We woke to another sunny day so the prospects for today's planned walk look good! After breakfast we walked out of our hotel at 9:15 and down to the seafront by the Wish Tower where we turned west. We had about a mile to walk along the seafront before we reached the footpath on the Downs, going past The Grand Hotel on the way and you don't know what grand is until you've seen 'The Grand'. Rooms start at around 190 GBP per night; a little more than we would want to pay. smilies The Grand is the white building and you can see the Downs in the distance where we are headed.

The seafront road climbs quite gently such that it doesn't really notice but after a while when looking back we could see that we'd already gained some height. We soon reached the footpath and started up the Downs towards Beachy Head and now it was noticeably steep. Part the way up I stopped to take a picture of the view which was a good excuse for a brief rest.

Some way further on (and up) we spotted a bench seat so we stopped there for about ten minutes to let a party of noisy school children go past and the noise faded as they disappeared into the distance. We eventually reached the Beachy Head area and had travelled two and a half miles so far. From this point we could see the Belle Tout Lighthouse where we were headed next and from the edge of the cliff the Beachy Head Lighthouse was also visible.

My – tha's a long way down. Walking along the top of the cliffs the views include the sea, the downs and glimpses of the chalk cliffs – absolutely wonderful. The little figure ahead is Amanda and the white headland on the horizon is Seaford Head. Immediately this side of Seaford Head is Cuckmere Haven almost at the end of our walk and in between here and Seaford Head you may just be able to make out the Belle Tout Lighthouse just to the right of Amanda's head.

A little further on and a bit nearer the Beachy Head Lighthouse Amanda photographed me photographing the lighthouse just before I fell over the edge. :shock:

Don't for a minute think that we are walking on level ground. It's all either up or down, some of it quite steep as you should be able to appreciate in this view.

You may notice that the the bottom of the next dip is out of sight down the steep slope but at least the Belle Tout Lighthouse is a bit nearer although there are two of these troughs to negotiate before we reach it. Looking back towards Eastbourne the Beachy Head Lighthouse is still visible and how do you like the look of that last slope we've come down not to mention the one we've just had to climb.

On the way along the cliff tops we saw a number of Clouded Yellow butterflies which was very nice but none of them would stop still long enough for me to take a photograph. We (that's Amanda in front) are about to negotiate the last trough before the Belle Tout Lighthouse.

Hooray! We've finally reached the Belle Tout Lighthouse. Next stop is Birling Gap and that's not very far now.

The lighthouse was moved 56 feet further inland in 1999 to save it from going over the cliffs as erosion progresses and it apparently is now being prepared for opening to the public.

After walking down the slope from the Belle Tout Lighthouse Birling Gap is within sight. Total distance from our hotel to Birling Gap is about five miles.

It is now 12:15 so this is where we break for lunch. After lunch we head up the track visible on the right-hand edge of the picture and on to the Seven Sisters.

It was about this time that I realised that my pedometer was under reading slightly so I'm going to wait until the end of the walk and compare the pedometer reading with the distance I know the walk to be having measured it accurately on an Ordnance Survey map.

After lunch Amanda decided her legs weren't up to going over the Seven Sisters with their many ups and downs, especially with some of them being rather steep, so she caught the bus round to Exceat where we arranged to meet and I set off up the track towards the Seven Sisters at 1:15 PM.

The walk up to the first hump wasn't too bad at all and the view looking back, showing the Belle Tout Lighthouse from this side, wasn't bad either.

The walk over the Seven Sisters was really quite pleasant with some amazing views and I soon found myself on the last but one hump looking at the top of the next, Haven Brow. But oh my goodness – look at the steepness of that final upward slope to the top.

I did make it, however, and here I am on top of Haven Brow, the most westerly of the Seven Sisters, looking down on Cuckmere Haven with Seaford Head beyond and only one and a half miles to the tearooms.  :smile:

I finally arrived at the road in Exceat at 3:15 PM to find Amanda waiting by the gate. That was a total distance of eight and a half miles from our hotel with five hours of actual walking and most of that route is part of the South Downs Way.

We went over to the tearooms for afternoon tea and caught the bus back to Eastbourne. An exceptionally nice day with regard to both the weather and the scenery. I'd love to do it again sometime.

Tomorrow, I think, will be an easy day.