Beachy Head, Walks, Cycling, Hiking, Kite Flying

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Beachy Head Eastbourne
Beachy Head Road
Via A259 (East Dean Road)
Or walk East from B2103
(King Edwards Parade West)
East Sussex, England

Rating: Things to do with kids outdoors.
Prices: Pay and display parking available
Info: Walking, hiking, paragliding, kite flying, mountain biking, bird watching, sheep centre.

Beachy Head offers stunning walking and cycling routes, along the Seven Sisters and the Cuckmere Valley, plus a walk from the cliff top to the bottom of Beachy Head (and the Lighthouse at low tide).  This bright and sometimes breezy, often sun-drenched countrified area is a terrific location for hiking, paragliding, kite flying, bird watching and mountain biking through Friston Forest. A visit to the sheep centre might be a good idea, as well as sunbathing (or catching prawns) at Birling Gap beach.

Pleasure boat trips are also available to take passengers from Eastbourne on a boat ride along the English Channel to Beachy Head, around the lighthouse and back.

Many historic sites and interesting villages can be found local to Beachy Head in East Sussex, including the charming villages of East Dean, Friston and the incredibly quaint village of Alfriston, all of which are within easy reach of Eastbourne. Alfriston offers numerous places to enjoy good food, with more delightful walks nearby.

Not too far from the 4 star Beachy Head Holiday Cottages, accommodation can also be found at the Tiger Inn in East Dean, on a bed and breakfast basis as inspiration for either a romantic break or a walking holiday in the beautiful East Sussex countryside.  You may also like to stay in the recently refurbished Belle Toute Lighthouse on top of Beachy Head (not to be confused with the newer lighthouse which can be found at the foot of the chalk cliffs).

The Beachy Head chalk cliffs were formed 65-100 million years ago (why are historians always so vague) and can be accessed via a walk from the very west end of Eastbourne, straight up the hill to Beachy Head. How high is Beachy Head? The cliffs stand to the east of the Seven Sisters, rising 162 meters (530 feet) above sea level! Waves constantly washing against the side of the chalk cliffs contribute to erosion each year and the ensuing (potentially dangerous) rock falls. You may bear this in mind when choosing a sunbathing location under the rock face, unless of course you have an incredibly hard head!

With an estimated 20 suicides per, Beachy Head has earned its name as being the suicide capital of Europe. Local taxi drivers have a special codeword, which when spoken over their radio, indicates they are on their way to Beachy Head (with a possible jumper in their car) as a means to request emergency services backup. The earliest reports of suicide can be dated back to the 7th century. Despite this trivia, Eastbourne remains a wonderfully upbeat, happy and friendly town.

Beachy Head was used as a set location in the opening sequence of the James Bond film The Living Daylights, in which Bond (played by Timothy Dalton) parachuted from a jeep. The Cure also filmed their videos “Just Like Heaven” and “Close To Me” at Beachy Head. Beachy Head also featured in Many Happy Returns and the TV series The Prisoner, amongst many other productions.

On the map of Beachy Head below, the Birling Gap beach lies to the West, with Eastbourne to the East.

Directions to Beachy Head: The Beachy Head Road, Via the A259 (East Dean Road). If on foot, walk east on the Eastbourne Seafront, along the B2103 (King Edwards Parade West) and follow the road up. For directions via Sat Nav, the postcode at Beachy Head is BN20 7YA.

Spookily, the bus that runs up to Beachy Head is unlucky number 13. OK, perhaps not so spooky. But they do say Beachy Head is haunted by a number of ghosts.