348. Seaford to Brighton

I decided today would be a single days trip down from Shropshire to East Sussex, to complete a 13 mile walk then return to Shropshire. A 440 mile round trip…..mad I know, but my daughter wanted to walk the Brighton bit!

The Saturday drive down to East Sussex was done in about 3.5 hours and we parked up at the seafront in Seaford. We set off  walking westwards towards Newhaven and soon came to the deserted ruins of Tide Mills. Not a great deal remains of this once thriving village centered around a flour mill, which used the tide to store seawater in a set of lagoons, the trapped seawater was then released at low tide to generate power to turn the mill. The Mill closed in 1883 and was used as bonded warehouses until it was pulled down in 1901. The surrounding village was condemned in 1936 and the remaining inhabitants forcibly removed in 1939.

We soon had to divert around the River Ouse which Newhaven sits on, this meant crossing over the railway line and walking alongside the small Port of Newhaven, before using the A259 bridge over the Ouse. We walked back down along the opposite side of the Ouse towards Newhaven marina, passing a number of fishing quays. At the marina  we popped into a local cafe to get a couple of Latte’s “to go”. The next section of the walk meant climbing up onto Castle Hill, where Newhaven Fort is situated. From Castle Hill the route ahead could be clearly seen across the rolling cliff-tops. In the distance we could easily see Brighton and in the far distance , the headland of Selsey Bill.

Heading west from Seaford towards Newhaven
Part of the Tide Mill and village near Seaford
One of the lagoons used to store the seawater for the Tide mill
Newhaven Town railway station
Crossing over the River Ouse
The Corte d’Albatre about to depart for Dieppe
Ferry leaving harbour bound for Dieppe from Castle Hill
Heading over grassy slopes towards Peacehaven


Don’t quite know how this got here!


We continued over grassy slopes to the outskirts of Peacehaven. At Peacehaven Heights we decided to descend the amazing steps cut into the sheer Chalk cliffs, down to an under-cliff sea wall. The walking was very easy, but I did have half an eye on the chances of any rocks becoming dislodged from above. I also kept an eye open for the Memorial denoting the point of the   Greenwich Prime Meridian where it leaves these shores. I managed to snap a photo of its globe from the sea wall below. The next couple of miles went extremely quick and we soon climbing an access road back up onto the cliff top.

Heading towards Peacehaven
The steps down to the sea wall below Peacehaven heights
Looking eastwards below Peacehaven Heights
The steps below Peacehaven Heights
Heading westwards along the sea wall

We continued onto Saltdean, where we asked  a couple of locals if the undercliff went all the way to Brighton, they said it did, so no more need for my map, which I put away. You don’t actually see a great deal when you walk along this sea wall below the Chalk cliffs, but it does lead to rapid progress. Above us out of sight we were now passing from Rottingdean into Brighton itself. We passed behind the huge Brighton Marina, with shops, quays and its own ASDA store!

The cliffs petered out and we emerged onto Madeira Drive. The crowds began to increase and we soon passed by the terminus of the Volks Electric Railway, running from  Brighton Pier out to Black Point along Madeira Drive. Magnus Volk built the 2′ narrow gauge railway in 1883 and remains  the oldest operational electric railway in the world. The crowds thickened and so did the pubs, shops, food outlets and amusements, including a 300m zip wire running along the beach; at £18 a pop I did not participate. The walk ended at the entrance to Brighton Pier, all that remained to do was to get one of #12 buses back to Seaford. A fascinating walk along an amazing coastline.

The top of the memorial to the last point of land that the Greenwich Prime Meridian passed through
Heading down into Saltdean
Back on the sea wall walking along the Undercliff towards Brighton
On Madeira Drive heading towards Brighton
Passengers waiting to board the Volks Electric Railway at Black Point
The Volks electric engine on the move at a steady 6mph!
Heading along Madeira Drive towards the Pier
Zip line in use on Brighton Beach
Brighton Pier

Distance today = 13 miles
Total distance = 6,452 miles


3 thoughts on “348. Seaford to Brighton”

  1. That was a varied and interesting walk. I also scratched my head to work out how that rusted vehicle ended up in the collapsed cliff segment.


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