Photo By Peter Watts
Hope Gap Beach

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Hand held panorama taken from Hope Gap Beach near Seaford at low tide. Because it was low tide I could walk out a bit and get a good view of the Seven Sisters cliffs as they stretched east along the coast from here. Virtual tour taken July 2012. The chalk ledges of this beach are covered with water on the Google Map's satellite image, but visible through the water.


Hope Gap Beach - Seaford visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Hope Gap Beach' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from East Sussex.

Hope Gap lies just east of Seaford on the South Downs. It is accessible by foot and part of the South Downs Way. From the west, the coastal path here descends down Seaford Head (80m) to Hope Bottom (15m) and then ascends east up Short Cliff to about 25m before descending again down to sea level at Cuckmere Haven.

The U-shape of the hills is clearly visible from the beach. Here the valley has been filled with Coombe Deposits, which are rock fragments broken by frost during the last Ice Age. At that time the coastline extended much further and the Hope River that then flowed down this valley would have joined Cuckmere River to the east before entering the sea. The extent of the chalk platform exposed at low tide shows how far the cliffs have eroded in the past 100 years or so. These cliffs are continuing to erode today at a rate of about 30-40cm per year.

Seven Sisters

The Seven Sisters are a series of chalk cliffs and hills that line the coast between Cuckmere Haven and Beach Head (Eastbourne) on the South Coast. They are famous landmarks and part of the Seven Sisters Country Park. The cliffs are an important tourist attraction in the summer with many walkers traversing them along the South Downs Way in the summer months. The walk can be quite arduous as there is little flat ground here as the path ascends and descends the seven hills:East of this lies Birling Gap and then the Belle Tout lighthouse (currently a hotel until it falls into the sea) and, finally, Beachy Head, the last headland before Eastbourne.

Those intending to walk the Seven Sisters should note that there is almost no shelter for the whole of the route, often strong winds and variable weather conditions. It is best to walk east with the wind behind you, bring plenty of water, suncream on a sunny day and, this being England, wet weather gear just in case.


Walk: South Downs Way form Seaford or Cuckmere Haven. Footpath down Hope Bottom from South Hill.
Road: Seaford is on the A259 just east of Newhaven. It is 12 miles east of Brighton and 10 miles west of Eastbourne.
Train: Seaford Station with links to London via Lewes.

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