Walk 4 – Cliff End, Pett to Hastings Country Park, Sussex
The stretch of shoreline from Cliff End near Pett Level to Hastings Country Park, Sussex, is a quiet, rocky wilderness studded with amazing rock formations and patterns.
I parked at Hastings Country Park visitor centre which itself offers superb views over Pett Level to Dungeness on a fine day. With delightful sea panoramas, the cliff top path east took me along the Fire Hills, through Fairlight Cove, over Fairlight and Cliff End, and eventually the beach.
At low tide, most people walk the beach at Cliff End or stick to hiking the clifftop paths. But if you venture further along the shore under the small cliffs at Fairlight, you can witness the power of the ocean as abandoned homes cling lovingly to terra firma.
Sea defences along the Sussex coast are constantly being improved, but have come too late for some as the sandstone and mud cliffs take their twice daily bashing. This does though, make a haven for fossil hunters and photographers.
Leaving Fairlight behind, habitation disappears, the cliffs gain height and the beach narrows. If there has been heavy rain earlier, look for 'mud waterfalls', they're disgusting and dangerous.
The walking is easy along the final stretch passing Lee Ness Ledge and the sandy Covehurst Bay. Just before Black Rock, you'll find a small path leading up the hillside. It's not easy to find but notice where the barren cliffs end and a wood starts, and you'll find a path with steps.
This will take you to a wooden fence. Turn right over this and the undulating path will return you to the car park. If I can find it, you can.
If you can time it right, the sunsets here are quite magical but it is a nudist beach so be careful where you're pointing your zoom lens.
On this walk…
- Look out for tree stumps on the beach at Cliff End. These are petrified remnants of a 5,000 year old forest
- This walks highlights coastal erosion
- The shoreline is littered with sandstone sculptures
- Lovely, sandy beaches
- OS Explorer map 124 Hastings and Bexhill