Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Walking The Seven Sisters Seaford to Eastbourne 14th Nov 2011

After a bit of work sorting out a day where the three of us (Marie Nita and I) could all get out together. We settled on the 14th November 2011.
So we set off on the 14th at 9am along with the two Dogs Ben and Tia for Seaford,Sussex to walk the Seven Sisters from Seaford and ending in Eastbourne. After a drive we arrived in Seaford and parked up on the seafront, which as a added bonus was free.The mist still hadn't lifted and visibility was still reduced, much to our disappointment We sat in a shelter on the beach and had something to east and a cup of coffee,before we set off.
 The Seven Sisters is the name for the undulating cliffs between Cuckmere Haven and Birling Gap. They are thought to have been formed by glacier melt water at the end of the last Ice Age: the melt water carved steep sided valleys, which were then truncated by sea erosion into the cliffs we see today.

 We set off and walked towards the Martello tower on the seafront.
 The Martello Tower in Seaford is the most westerly of a chain of 103 such fortresses (the other end of the chain being in Aldeburgh, Suffolk) built to protect the South East coast of England against invasion in the early part of the Napoleonic Wars.
The first part of the footpath is on the Vanguard way, a footpath that runs from Croydon to Newhaven. The sign is easy to spot and goes up the headland. The view from the headland is spectacular and the path is adjacent to a golf course on the climb up.

View back down to Seaford.
Seaford Head

Looking back to Seaford, see the cormorants on the rock below.

Nita & Marie in front of The Seven Sisters (shame they are partly obscured by mist!)

We followed the path down to Cuckmere Haven where we had to walk inland to Exceat as we can't reach the Seven Sisters as the Cuckmere River blocks our way.

Only one of the 3 coastguard cottages at Cuckmere Haven are still in use and is used as a holiday cottage. We spoke to a man who came out in a wetsuit who then proceeded down the road and into the sea for a swim!! Must have been freezing!

Marie and Tia on the beach at Cuckmere Haven

We made our way inland to Exceat to the Golden Galleon Pub car park cross the road and over the bridge.Then we followed a sign that was signed Cuckmere Haven, after a short way we doubled back as we feared that this wouldn't clear the other waterways and walked along the road and entered the Seven Sisters Park and picked up a footpath from there. But we needn't worried because the first path would have led us there anyway.

Exceat (pronounced ex-seat) was an ancient village. The A259 goes by it just east of the River Cuckmere. The name may have come from the Old English for "the place of the Aese", early kings of Kent. After the Norman conquest, the village was given to Robert, Count of Mortain, half brother of William the Conqueror. Both Exceat and the land were given later to Grestein Priory in Wilmington.
Until the 14th century, Exceat was an important village with its own church. The village suffered French raids; it suffered many fatalities during the Black Death, as was effectively abandoned by the 15th century.
The main features are the Visitors Centre for the nearby Seven Sisters and the Golden Galleon Public House across Exceat Bridge over the Cuckmere.

The path then climbs the first of the Seven Sisters, known as Haven Brow. The view from the top is superb, back over Cuckmere Haven and to Seaford head in the West and views towards Beachy Head in the East.
View to Cuckmere Haven Below

Me and Ben with Cuckmere Haven behind.

There is a short descent down Haven Brow before the path again climbs on to Short Brow, the second of the Seven Sisters.

The path descends slowly down Short Brow to the next of the Seven Sisters, Rough Brow.

It was after this climb we stopped for a rest and some more food and drink.

Nita on a uphill stretch,note the stile behind. There are a few stiles making it difficult for some dogs.

                                                                             View from Flagstaff Brow, looking West

 After Flagstaff Brow there is one more climb up Bailey's Hill before you arrive at the hamlet of Birling Gap, where the is a pub and small hotel providing welcome refreshment. The beach here has some sand at low tide and has a Seaside Award. The Hotel, toilets and car park are now owned by the National Trust. Sadly, the coastal erosion here means that the row of cottages is slowly disappearing into the sea.

                                                                         View of the Seven Sisters from Birling Gap
                                                      These cottages haven't long before they slide into the sea!

After Birling Gap, the path climbs the last of the Seven Sisters, Went Hill. From the top of Went Hill there are excellent views back towards Seaford and the Seven Sisters.

We now  make our way towards Beachy Head and onwards to Eastbourne.

                                                                                      Looking down onto Birling Gap.

                                                             A old Lighthouse upon the top of Went Hill.

Belle Tout is a former lighthouse that first entered service in 1828, over 130 years after the need for one was first suggested. It had 30 oil lamps, requiring two gallons of oil per hour. A problem with the lighthouse’s location soon became apparent, however – when the weather was bad, the cliff top tended to be shrouded in mist, so the light could not be seen. The cliff also blocked the view of the light from ships sailing too close to the shore.
As a result, a new lighthouse was built – the one that still stands at the base of Beachy Head to this day. It opened in 1902, and Belle Tout went out of commission. It was a tea room for a while, accidentally damaged by Canadian artillery during World War II, and later restored by the local council.
By the 1990s Belle Tout was a private house and in danger of falling into the sea due to cliff erosion, and so in March 1999 in a feat of engineering that captured national media attention, it was moved back 17 metres away from the cliff using hydraulic jacks. It was then bought by a preservation trust and in March 2010 started a new life as a luxury bed and breakfast, with the lantern room turned into a lounge with 360 degree views.

I must now apologise for the pictures quality,my camera batteries died and I had to use my mobile phone combined with poor light quality and the mist started to come down again.
                                                                                         Beachy Head lighthouse

                                                                    Looking back to Belle Tout Lighthouse.

It was about here that Marie said it isn't far to Eastbourne! She said this several times for the miles and hill ahead!!

                                                       You can see here how steep the ascent and descents are!!

From Beachy Head there are two ways to go back, the official South Down Way sticks to a high level path around the headland, but there is also a well marked path along a low level nearer to the sea. There are good views to Eastbourne as you approach, although it's shame about the ugly block of flats. We took the lower path descending from the fog, where Marie again said we're nearly there Lol.

                                                                                                   It really got foggy!

                                            First sight of Eastbourne ,shame about the block of flats ruining the view!

As we entered Eastbourne, we had a couple of miles walk still to reach the pier where we got the No.12 bus back to Seaford. We arrived back at the Car knackered but it had been a great walk. Worth doing again in better weather, where the views would be better. I'm told you can see the Isle of Wight and Dungeness on a clear day.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Walk in Constables Country 28th October 2011

We set off from Highview Grange site and drove to Dedham on the 28th October 2011 for a walk from Dedham to Flatford Mill.

Lucy and Adam standing in a Ford.

We walked along crossing the bridge over the River Stour, looking down on the boat hire and watching the chub and dace swimming in the currents.

Ben couldn't resist getting wet.
We followed the river along...................

After about 3/4 to a mile, the ground got too much for the mother-in-law, so she and Jeanette set back to the car, whilst the rest of us carried on.

We crossed the Fen Bridge but stopped to have a game of Pooh Sticks first. Then continued further along the river.

A herd of cows sheltering in the bushes.

Bridge Cottage

Bridge Cottage

Bridge Cottage

Bridge Cottage

Bridge Cottage
I has another look around the exhibition again, forgetting the low ceiling n the building I managed to whack my head quite hard...Ouch!!

A nice Halloween picture taken inside the exhibition.

The Haywain by John Constable, set at Flatford Mill.

Just round the corner from here was a RSPB garden where the kids did a field hunt looking for clues and won some wild flower seeds and other bits.

Bridge Cottage
Back to where we came off down the road to Flatford Mill.

Location of Constables Boat building picture

Flatford Mill, site of the haywain

Bridge Cottage

Bridge Cottage

Bridge Cottage

On our way back we walked back through a boggy flooded area, I said to the kids walk over here it looks too deep there, and as usual kids don't listen and Adams welly gets sucked off and he left standing on one leg with his welly floating about in the water. Did look funny though lol.
And finally back to Dedham!

The Adventures continue on................

THE ADVENTURES CONTINUE    HERE http://adventuresivebeenon2.blogspot.co.uk/