Beachy Head marks the beginning of the South Downs Way which runs 161 km along the Sussex Downs to Winchester. The cliff itself rises 162 metres (530 feet) above the sea below and is the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain. The lighthouse began work in 1904 to replace the old Belle Tout Lighthouse, which had been the main lighthouse since 1830.
If you look east you see the beaches and town of Eastbourne, the Pier and the Harbour, and then on to Pevensey Bay and Hastings and, on an exceptionally clear day, Dungeness in Kent, nearly 40 miles away. Looking west, you can see even further, up to 70 miles, past Seaford Head to Newhaven and Brighton and then on to Selsey Bill near Chichester in West Sussex. On a very clear day the outline of the Isle of Wight can be seen.
Beachy Head Countryside Centre – A visit to Beachy Head is not complete without experiencing the Beachy Head Countryside Centre. Admission is free and there are interactive displays about the wildlife and history of the area. The Centre is fully accessible for disabled people.You can listen to the talking shepherd about farming on the Downland or visit Bronze Age Man in his hut. The wildlife of the Downs can be seen and heard as well as interacted with on the touch screen computers.The BHCC has a resident Education Officer and a range of services are offered to schools. Teacher’s notes are available and organised activities include nature trail walks, scavenger hunts, art afternoons and pond study. Packages can be tailor made to suit different group sizes, ages and abilities. The BHCC Gift Shop stocks a wide range of gifts and presents to suit all ages.
For more information on what the BHCC offers please call the Manager or the Education Officer on 01323 737273.
Getting There – Beachy Head is easily reached by car. From Eastbourne take Duke’s Drive from the seafront, Meads Road from Meads and East Dean Road from Old Town. From the west follow the signs on the A259. Parking is free in the lay-bys near Beachy Head and there is a large pay and display public car park. Please park in the Beachy Head Pub car park only if you intend to patronise the pub.
Eastbourne Buses run a service along the seafront from the Sovereign Centre to Beachy Head.
Facilities – There are public toilets adjoining the car park at Beachy Head, including disabled toilets (access with radar key). Beachy Head Pub is open all day, 7 days a week and serves good quality food. Children and disabled welcome, indoor and outdoor play equipment, toilet and baby changing facilities. Tel: 01323 728060.