Brighton to Eastbourne Coastal Hike

Discover the South Down’s spectacular cliff tops and pretty pebbled beaches.

Also in East Sussex, United Kingdom

Hiking Difficult

Distance
41 km
Ascent
952 m
Descent
955 m
Duration
1 day +
Low Point
0 m
High Point
161 m
Gradient
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Brighton to Eastbourne Coastal Hike Map

Description

This long and meandering hike takes you between Sussex’s two major settlements: Brighton and Eastbourne. At just over 26 miles long, the route is marathon length, so it also makes for a great long-distance trail run.

Directions:

Hop on a direct train from London to Brighton from either Victoria Station or London Bridge. The journey is just over an hour if you make sure to take the fast train.

Start your walk from Brighton seafront, heading east along the Undercliff Walk from Brighton Marina to Saltdean. For about 3 miles, the path runs along the seawall with the looming white cliffs on one side and the shingle beach on the other.

The trail passes the Greenwich Meridian Monument, marking the point where the Greenwich Meridian Line crosses the English south coast. You then climb along the cliff tops for a few miles until you reach Newhaven, an old port town, which may be a little lackluster overall, but has Newhaven Fort, which is worth a visit, and Newhaven Harbour, where you need to head to cross the River Ouse.

Continue along to Seaford, passing the Seaford Head Nature Reserve, coming to Cuckmere River and Cuckmere Haven, where you begin to follow a riverside path along to Exceat Bridge. If you want to break your journey with an overnight stop, Seaford is a good place to rest for the night.

Continuing on, follow the signs to the Seven Sisters Country Park, which will bring you back to the coast, affording excellent views of the mighty Seven Sisters Cliffs. From here, pick up the South Downs Way path, heading east to Birling Gap, where you can stop off at the Belle Tout lighthouse for a cafe pitstop and stunning sea views. Then head in an easterly direction along Beachy Head, the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain. From Beachy Head, descend into Eastbourne, going along the pebbly beach before finishing at Eastbourne Pier. Catch a train back to London, which has a minimum 1.5-hour journey time.

Sources: https://www.carfreewalks.org/walks/893/apiertopierwalkineastsussex http://www.gps-routes.co.uk/routes/home.nsf/RoutesLinksWalks/brighton-to-eastbourne-walking-route

Difficulty

Difficult

Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

April, May, June, July, August, September

Features

  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque

Guidebooks in this area