Beachy Head: the annual seaside walk

Every year we go to the seaside for my friend’s birthday. Last year we went to Whitstable, and this year we chose Beachy Head for a seaside walk.

I’d never been, though of course I’d heard about Beachy Head as a notorious suicide spot and also the setting for the climax of Quadrophenia.

We got the train to Eastbourne and after some confusion about how to get to East Dean (the Eastbourne accent sounds a bit like my parents’ impression of an Australian accent, which sounds absolutely nothing like the Scottish accents of my walking buddies) we set off for Birling Gap.

At Birling Gap we hit the coast and joined the South West Coastal Path. We were all pretty wary of the cliff edges to begin with, but got bolder, graduating from hands and knees to being able to stand right by the edge.

Birling Gap

Walking was slow progress as we kept stopping to take photos. And to eat icecream.

Beachy Head

The cliffs rose as we neared Beachy Head, with some amazing views – appreciated by some more than others.

Ignoring the view at Beachy Head

We saw quite a few emergency services and a friend wondered if they were there in case people fell off the cliff. We pointed out that no one “falls” off accidentally and had a bit of a pause at a floral tribute, thinking about how awful it must be to be in this beautiful place and still feel that there’s no hope.

Beachy Head

Beachy Head

After a quick selfie, we set off towards Eastbourne.

Beachy Head selfie

Beachy Head to Eastbourne

Eastbourne seafront was very peaceful – lots of nice dogs, and some good photo opps.

Eastbourne seafront

Once we reached Eastbourne itself we went for fish & chips, then for a quick dip in the sea, before buying loads of sweets for the journey home. A great seaside adventure.