Chyngton Farm – Seaford Head Nature Reserve – Cuckmere Haven – Exceat Bridge – Chyngton Farm

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This delightful walk starts by walking through Seaford Head Local Nature Reserve. This is managed by Sussex Wildlife Trust and has typical chalk grassland species – plants include common centaury, squinancywort, clustered bellflower, lady's bedstraw, kidney vetch, thrift and moon carrot; butterfly species include chalkhill blue, silver-spotted skipper and dingy skipper. The rare potter flower bee may also be seen here. Bird species include stonechat, whitethroat, kittiwake, fulmar and peregrine falcon. Other species occur on passage as this is a staging post in migration, especially the sheltered scrub area along Hope Bottom round about Waymark 4. Our route then joins the coast path and descends to Cuckmere Haven. Alternatively, there is opportunity to descend to the beach at Hope Gap via steps and it's possible to walk to Cuckmere Haven along the beach. However, do be aware of the tide times and keep clear of the cliffs, as there have been a number of rockfalls near here.

The cottages you pass at Seaford Head are coastguard cottages and the small single-storey building was built in 1917 as a cable house for the first telephone cables to cross the English Channel. Past the cottages there is a small saline lagoon which is home to some rare beetle species. On the shingle beach you may find yellow horned poppy, sea milkwort and rock sea-lavender. There is an opportunity for rock pooling further out, but again watch the tide. Although the Vanguard Way looks a good return path on the map, this was quite wet when I visited. A better way back is on the path on the causeway between the flooded lagoon and the river. This also increases the chances of spotting water-birds. The route then returns to the car by ascending the hill on the left-hand side and walking through a couple of fields.

Those wanting a longer walk should turn right at Waymark 6, walk up to and over the road-bridge and continue by the road for about 500m – there is a pavement – to the Seven Sisters Country Park. Then turn right to explore the other side of the estuary or left for Visitors' Centre, toilets and for a forest walk.

England - South England - East Sussex - Coast

Features

Birds, Butterflies, Flowers, Good for Kids, Great Views, Sea

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Accommodation
Distance away
19.3 Miles
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Clubs/Walking Groups
Distance away
29.9 Miles