Birling Gap

View map of beach Parking available Toilets available South Downs Way & Seven Sisters Way Birling Gap Marine Nature Reserve SSSI National Trust Dog friendly Good water quality for swimming

Season: spring

The stunning scenery at Birling Gap, by the white Seven Sisters cliffs, belies the ferocious waves that can beat against the chalk here.  This re-visit revealed ongoing erosion, as the steel steps down to the beach had become free-standing and an extension platform was being added for access.  The National Trust cafe and associated buildings remain, a great vantage point on a stormy day. This is a beach and setting that stay in your mind’s eye long after any visit.

Spring visit photo gallery


The restorative effect of the beach for Jo and David.


A magnificent vista on a misty morning at Birling Gap.

Season: winter

This is a stunning natural setting for a beach, under the high, white Seven Sisters, one of the longest stretches of undeveloped coastline on the south coast.  Moving to the coast from ancient downland, you can find yourself rock pooling below towering cliffs of chalk.  Spectacular, unspoilt views of the sea emerge from all angles.  There’s a National Trust café and bar on the cliff top, while the beach below is a great example of a marine nature reserve.  The cliffs are eroding at up to one metre a year.  On this visit, the stormy sea was tearing at the cliffs on a high tide.  If you venture inland to Crowlink, the area is rich with butterflies and downland flowers. Nearby sites of archaeological interest, like Belle Tout neolithic enclosure, have much to tempt families too.  Highly recommended.

 Winter visit photo gallery


The importance of the beach to Judith.


A wild, stormy scene, under the cliffs on a high tide at Birling Gap in mid-December.

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