I decided today would be a single days trip down from Shropshire to East Sussex, to complete a 13 mile walk then return to Shropshire. A 440 mile round trip…..mad I know, but my daughter wanted to walk the Brighton bit!
The Saturday drive down to East Sussex was done in about 3.5 hours and we parked up at the seafront in Seaford. We set off walking westwards towards Newhaven and soon came to the deserted ruins of Tide Mills. Not a great deal remains of this once thriving village centered around a flour mill, which used the tide to store seawater in a set of lagoons, the trapped seawater was then released at low tide to generate power to turn the mill. The Mill closed in 1883 and was used as bonded warehouses until it was pulled down in 1901. The surrounding village was condemned in 1936 and the remaining inhabitants forcibly removed in 1939.
We soon had to divert around the River Ouse which Newhaven sits on, this meant crossing over the railway line and walking alongside the small Port of Newhaven, before using the A259 bridge over the Ouse. We walked back down along the opposite side of the Ouse towards Newhaven marina, passing a number of fishing quays. At the marina we popped into a local cafe to get a couple of Latte’s “to go”. The next section of the walk meant climbing up onto Castle Hill, where Newhaven Fort is situated. From Castle Hill the route ahead could be clearly seen across the rolling cliff-tops. In the distance we could easily see Brighton and in the far distance , the headland of Selsey Bill.
We continued over grassy slopes to the outskirts of Peacehaven. At Peacehaven Heights we decided to descend the amazing steps cut into the sheer Chalk cliffs, down to an under-cliff sea wall. The walking was very easy, but I did have half an eye on the chances of any rocks becoming dislodged from above. I also kept an eye open for the Memorial denoting the point of the Greenwich Prime Meridian where it leaves these shores. I managed to snap a photo of its globe from the sea wall below. The next couple of miles went extremely quick and we soon climbing an access road back up onto the cliff top.
We continued onto Saltdean, where we asked a couple of locals if the undercliff went all the way to Brighton, they said it did, so no more need for my map, which I put away. You don’t actually see a great deal when you walk along this sea wall below the Chalk cliffs, but it does lead to rapid progress. Above us out of sight we were now passing from Rottingdean into Brighton itself. We passed behind the huge Brighton Marina, with shops, quays and its own ASDA store!
The cliffs petered out and we emerged onto Madeira Drive. The crowds began to increase and we soon passed by the terminus of the Volks Electric Railway, running from Brighton Pier out to Black Point along Madeira Drive. Magnus Volk built the 2′ narrow gauge railway in 1883 and remains the oldest operational electric railway in the world. The crowds thickened and so did the pubs, shops, food outlets and amusements, including a 300m zip wire running along the beach; at £18 a pop I did not participate. The walk ended at the entrance to Brighton Pier, all that remained to do was to get one of #12 buses back to Seaford. A fascinating walk along an amazing coastline.
Distance today = 13 miles
Total distance = 6,452 miles