South Downs Way – Eastbourne Loop

South Downs Way - Eastbourne Loop - Seven Sisters cliffs from Beachy Head

Seven Sisters cliffs from Beachy Head

Our two day hike this past weekend along the eastern end of the South Downs Way began in Eastbourne, by Beachy Head, along the Seven Sisters, through Friston Forest and ended walking through beautiful farmland as we made our way inland back to Eastbourne. The first day we had spectacular weather, perfect for hiking along the coast. Especially an especially cliff’y coast, that recedes quite significantly every year. After stopping halfway to maybe, or maybe not, illegally wild camp in Friston Forest, we were quite happy we put the rain cover on our tent the night before, as we woke early to a steady light rain that continued throughout the entire second day.

On the custom Google Map below you can see our total two day route of about 29 kilometers or 18 miles, not including some additional mileage getting lost to the trail head from the train station and making our way back. For more information about the full trail, head over to the official South Downs Way webpage. Getting to and from the South Downs Way in Eastbourne from London, we took the National Rail from Victoria Station. About an hour and half one way, easy peasy.

Overall, I would highly recommend the trail. Our specific loop was relatively diverse in scenery for a two day hike, and even despite the rain, we really enjoyed both days. We were quite surprised that large portions of the inland path went literally right through animal pastures – sheep, cows, horses – which was definitely a nice experience. We genuinely look forward to returning to both complete other sections of the South Downs Way. But probably won’t stop for an all you can eat Chinese buffet before returning to London next time. Whoops, wasn’t supposed to admit that.

Near Beachy Head

Beachy Head Lighthouse in the distance

Near Eastbourne on the South Downs Way

Near Eastbourne on the South Downs Way

South Downs Way - Eastbourne Loop

Near Eastbourne on the South Downs Way

Near Eastbourne on the South Downs Way

Near Eastbourne on the South Downs Way

Beachy Head Lighthouse

Beachy Head Lighthouse below

Seven Sisters cliffs from Beachy Head

Seven Sisters cliffs from Beachy Head

Low tide from Seven Sisters

Low tide

Atop one of the Seven Sisters

Atop one of the Seven Sisters

Seven Sisters

Seven Sisters

Pausing to pick berries

Pausing to pick berries

Cuckmere River Valley

Cuckmere River Valley

West Dean Farmland

West Dean Farmland

Dusk

Dusk

Friston Forest

Friston Forest

A very hungry horse

A very hungry horse

She really liked Ben

She really liked Ben

House near Litlington

House near Litlington

Sunflowers near Litlington

Sunflowers near Litlington

Foggy farmland

Foggy farmland

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