Day 375 Brighton to Newhaven Chalk Cliffs

Sunday 14 August 2016

Brighton to Seaford

13 miles

Buckle Holiday Park

The sun didn’t reach my tent as I was tucked into a big hedge so I had to dry it before I left. 

the chalk cliff, starting behind Asda at the Marina
The campsite wasn’t at the smartest end of town, tucked in the Sheepcote Valley. Luckily I passed a shop to get something to eat as I had gone without dinner last night. 

Brighton Marina housing development
Brighton Marina has been renovated into a shopping complex and a housing estate, as well as berthing boats. 

the chalk cliff also extends under the sea
The chalk cliff began at the marina and there was a path along the Undercliff past all the deans: Roedean, Ovingdean, Rottingdean and Saltdean. I decided to forgo the view from the top of the cliff and walk down by the sea. It was a popular path and there were lots of joggers using it. 

looking back along the undercliff
The Black Rock cliff preserves one of best and most accessible sedimentary records of ice age climate in North West Europe. It is hidden away at the back of Asda at the marina. I thought it was quite impressive and clearly showed sandy cliffs becoming chalk and a visible Flint line that was a beach 250,000 years ago. All this history stuck at the back of a modern superstore. 

looking at the past, buried in the cliff
At Rottingdean I came up into the town that was once the seaside home of Rudyard Kipling. I walked up the high street to a pub and went for a second breakfast, coffee and the chance to charge my phone. It was also a nice break from the heat. 

Rottingdean Terraces Stage – used for productions
I wanted a look at Saltdean’s lido; it wasn’t what I expected as it was undergoing renovation. 

Saltdean Lido – closed for refurbishment
From here I stayed on the top of the cliffs and admired the view. The sea looked, and sounded, lovely. 

the view back along the chalk cliff towards Brighton
Peacehaven had a monument to signify where the Meridian Line passes through; 48 miles to London as the crow flies. 

The Greenwich Meridian passes through this spot, on the cliff at Peacehaven
Approaching the Newhaven Fort, the guardian of the entrance to the River Ouse and the ferry terminal, the views were excellent. I could see the huge, white cliff of Seaford Head across the mouth of the river. 

the mouth of the River Ouse and Seaford Cliff in the distance
the pier at the end of the River Ouse
I had to go a mile inland, into the centre of Newhaven, to cross the River Ouse. As I approached the bridge I noticed a ceremony taking place. I went to take a look and stayed to watch the annual Ceremony of Remembrance commemorating the 1942 Dieppe Raid. Lots of wreaths were laid and the sound system failed so the audience had to sing the Canadian, French and British national anthems without help. The first 2 were a challenge. At the end of the ceremony the vicar came over and chatted to me and then ‘Lonney’ came and asked me about my walking poles. He was in his 90s and a veteran of the Dieppe Raid. What a privilege to chat to him. 

the annual Dieppe Raid commemoration in Newhaven
It was well after 5pm when I finally arrived at the campsite, on the edge of Seaford. The land on the East of the mouth of the River Ouse was very low-lying and had the remains of dwellings. Originally the river flowed along here but a huge storm in the 18th Century burst through the shingle and straightened the river. Tidal lagoons were left behind but these have slowly been drying up and so the Tide Mills have long since closed. 

the ruins of Tide Mills, behind the shingle beach
I pitched my tent, showered, hand-washed my clothes and then walked into town to the nearest pub for some decidedly average food. By the time I walked back in the dark the night fishermen were out in force on the shingle beach. 

an extra large cormorant at Newhaven (it’s not real!)

One thought on “Day 375 Brighton to Newhaven Chalk Cliffs

  1. Chris F August 25, 2016 / 5:39 am

    A day for heroes. You met Lonny a hero of WWII and he met you, another hero. Well Done Juice on on just a little further……..You can almost see Kent from there (well you can from the South Downs looking north).


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