346. Fairlight to Eastbourne

I did think at first about doing a single days trip, but a round trip of over 400 miles for one days walk would not have been a sensible decision! I therefore opted to do an overnight stay with the first walking day being on a Sunday. I managed to get a good rate at the Travelodge in Hailsham, the weather was forecast to be dry and I would have an easy drive down from Shropshire on a Sunday morning.

I searched on line for a place to park legally  for free and managed to find a place quite close to Eastbourne railway station. I caught the 07:59 train to Hastings. At Hastings I popped into a nearby Tesco Express store to stock up on provisions. I then caught the 09:12 #101 bus to Fairlight. I got off next to St. Andrews church and walked down a lane towards the car park at Hastings Country Park, where I made my way through a myriad of paths before emerging on the top of East Hill and looking down on the seafront at Hastings.

The sun was now well up and the temperature quite high as I dropped steeply down steps towards the sea-front, in a part of Hastings known as Old Town. The scene that greeted me as I emerged onto the sea front was something akin to what life was like pre-pandemic, with many walkers, strollers, bathers, eaters and drinkers enjoying the sunny weather and barely a surgical mask in sight! It was a similar sight that I would observe all along the coast onto Eastbourne.

Heading towards Hasting from Hastings Country Park
Heading down steep steps towards Hastings
Looking back at East Hill and its cliff railway from Old Town
Numerous limestone outcrops form a back drop to the sea front
A rather forlorn looking Hastings Pier
Warrior Square Gardens in St. Leonards

The crowds thinned slightly as I left St. Leonards, a suburb of Hastings, behind me, but picked up again as I entered Bexhill, another seaside resort. On Galley Hill, a slight rise and barely a hill, I could look down the coastline towards the high rise flats of of my ultimate destination of Eastbourne. Nonetheless Galley Hill was famous as the site for some of the first motor car racing, during the very early part of the 20th century.

The sea wall I had been walking on was eventually replaced by high shingle banks. Walking along the shingle was tough going, but there were traces of harder compacted shingle which made the going much easier. I passed the small coastal settlements of Normans Bay, Beachlands  and Pevensey Bay, where I had to rest a second time and take on water.

When I reached Pevensey Bay I could easily make out the large newly built marina properties around Soveriegn Harbour, which forms part of Eastbourne. This stretch of coast has a fine collection of Martello Towers as I passed five of them  over a 3 mile section. I walked through the marina and then across the top of the lock gates, which allow small boats and pleasure craft in and out of the marina at low tide. By the time I reached Langney Point I picked up the sea wall again with a large number of people walking into Eastbourne. As I continued along the sea front, the iconic Eastbourne Pier came into view. I could see and hear there was a live performance of someone singing   on the pier.

At the pier I headed into towards the town centre making my way along the high street passing a number of pubs doing a roaring trade, while some stall-holders from a Sunday market were just starting to pack up afetr a busy and very sunny day.

Tomorrows would be a shorter walk, but would involve some climbing, with a number of up-and-downs and this should be the last time time I encounter any high ground on my coastal walk.

Quite a good model of a Plaice at an eatery near St Leonards
On the sea wall heading out of St. Leonards
On the beach passing a limestone outcrop near Bexhill-on-Sea
Sea Kale (Crambe maritima) on the shingle foreshore
Looking back towards Hastings from Galley Hill, Bexhill
Looking west towards Eastbourne from Galley Hill, Bexhill
Impressive Dutch gables architecture at Bexhill
Walking past fishing boats on the shingle shore at Normans Bay
Looking beyond a converted Martello Tower towards Eastbourne near Pevensey Bay
The outer lagoon at low tide in Sovereign Harbour
Boats entering the marina through locks at low tide
Heading towards Eastbourne, the high ground in the distance is the South Downs with Beachy Head hanging on to low cloud
Eastbourne Pier
The entrance to Eastbourne Pier

Distance today = 20 miles
Total distance = 6,426 miles


2 thoughts on “346. Fairlight to Eastbourne”

    1. Hi Dave, thats because I’m still writing it up and its marked as Private. WordPress changed many things over the last year, including when you create a new report, it makes new reports visible as Public. Its really really irritating. Hope to get my first post up today/tomorrow. Cheers Alan


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