In England when people talk about sheer cliffs, they often refer to the Cliffs of Dover, on the right side of English territory. In fact, not far away are the beautiful and majestic Seven Sisters. It should be noted, by the way, that they often stand in for the ones at Dover in movies as they are whiter and thus let’s say more “photogenic.”
I recommend that you visit the Seven Sisters, which are a very short distance from the eccentric city of Brighton and are, indeed, seven chalk cliffs that occupy an area of 280 hectares, cliffs overlooking the sea. One is plunged into a place where nature brings its full force to bear, a fascinating place where the wind holds sway in a landscape that cannot be greener.
But where are the Seven Sisters located?
The Seven Sisters are on the south coast of English territory, they are included in the coastal territory from the town of Seaford to the town of Eastbourne. They are in the East-Sussex territory within the South Downs National Park, and the cliffs make up the Seven Sisters Country Park (website here) which, in addition to self-taught tourists, is often a destination for companies of Brighton school children or even simple day trips by people coming in from London.
EVER BEEN TO BRIGHTON? HERE IS AN INTERESTING POST:
How to get to Seven Sisters Country Park?
It is very very simple.
If you’re in the middle of an English ontheroad and you’re driving around in your nice right-hand-drive car, well all you have to do is follow the road out of Brighton to the east (looking at the map) and follow it to the coastal road. Just past Seaford you will find signs for the Seven Sisters Country Park parking lot. Beware that there is a charge for parking.
On the other hand, if you are a traveler from London or are already visiting Brighton I still recommend that you take the double bus to Brighton which then takes you directly to the Seven Sisters Country Park stop.
The routes you can take are: 12 – 12A – 12X – 13X
Tip: Take the 13X as it is the fastest.
They are all double-decker buses and are called Coaster Buses precisely because they run the coastal route. Because they are double-decker, they have the characteristic of enjoying incredible views on the way. They are scenic buses; get on the second floor and enjoy the ride.
You can buy Seven Sisters bus tickets directly on board but you will spend more. It is better to buy them at “One Stop Travel” ticket offices or at any “Off Licence,” to put it another way: our tobacco shop.
The price for a day ticket that is valid on all Brighton buses is £7 if purchased on the bus and £4.7 if purchased “on the ground.” In addition to being valid both to and from Brighton, it is valid all day on all buses except the 700, which is a line connecting more distant towns subject to different pricing.
What is the best time and clothing to go there?
Obviously the best time is during the warm season, that is, spring and summer. During other seasons it is also possible to go there but especially if you go in winter beware of the cold and constant wind. In fact, you will notice when you go there, the wind never dies down and it is best to bring some clothing to protect you from the wind. In any case, the recommended clothing is the classic “dress onion” also because walking on the slopes a little heat comes.
Separate chapter concerns shoes? I went to Seven Sisters twice and on both occasions simple sneakers were enough. I usually use the Salomon Speedcross 3, for me they are unbeatable! However, it all depends on the weather conditions on the previous days. So also consider having to equip yourself with possible hiking boots if the weather has not been magnanimous.
How to visit the Seven Sisters?
Once you arrive at the parking lot you will find yourself in front of a tiny gate from which the first path is accessed. Before you start walking, if you need restrooms just go to the opposite side of the road. Here you will find a pub, an information point and finally the much-needed restrooms. If you are a biker you can also ask about“rent a bike,” I know there is also this service but I can’t tell you prices or how.
Once you enter the gate you are faced with a board with all the trails present within Seven Sisters Country Park. There are many and with different features and degrees of difficulty.
Let’s understand: these are not climbs; they are simply more or less steep slopes.
The most fascinating route to enjoy the Seven Sisters is the one that passes by the beach, which, however, has the drawback of having to do a rather challenging trail to reach the top of the first cliff. Not too bad, if you are trained what’s the problem.
If you don’t choose the beach route, at the junction between the two paths follow the left and you will find a more gradual ascent that among quintals of “boase” takes you to the top of the first of the beautiful cliffs. For the record, the “boase” in Brescian dialect are the “cow droppings.”
Depending on the route you have chosen it will take you 40 to 60 minutes to reach the top of the first of the Seven Sisters. Then you can choose whether to continue following the trail and, if time permits, even reach EastBourne rather than turning back from the previous trail.
Once you get to the top you will realize how small we are compared to what it is and what nature is capable of doing. If you sharpen your eyes toward the beach side you can catch a glimpse of the bunkers where British soldiers hid during World War II.
The cliffs are a really exciting place and the temptation to take some special shots is strong but I recommend being as cautious as possible because the cliffs are very dangerous.
I recommend that you never get too close to the edge of the cliffs. The wind is always there, blowing very hard and you run the risk of being thrown off balance. Also, the cliffs being made of chalk are definitely brittle. Rather, I encourage you to make arrangements so that you can have a nice picnic in the open air as many do.
Last tip: If you really want to know what is the best time to visit the Seven Sisters, I tell you that in front of the last one among the cliffs, Beachy Head, in August they have an event called Eastbourne AirShow related to vintage airplane enthusiasts. Watching the planes whiz by from the cliffs must be a unique thrill. You can see it from this video.
Bottom line: if you are in Brighton or London and want to take a day trip this is the place to be. Provided there are acceptable weather conditions you will find yourself in a great place full of history and charm.