Birling Gap Walk
Visit Birling Gap and enjoy a splendid coastal walk to the Belle Tout lighthouse. The area is run by the National Trust so there are great facilities with a good sized car park, cafe, shop and visitor centre on the cliff top. This walk starts from the Birling Gap car park just a mile south of East Dean at the end of Birling Gap Road. From here you can pick up the trails along the The South Downs Way to the lighthouse. Belle Tout has been used many times in films and tv because of the spectacular location. It has been called 'Britain's most famous inhabited lighthouse'. There's fantastic views along to the nearby Beachy Head and 500 acres of open chalk grassland with a wide variety of butterflies and wildflowers to look out for.
To extend your walk just head east along the The South Downs Way to Beachy Head. Here you can walk across the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain with fabulous views and Perigrin Falcons to look out for. Continuing east from the headland will take you into Eastbourne.
If you head west you will soon come to Seven Sisters Country Park where you can explore the beautiful Cuckmere Haven on foot or by bike.
The village of East Dean is also nearby so you could start the walk from here and follow bridleways south to the coast. Just beyond East Dean you will find Friston Forest which has miles of good mountain bike trails and footpaths. You can visit these locations on our splendid South Downs Circular Walk which starts at the Birling Gap car park and takes you on a tour of the surrounding area.
Birling Gap Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Birling Gap Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Birling Gap OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Birling Gap Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
The National Trust have a decent cafe at the site. There's a good selection of light lunches and snacks with fine views from the outdoor seating area.
Another popular choice for visitors to the Gap is to head about a mile north from the car park and visit the delightful village of Friston. Here we recommend heading to the noteworthy Tiger Inn for some well earned refreshments. It's a quintessentially English pub, with its open fire, low-slung oak beams, real ales and hearty food. Dating from the 16th century the pub has been serving surrounding residents, farmers, soldiers, walkers and smugglers for hundreds of years. There's a nice large outdoor area looking onto the pretty village green. It's a great spot to rest your legs and enjoy a drink before continuing the walk. You can find the pub in the centre of the village at a postcode of BN20 0BY.
The Gap is a great place for walking your dog and you'll probably see plenty of other owners on your outing. Please keep them on leads when inside the buildings, around livestock outside and on the beach between Easter and November. The National Trust's cafe and the Tiger Inn mentioned above are also dog friendly.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
The area is located in between the towns of Seaford and Eastbourne. Many people visit the site by following the coast path from these settlements. The Seaford to Eastbourne Walk details the route and is a good choice if you would like a longer and more challenging walk.