Seven Sisters

One of the most iconic pieces of landscape in the world is the stretch of white chalk cliffs along the south coast of England. Visible from many miles away when arriving by sea, the cliffs are one of the most famous symbols of England and its independence.

The white cliffs are most often referred to as The White Cliffs Of Dover. Due to heritage status protection, the cliffs at the nearest port to mainland Europe, at Dover in Kent, are becoming ever more green as grass and moss covers the exposed white chalk. The cliffs along the Sussex coast, further west, are left to their own devices and so the regular effects of wind and sea spray erosion continually ensure that the magnificence of the cliffs here remains a purer white.

One of the most beautiful spots in this part of the country – if not the whole of the British Isles – is the range of rolling headlands known as The Seven Sisters. The view has been on my list of places to visit for many years and I finally got around to going last summer, en route by road from home (in Switzerland) to Wales. The view is unquestionably a must-see for the passionate landscape photographer: in particular, the ridiculously photogenic point from a couple of hundred yards west of the coastguard cottages. I’ve been seeing photos by famous landscape photographers since I was at school, and it was with child-like excitement that I came to the view along a gorse-lined track.

The headlands mark the southern end of the South Downs National Park and are a draw for many thousands of visitors every year. That said, you’d be hard-pushed to allow them to interrupt your enjoyment of the views. The range of cliffs runs for around five miles and the sheer scale of the landscape dwarves strollers to tiny stick figures on the headlands and beach.

There are two ways to easily get to this magnificent view. It’s a three mile circular walk from Friston car park on the A259 Eastbourne-Seaford road, which takes you on a pleasant route through the country park before heading up to this viewpoint.

An alternative – and the one that I chose – is to head for the small, much less well-known and free car park on Seaford Head. Navigate to 50.762604,0.131962 if you have a satnav, or find your way from the A259 in Seaford via Arundel Road, along the side of the golf course via Chyngford Road and Chyngford Way, and up to the farm buildings at the end of the road. From here, it’s a fifteen minute walk to the cottages.

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