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Eastbourne Holiday - July 2018

Twenty members, plus guests and day-trippers, enjoyed an excellent if rather warm holiday in Eastbourne.

Sunday featured the classic Seven Sisters walk, beginning from the hotel. The walk took us across Beachy Head and down to Birling Gap where tea and ice-cream were taken before tackling the Seven Sisters proper. We had lunch overlooking the Cuckmere valley before heading down and inland to Exceat, where some had more tea, then climbed over Seaford Head and down into Seaford to catch the bus back to the hotel. The total distance was about 13 miles. The 'B' group followed the same route but ended at Exceat.

On Monday we caught the train to Rye then walked towards the coast. Though the temperature was similar to Sunday, an onshore breeze made walking more comfortable (at least initially…). We had lunch on a secluded beach at Pett Level where two of the group went swimming before being buzzed by an Apache helicopter. After passing Fairlight we joined the cliff-top footpath which was unexpectedly hilly; a lengthy diversion around a rock-fall added to the effort needed, and the final sting in the tail was the mile of street-walking from Hastings Old Town to the station. Meanwhile the 'B' party were walking a similar route in reverse which meant that they met the hills and diversion first before catching a bus back from Fairlight.

After Colin’s post-dinner ‘Pictionary’ game some of us headed off to a local pub, where an International Incident involving a Norwegian couple was narrowly averted.

Tuesday was noticeably cooler as we travelled by train to Glynde then joined the South Downs Way for an excellent ridge walk. After an unintentionally leisurely lunch stop at Alfreston we carried on along the South Downs Way with a diversion to view the Long Man at Wilmington, finishing in Polegate around 16:00 – a reasonable 12 miles covered despite the hour-plus for lunch and early-ish finish. The 'B' group followed the same route to Alfreston but avoided the tea-shop, then walked down the Cuckmere Valley to Exceat and the bus.

Wednesday was a non-walking day, nine members left the group and one (Nick) joined.

Thursday's 'A' walk began at Exceat and followed the river to Alfreston. After a quick look around the village (no long tea-stop this time) we set off in pursuit of the 'B' group, eventually meeting them in Jevington at lunch-time. We then walked as one group along the South Downs Way and back to Eastbourne and the hotel, losing a few walkers to the Number 12 bus en route.

Friday featured a novel experience - rain! We all travelled by train to Lewes. The 'A' party, led by Nick, had a quick look round the town then headed for Glynde then South to Seaford for the bus home. It was strange to keep crossing the paths of the walks earlier in the week. The rain arrived late-morning in the form of a couple of hours of drizzle. The 'B' party, led by Roger, had a short tour of the town followed by a circular walk to the west of Lewes. Lunch was taken with expansive views to the north towards the Weald of Sussex and the South Downs ridge to the west. Their rain consisted of a shower lasting 5 minutes towards the end of the walk. After visiting a tea shop they returned to Eastbourne by train.

Many thanks to Peter for organising the trip and leading the B walks, to Greg and Nick for leading the A walks, and to everyone on the trip for their companionship.



Maps of the walks

Seven Sisters - Eastbourne to Seaford

Rye to Hastings

South Downs Way - Glynde to Polgate

Exceat to Eastbourne

Lewes to Seaford