The Eastbourne Downland stretches between Birling Gap and Eastbourne. Climb onto the Downland above Birling Gap for a fantastic panoramic view of the white cliffs of the Seven Sisters. The Downland is less hilly than the Seven Sisters, so the walk should be less strenuous.
The town of Eastbourne marks the eastern end of the Eastbourne Downland. You can walk here from Beachy Head along a path that hugs the coast, or - if tired - just catch a bus from Beachy Head or Birling Gap. The promenade is typical of English seaside resorts - reasonably pleasant with a pebble beach. The train station is about 15 minutes' walk from the sea, along the main high street full of shops.
The seven (actually eight) "hills" of the Sisters, high above the English Channel, are a fantastic place for a walk or hike. There are great views out to the sea as well as inland to the valleys of the South Downs. The hills are mainly covered with grass, dandelions and daisies. Make sure you wear suitable shoes or boots - some parts of the walk are very steep indeed - and beware of erosion near the cliff edges (it's a long way down).
Beachy Head, on the Eastbourne Downland, is the highest chalk sea cliff in England, rising to 162 m from sea level. There is a lighthouse in the sea below, built in 1902. There is also a pub/restaurant, and bus 12 and 12A stop here between Brighton and Eastbourne.
Built in 1832, Belle Tout was the original lighthouse on the Eastbourne Downland. It was decommissioned in 1902 when a new lighthouse was built at Beachy Head. During the Second World War, it was used as target practice by Allied ships. In 1999, the lighthouse was moved inland to prevent it was falling into the sea as a result of cliff erosion.
Birling Gap marks the eastern end of the Seven Sisters. If you've reached it by walking/hiking on the Seven Sisters, you might be quite glad to see the collection of buildings here. There is a bed & breakfast, a (somewhat overpriced) pub/restaurant, an ice cream shop, toilets (most importantly), and a pebble beach. Bus 12 and 12A, to Eastbourne, Seaford or Nrighton, stop at Birling Gap.
The estuary of the river Cuckmere, called Cuckmere Haven, is located 1 mile south of Exceat - a stroll here requires a short detour from the start of the Seven Sisters trail. On the shingle beach is a small pub, and views of white chalk cliffs are to the east (Seven Sisters) and west (Seaford).
From Exceat, walk about 1 mile southward to the Seven Sisters along the valley floor of the river Cuckmere. The path is clearly marked as part of the South Downs Way, and passes through the grazing grassland of sheep and horses. The river itself is shallow and meanders as it flows to the English Channel.
Exceat is an abandoned village located about 1 mile inland from the Cuckmere estuary. It is now the location of the Seven Sisters Country Park headquarters and is a natural starting point for a visit to the area. It is also the site of the fabulous Exceat Farmhouse restaurant (see restaurant tip), a perfect place for a hearty breakfast or brunch before starting the walk.