Kent and Sussex has some amazing shoreline; the Seven Sisters, Beachy Head, the White Cliffs of Dover and Dungeness are just a few popular stretches of glorious coastline.
Using common sense to locate beach access points and with a working knowledge of the tides, much of this shoreline is accessible to walkers. This offers a unique perspective of our cliffs and rocky shores and as one friend described the scene while walking to Birling Gap, “in the sea mist, it looks like a scene from Jurassic Park”.
Walking the shoreline of Kent and Sussex
Having now trekked several sections underneath the cliffs of the South Downs, I came up with idea of walking as much of the Kent and Sussex shoreline as possible. This I thought, will give me chance to look for fossils, of which I have very limited success so far, and to witness the wonderful shapes and contours modelled by the power of the unstoppable tides.
Listed below are sections already completed and they make a great day out. Apart from the fossils, I have found numerous buoys, diving equipment, various car parts including an engine, shipwrecks and a jumble of flotsam and jetsam – some of which have made excellent garden ornaments.
Please note: the shoreline of Kent and Sussex is not as easy to walk along as it looks. There are sandy stretches but under cliffs expect to find mostly pebbles and large, slippery rocks, all of which make the going slow and tiring. With this in mind, never leave the walk to the last minute and plan for all eventualities.
As with all of my walks, allow several hours for food stops, photography, beach combing and plan your return route to the car. If you need any further information, simply email me via the contact form.
- Ordnance survey maps (Explore map 123 etc) indicate beach access with a large, red arrow
- Tide timetables can be purchased from most tackle shops and some newsagents
- Never take chances with the tides
- Always be aware of rock falls – never rest directly under cliff bases
- Allow several hours for shoreline sections – you’ll be surprised at how long you spend beach combing, taking photos etc
- Not suitable for dogs
Disclaimer – with care and planning, these walks are achievable by fit, experienced walkers but undertaken at your own risk.
Walk 1 – Birling Gap to Cuckmere Haven, Sussex
Walk 2 – Birling Gap to Eastbourne, Sussex
Walk 3 – Cuckmere Haven to Seaford, Sussex
Walk 4 – Cliff End to Hastings Country Park, Sussex
Walk 5 – Dover docks to St Margaret’s Bay, Kent
Walk 6 – Hastings to Hastings Country Park, Sussex
Walk 7 – Cliff End, Pett to Rye Harbour, Sussex
Walk 8 – Hastings town to Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex
Walk 9 – St Margaret’s Bay to Walmer Castle, Deal, Kent
Walk 10 – Rye Estuary to Jury’s Gap Firing Range, Sussex
thehiker: a walking, hiking, trekking, rough camping, mountain biking, canoeing, climbing, abseiling, parachuting, paragliding, photographing, outdoor loving, sea fishing, shoreline exploring, wheelchair pushing, mushroom hunting, wildlife spotting, wine drinking, foreign travelling and not very good at cooking, vagabond.