Monday, May 30, 2011

Eastbourne and Beachy Head

When we received our travel guide for England earlier this year we were immediately smitten with the picture on the cover.  After some research we discovered that the picture was of Beachy Head and that it was located only a short 1.5 hours south of London, just outside the resort town of Eastbourne.  Yesterday morning we headed south via rail towards Eastbourne for our first English ramble.

We arrived just after 1pm and headed straight for the beach, our first experience of an English seafront.  Fully equipped with Victorian era attractions including pier and bandstand, Eastbourne is adorable.  The pebble beach, common in England, looked completely uncomfortable but absolutely charming.  I'm not sure if we would lounge on that beach but the pebbles certainly made the scene super picturesque.

At the beach we headed west towards the trail head, following a lovely beach side path out of town.  The trail head is at the base of a steep hill and the wind started to pick up almost instantly upon gaining a bit of elevation.  We wound up battling an intense headwind throughout our ramble and, though we wanted to continue to Seven Sisters, a series of hills west of Beachy Head along the chalk cliffs, we turned around after about a mile.  Although the scenery and views were gorgeous (we've never encountered 'chalk cliffs' before) and well worth the effort, the wind was proving a time-consuming battle and we had a train to catch.

Overall, our ramble was probably only about 5-6 miles (Beachy Head is 1.5 miles outside of town).  We started our walk at around 2pm and were back in Eastbourne around 6:30pm, tired and hungry.  The initial elevation gain was steep and the trail follows rolling hills along the cliff side, providing many similar ascents (and descents) throughout.  I'd say the trail was of moderate difficulty.

We hope to return sometime this summer for another attempt at Seven Sisters.  The area was stunning, even on our windy and miserable day, and I'd love to see it on a sunny summer's day.  Perhaps when we venture to Eastbourne's more popular neighbour, Brighton, later this summer we'll attempt to tackle the girls again?

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