Everything you need to know about the Seven Sisters Cliffs Walk. This guide will take you on a journey to Seaford, where this bucket list hiking trail begins. It gives you a chance to take in the scenic landscape.
A trip to the Seven Sisters Cliffs is sure to make for the perfect day outside of the city. After all, while London is full of exciting things to do, England is also world-renowned for its charming countryside and quaint towns.
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The journey to Seaford, where this bucket list hiking trail begins, is truly gorgeous. It gives you a chance to take in the scenic landscape, and maybe catch up on your favourite podcasts or audio-book while you zoot along.
The Seven Sisters rise from the sea in impressively vertical cliffs. And because of their interesting chalky composition, they’re bright white! From whatever viewpoint you come across, it’s sure to be a majestic sight.
So, if you’re looking for a great day trip from London, this hike along the cliffs is ideal. Keep reading to discover my tips for hiking the Seven Sisters. From how to get there to where to eat, this guide has you covered.
What Will You See Along the Seven Sisters Cliffs Walk
The most noticeable aspect of this natural phenomenon is, of course, the startlingly white vertical cliffs that drop down into the sea. Add to this a backdrop of blue waters to the one side, and gently rolling green hills to the other. It’s truly beautiful.
You can stick close to the edge of the cliff the whole way, to enjoy that dramatic view to the full. But, because the cliffs are chalk, which breaks easily (they are naturally being erode), you must always stay 5m away from the edge.
The element of danger should not be forgotten, as it wouldn’t end well. But there are lots of great Seven Sisters viewpoints to really appreciate the scenery from.
On the chalk grasslands that cover the Sisters, there are up to 45 different species of mosses and flowering plants per square metre. So while you walk, you can look out for all the different flora that thrive here.
Due to hundreds of years of sheep grazing and a pretty nutrient-deficient soil, the plants that grow here are quite specific to chalk grasslands. You’ll be walking through a rather rare habitat, and something you won’t likely find anywhere else in Britain.
What to Expect of the Seven Sisters Hike
The walk is, fortunately (or if you were looking for something intense, unfortunately), rather easy. There are no steep hills to climb or rocky plains to traverse.
It’s basically the idealised version of the English countryside – calm and pleasant. But windy at times.
However, if you’re planning on doing the whole trail, it is still a little difficult, since you’ll be walking for many hours.
There are also some reasonably small hills. In the warmer summer months, this might be a little challenging, depending on your fitness level.
Whether you’re planning to be there for an hour or a day, it’s important that you’re ready for the weather that the area expects.
During the summer months, be sure to lather yourself in sunscreen, and maybe add a hat for extra sun safety.
England also sees rain throughout the year, so consider packing in a rain and wind resistant jacket.
Then, if you can’t wait out the rain in a pub or coffee shop in Seaford, you can go out and brave the elements safely.
And of course, footwear is key! As in all hiking experiences, you want to have good walking shoes. Nothing brings a day down quite like blisters on your heel.
How to Get to Seven Sisters Walk from London
The easiest way to get to Seven Sisters is, unsurprisingly, behind the wheel of a car. It’s a leisurely 2-hour drive from London. Renting a car while you’re in England is sure to make your life easier.
But if you’re not used to driving on the left side of the road, or if you have a crippling fear of crashing into a wandering sheep by accident, then driving is not the way for you. After all, this is your vacation and you want to be as stress-free as possible.
Buses and trains are possibly the most popular way of getting around in England. So here are some other easy options to get you to the Seven Sisters, if you’re wanting to hop onto public transportation.
Read my detail guide on how to get from London to Seven Sisters Cliffs
London to Brighton by Train
You can take a 1-hour train from London to Brighton. It couldn’t be simpler. Trains leave from London Blackfriars, London Bridge and London Victoria every few minutes, so you won’t have to wait more than 30 minutes before heading off.
Brighton to Seaford by Train or Bus
Next, you’ll hop on a bus from Brighton to Seaford. The buses depart every 10 minutes, and only take 30 minutes to reach your destination. And it’s such a beautiful journey, that it’s worth the time.
The 12x bus is your fastest option, but the number 12 and 12a buses will also get you there. Otherwise, if you’re happy to spend a little extra cash on a train instead, these depart every 30 minutes from the same station you’ll be delivered to.
London to Seaford (via Lewes)
If you’ve decided to splash out on transportation, this may be your easiest option. It involves a change of trains, so it’s not that different from your previous options.
But if you’ve ever had an interest in seeing Lewes pass you by, it’s perfect! And it only takes 1 hour 40 minutes.
The wait between trains in Lewes is only 4 minutes, so you’ll need to hustle. But the speedy commute will allow you to make the most of your day.
This train option leaves from London Victoria every 30 minutes.
Read my detail guide on the best time to visit Seven Sisters Cliffs
How to Get to the Seven Sisters Trailhead in Seaford
Once you’re in Seaford you can maybe stop for lunch, brunch or a coffee. You’ll find all the best local spots a little lower down in this post.
You’ll then walk 1.5km, heading towards the beach, from the bus stop. Seaford is a classic, picturesque English town, so the journey will only add to the pleasure of your trip.
And if you’re visiting in the summertime, you can add a beach stop on your agenda too. Whether you dip your toes in before the walk or have a little swim, it’s just great to be on the beach.
You might even find an ice cream vendor. And there’s nothing better than cold ice cream on a warm, adventurous day in the sun.
How Long Does It Take To Do The Seven Sisters Walk?
This depends on what you’re after from this day in the countryside. If you’re wanting to simply take a leisurely stroll while soaking in the sights, you can walk across just one or two of the Sisters.
Fortunately, the trail is never overly strenuous, so you don’t have to be very fit to do it. You can go with just a can-do attitude and a good pair of walking shoes (and a little sunblock never hurt anybody).
So whether you’re wanting to spend the day walking across one of the most beautiful parts of England, or maybe just want to spend a morning or afternoon at it, there’s an option for everyone.
Seaford to Eastbourne Walk
This popular trail stretches 22.7 kilometres along the coast. From Seaford beach you can ascend to Seaford Head Nature Reserve. Hug the coast until you come to Cuckmere Haven.
The views here are fantastic, as you can see all seven of the Sisters. It’s a breath-catching sight, watching all the cliffs glowing white against the azure blue sea. Also on this cliff, are the cute Coastguard Cottages.
At Cuckmere Inn (where you can stop if you’re feeling peckish), cross the bridge and take a right turn.
You’ll soon reach an intersection, where you can choose to go straight, along the beach. Or take a left and go along South Downs Way. Don’t worry, the trails will join again further along the cliffs.
And from there you just keep close to the cliff edge, and stay on the trail, and you’ll come to Eastbourne! You can also descend at Birling Gap when you see the signpost, if you want a mid-hike cool off at the beach.
This trail is considered moderate in terms of difficulty. But if you’re doing the whole thing, you should prepare to spend the day on it. It takes between 6 and 7 hours, depending on your pace.
Part of what makes this 7 Sisters walk so great is that it’s dog friendly! So you can bring the whole family along, from the grandparents to the furry family members.
It’s also bicycle-friendly. So if you’re not a big fan of walking, or you’ve been looking for the perfect place to go for a nice ride, this is it. You can also cover the distance much quicker on a bicycle if you’re a little strapped for time.
Eastbourne to Seaford Walk
If you’ve chosen to start your trip in Eastbourne, walking towards Seaford, things are much the same, with just a few key differences.
You’ll then be taking a 1.5-hour train from London Victoria to Eastbourne, and doing the previously mentioned bus and train trip for your journey home.
The trip between London and Eastbourne is the easier one, simply because it has a direct train. But it’s often best to get the “harder” journey done in the morning, when you have more energy.
Because changing buses and trains is not so appealing after a day out. Especially not one you’ve spent walking for many hours, and then had a celebratory beer at the end (highly recommended).
Also, and probably most importantly, the views are just more spectacular walking east, from Seaford to Eastbourne.
So I’d suggest you only do the Seven Sisters Eastbourne to Seaford walk if you feel like going against the grain. Or if it makes more logical sense for you to map your day out like this.
If you like the Seven Sisters walks, you’ll also like my guide on the White Cliffs of Dover Walks
Where to Eat Along the Seven Sisters Trail
One of the loveliest things to do in the countryside is settling yourself under a tree when you’re tired, and whipping out some tasty treats from your backpack. You could bring along some home-baked cookies (Oreos work just as well), some fruit and water.
Or perhaps prep yourself with some sandwiches. But, if you’re not keen on lugging around your lunch, or if you’re just not a fan of partially-squashed food, there are some great restaurants near the trail.
You can always fit the snacks in your backpack and still keep space for a great meal once you’ve completed the hike. Food does taste that extra bit better when you feel like you’ve “earned” it.
If you’re stopping or starting in Seaford and you’re in the mood for food that suits the environment, try the seafood at Ollivers Restaurant. Or anything else on the menu, really, as it’s the most highly-recommended restaurant in the area.
And if you’re just in need of a coffee to refuel, head to Baca’s Coffee Bar. Their coffee is fantastic, and you can easily pick up a cheap and tasty sandwich for the road.
There are tons of different cuisines available in Eastbourne, and whatever meal you have, it’s sure to add to the happiness of your day out. If you’re in the mood for French, Exquis is the place to go. If Thai is more your vibe, head to Street Thai. And if you’re vegetarian, or feel like a meat-free meal, go to The Green Almond.
Last Words On The Seven Sisters Cliff Walk
The Seven Sisters is a truly beautiful place to spend a day. The sheer white cliffs are an unforgettable sight, and you’ll spend hours with that wonderful salty sea smell.
If you can make a day of it, you should. It’ll add so much to your London travels. And if you’re a local that has been wanting to explore, please do, you won’t regret it!
The nearby towns are also really quaint and historical, and if you’re in London for more than a week, you should add some old-world charm to your travels.
And if you’d prefer not to plan the trip out for yourself, or if you want to take in all of the views without doing much walking, you can join in on a full-day tour from London.