The Only Way is Sussex

Posted by Jay in Travel on July 19th, 2015

A few weeks ago, myself and two other friends made the trip from London to the Seven Sisters Cliffs in East Sussex. I have been trying to see more of the UK recently, and we decided on the cliffs as it is not that far from London, so the travel time would not eat into our exploring time too much. There are two stations you can use to get to the cliffs, either Eastbourne station or Seaford station. In terms of which station is better, there isn’t really much of a difference as both are the same distance from the cliffs as the other. We ended up choosing Eastbourne as the train would leave from Victoria station, and this meant we didn’t have to get up crazy early to get there.

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My train journeys have usually been me sitting there bored out of my mind and willing the train to go faster. As I didn’t want to use up all the data and battery on my phone before reaching my destination. But on this trip, and my earlier trip to Bath it was nice to have some company and momentarily allow me to tear myself away from my phone. After I had put up a new picture on my Instagram page, of course. Arriving at Eastbourne, we headed straight to Subway to get some sandwiches as we were not quite sold on the local “RFC”. When in doubt, go to a chain.

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The buses we needed to get to the cliffs were located just a short walk across the street from the station. You can take buses 12, 12A and 13 to get to the park where the cliffs are located, but of course check the timetables first. Being a disabled traveller that lives in London, I have a freedom pass that allows me to travel on some local bus services around England for free. Who said that there weren’t perks to travelling while crip?

We took the bus number 12 which has free wifi on board, and is always in my books. The journey from the station to the park took under 15 minutes including pick ups and drop offs, so the park is not too far away. We exited the bus at the visitors centre as we wanted to take maps to see which route would be easiest for us all to do. And my friends felt that the exterior of the centre was the perfect spot for a photo, but I make no judgements…

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The lady working in the centre was very helpful and showed us the different possible routes we could take to the cliffs. Including the different views we would get from each vantage point. If you already know the area well, and do not need to use the centre, you can continue on the bus a stop further as this will get you closer to the different routes. As we were three Londoners with less than stellar skills at reading maps, we got a little bit lost. In the space of less than half a kilometre, we managed to go the wrong way no less than three times. We were off to a terrific start.

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When we finally found the right path, we made the slow stroll towards the glorious cliffs. We decided to take the red route as it would give us good views and wasn’t as long as some of the other routes available on the map. There is, however, an easy access trail that is suitable for those that might find the terrain a little difficult. As it is quite bumpy and very uneven, so those with wheelchairs, pushchairs will not want to get a puncture for the sake of some chalk cliffs. While I did fine the walk easy enough, some of the gates were kind of awkward to get through and placed at weird angles.

Thankfully on the day we went to the cliffs, the weather was fabulous, so fabulous that I had to take off my jacket along the walk. We saw different farm animals along the way, lambs, horses and cows. They were at a safe distance away from us, as cows are more deadly than they seem! The lambs were very cute, though. As lambs so regularly are.

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We made it down to the shingle beach and noticed that it started getting winder as we were so close to the water and I had to make sure that I didn’t get blown away. As we had no plans of staying on the beach, we made the uphill trek to a better vantage point to see the cliffs clearly. This part was more difficult as there were little rocks along the path, and this made it more dangerous as I didn’t always have a firm footing. But crossed over to the grass path when the surface changed, didn’t want to roll back down to the rough beach. Once we made it to a good vantage point, the views were phenomenal.

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The higher we got, the windier it seemed to get. So we walked towards a nearby bench and I had my sandwich and we tried to talk over the wind. As it kept getting chillier and chillier, we made our way back to the exit. Seeing as we had so much trouble finding the entrance to begin with, we left the same way to came. Walking and talking didn’t make the distance seem that far, and the further we got from the coast, the warmer it started to get once more.

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Arriving at the entrance/exit, we headed towards the Cuckmere Inn  and sat outside in the patio area and had something to drink before we would be heading back to the station with the bus. We decided not to go back to Eastbourne, but head towards Brighton. The tickets we had bought changed in Brighton, so we figured as we wanted to try and get some food before our train back to London. As this way, we would have more time to find something.

The bus that we got to Brighton did not have wifi on board as my friends decided to make me suffer the indignity of not being able to upload my ‘gram pictures straight away. As though it was not enough that I had barely any reception at the Inn. But I am clearly over that now…

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It took around half an hour to make it to Brighton and we went through Seaford, there was not much there. Heading to a nearby cafe, we got some burgers and made the short walk to the station. We decided to use the train loos before heading onto the platform. Be warned, you need to pay to use the facilities, unless you are disabled. Just another perk of travelling while crip!

If you are disabled, you can just ask the attendant to open the doors for you if you do not have your own Radar key. What is a Radar key, you ask? It’s simply one of those GIANT keys that open disabled bathrooms in the UK. And you can purchase one for yourself, so you don’t always have to ask the staff at any given establishment. They are usually only found in chains though, so your local restaurant or bar may not necessarily have one.

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We had an excellent time visiting the Seven Sisters Cliffs, and I would highly recommend it for everyone as the views are breathtakingly gorgeous! Could spend a whole day out there, provided the wind isn’t too crazy.

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about Jayon UPDATE: As of 25/09/2015 Nigeria has been removed from the WHO's Polio Endemic List! Having been born in Nigeria, I hail from one of three countries where polio is still unfortunately endemic, the other two being Pakistan and Afghanistan. I had contracted the poliovirus before my ...Read More

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