Road trip to the East Sussex coast
Last weekend my husband and children departed for Scotland to visit the grandparents, and I found myself alone for the first time in what felt like forever. I decided on the spur of the moment to hop in the car and drive down to the East Sussex coast. I grew up in Sydney, beside the water, and the longer I live in London, the more I miss that sense of freedom and expansiveness you feel living by the sea. I needed fresh air and big horizons, and to be reminded that I do actually still live on an island!
Those of you who have followed me on Instagram for a while know that I love British seaside resorts in the off season — there’s something about their slight bleakness that appeals to me. I typically go to the Kent coast for my dose of sea air, but this time I went a bit further afield to Eastbourne, with its pier and shingle beach.
After a wander round the town I drove up to the white cliffs of Beachy Head on the South Downs, overlooking Eastbourne.
And then finally I drove around to Cuckmere Haven, which has a wonderful view of the Seven Sisters cliffs. You could do this as a walk from Eastbourne or you can drive and then walk about a mile down to the beach.
These lovely houses were originally coastguards’ cottages, built in the 1820s, and they’ve been used as a filming location for movies (the final scene of Atonement is filmed here) and TV series (Luther, Foyle’s War). They’re at risk of erosion and there is an ongoing campaign to protect them.
It’s a beautiful and atmospheric spot, even more so because I was there at sunset and there were only a handful of people on the beach — I imagine in the summer it’s packed.
I watched the moon rise over the beach until finally, reluctantly, I made my way back to my car and back to London.