Sunday 14 August 2016
Brighton to Seaford
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 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 has been renovated into a shopping complex and a housing estate, as well as berthing boats.
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.
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.
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.
I wanted a look at Saltdean’s lido; it wasn’t what I expected as it was undergoing renovation.
From here I stayed on the top of the cliffs and admired the view. The sea looked, and sounded, lovely.
Peacehaven had a monument to signify where the Meridian Line passes through; 48 miles to London as the crow flies.
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.
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.
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.
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.