of limestone cliffs steeply dropping into the ocean. Not a good place to be if you suffer from vertigo, but good for some stunning views and plenty of gorgeous photo ops.

View of the Seven Sisters
After the fist climb up the cliff the path continues along the cliff's edge. But after a while the coastal route is cut off by the Cuckmere River. Even though I'd heard stories of people wading through in the summer, we weren't tempted to do the same in November and took a detour along the river bank to the nearest bridge. A bit of a bummer, but on the upside there’s a pub called the Golden Galleon right next to the bridge that serves fantastic food. So take your pick: Wet feet or great food!

We chose food and followed the muddy path, slipping and sliding along side the river. (We almost lost one hiker to the river, but luckily it only resulted in a muddy bottom.)

Fishing boats on Seaford Beach
An hour later,with our bellies full  from above mentioned fantastic food we continued the walk leading us back to the coast where after a steep climb we found ourselves on top of the first of the Seven Sisters. As the name suggests these are seven steep peaks that are alternated by deep dips creating a rolling landscape on top of the majestic chalk cliffs. I’m not sure who came up with the names of the Sisters, but I have a feeling it was someone with a bum fetish. They’re called Short Bottom, Rough Bottom and other versions of backsides. You can add sore bottom to this, which is what you’ll end up with after this walk.

Light house near Beachy Head
Just after the bums of the Seven Sisters we walked through the Birling Gap, passed the Belle Tout Lighthouse and reached Beachy Head just in time to witness the sun plunging into the sea. Leaving a colourful display in the distant sky. The temperature dropped instantly and darkness set in fast. We had another 6 or 7 km to go to Eastbourne but given the lack of torches and night goggles in our day-packs and the fact that we didn't  fancy stepping off the cliff side, we decided to check out the Beachy Head pub instead.

With rosy cheeks from being outside all day (and also a little bit from the rum and chocolate milk in the pub) we returned to London Town. Falling asleep to the cadence of the train.


  1. A few good pubs along the way always help when trekking in the UK. That was quite an ambitious distance walk you've undertaken. Will you have a picture of all seven or some of the pictures? Not sure if you'd be able to get them all into camera shot.

  2. The second pic in the blog actually has all seven of them!! The one with the fence in the foreground.

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