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Sussex walk around Cuckmere Haven

PUBLISHED: 10:34 04 January 2016 | UPDATED: 10:34 04 January 2016

The breathtaking chalk cliffs known as the Seven Sisters

The breathtaking chalk cliffs known as the Seven Sisters

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Breathe in some sea air on this circular walk at Cuckmere Haven

The Cuckmere Estuary, where the River Cuckmere meets the sea, is known as Cuckmere Haven. This beautiful spot, where the river meanders snake-like through a wide flood plain to the English Channel, is best after a period of dry weather because the paths can be muddy. The water, which forms several oxbow lakes, and its water meadows provide a habitat for a wealth of wildlife, including herons, geese and swans. 


Where to refuel

The Cuckmere Inn (vintageinn.co.uk/thecuckmereinnseaford, 01323 892247, BN25 4AB)

At the start and end of the walk, this place offers traditional pub food. Alternatively drive to The Plough & Harrow (ploughandharrowlitlington.co.uk, 01323 870632, BN26 5RE) in Litlington village, which offers tasty pub food, with some vegetarian options – to find it, turn left out of the car park and then immediately right onto Litlington Road; the pub is on your left after a mile and a half. There are also places to eat in Alfriston and Jevington.


Information

Location: Cuckmere Haven, near Seaford, East Sussex

Distance: 3m (4.8k) – 1.5 hrs to walk.

Terrain: paths can be muddy

Where to park: In the Seven Sisters Country Park car park, which is on your left, as you drive west on the A259, between Eastbourne and Seaford. If you are going to eat in the Cuckmere Inn after the walk, drive another quarter mile west and park in the pub car park.


Route

1 If you have parked in the Seven Sisters Country Park car park, head west, walking on the path that runs alongside the main road for a quarter mile. You will have to cross over the road just before going over the bridge; then head left, walking through the Cuckmere Inn car park towards a gate.

2 Go through the gate, along a path that leads through hedgerow and then alongside a field.

3 At the map, head left (ignoring the gates straight ahead and right) along a narrow path that leads between shrubbery. The raised path soon curves around to the right and leads between waterways towards the sea.

4 Walk onto the beach to the water’s edge and head right towards cottages. Walk up the right hand side of the cottages, heading uphill on a wide track. At the cattle grid, put dogs on leads and head left, walking over a grassy area to a cliff edge viewpoint and bench.

5 After drinking in views of the Seven Sisters cliffs, retrace your steps, walking back down the hill past the cottages. At the foot of the hill, head left through a gate and walk along the edge of a field towards a second gate. Carry on along this path that leads between fencing.

6 Eventually the path leads through another gate and runs alongside a water channel. Ignore the gate on your right and the path that leads left and carry on straight ahead.

7 Here, go through the gate and maintain direction straight ahead, retracing your steps back to the car.

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