Seven Sisters, two lighthouses and Friston Forest

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Lowland and Hill Walks
Jul 03

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Rolling countryside with rising ground in places.

Join us west of Eastbourne for a circular walk that includes the spectacular chalk cliffs known as the Seven Sisters, rolling countryside and a beech forest.  And we'll see two lighthouses along the coast!  To begin, we follow the South Downs Way up onto the cliffs and walk east.  The ups (the “Sisters”) and downs (named “bottoms”) of the chalk cliffs from Cuckmere Haven to Birling Gap all have individual names, and in recent times have increased to eight ups and seven downs as a result of erosion reshaping the coastline.

At Birling Gap we'll stop for lunch on the pebble beach before walking up the next rise to the Belle Tout lighthouse (now decommissioned and converted into an interesting b&b).  Descending to Hod Combe, the Beachy Head lighthouse (still in service but automated) comes into view, rising out of the sea at the foot of the cliffs.

From Hod Combe we head north to the attractive village of East Dean with its pub on the village green.  Crossing the A259, we plunge into Friston Forest, which is primarily beech woodlands, and emerge after two miles at the small hamlet of West Dean.  A short, sharp ascent brings us back to the starting point.  Total distance: around 11 miles / 18 km, with approx 1050 ft / 320 metres of ascent.

IMPORTANT! - Participation Statement

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COVID-19 – IMPORTANT, Please read the following before you sign up to this event:

  • Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are extremely mild, or who lives or is in a support bubble with someone showing symptoms, is asked not to attend. This is in line with the government’s coronavirus advice.
  • You must also immediately self-isolate and not attend the event if you or someone in your household or support bubble shows coronavirus symptoms or tests positive. You can find the NHS self-isolation guidance here.
  • The main symptoms of COVID-19 are a high temperature, a new continuous cough, and a loss or change to your sense of taste and/or smell.
  • You may be subject to local lockdown restrictions, which you must fully comply with. Details of the location of these restrictions can be found here for England, ScotlandWales, and Northern Ireland.   
  • We do not encourage car sharing to events during the pandemic. Please comply with the safety travel guidance for EnglandWales, and Scotland. Face coverings should be worn on public transport.
  • OutdoorLads will support the tracing systems in place across the UK  and attendance at an OutdoorLads event is considered permission to use contact details for this purpose if requested by the appropriate authority.  
  • All are required to practice social distancing – staying 2m (not 1m) apart at all times, including the lunch stop. Remember: Face, Hands, Space.
  • Unfortunately, there won’t be any planned pub / café stops en route or at the end, and please don’t share sweets or snacks with others – we’re sorry!
  • Please bring your own hand sanitising gel for your own use throughout the day. Use of face coverings is at your own choice, but please bring one with you just in case it's needed. Please bring any other PPE items required. Bring a disposable bag for any used PPE.
  • Members are advised to bring their own small first aid kit for personal use..
  • Be aware that opportunities for toilet stops may be minimal if facilities are closed.
  • Please, please cancel at your earliest opportunity if you are unable to attend or are unwell, so that we can allow others to take up these valuable event spaces.
  • Much as it's difficult - no handshakes or hugs!

COVID-19: Events Participation Statement

OutdoorLads draws your attention to the fact that travelling and being away from home increases the risk of receiving and transmitting Coronavirus, whilst it is present in the UK. You are likely to choose not to participate in OutdoorLads events whilst there is a risk of Coronavirus transmission. However, should you choose to participate in OutdoorLads events whilst the risk is present, you must be aware of and follow the law and government guidelines, both when travelling to and from events as well as when participating in events.

Please note that every person participating should be aware of (and accept) that those members perceived as ‘in charge’ or leading the event are not experts,  do not need to be experts, and are not regarded by OutdoorLads, or themselves as experts, but are amateurs with some experience in the event type and who are happy to impart their knowledge.  Any advice given should be considered with this in mind by the recipient.

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All photographs by the walk leader, with permission for future use by ODL


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