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Surf, go rock pooling or relax in the sun

Birling Gap and Crowlink, near Eastbourne in East Sussex, are part of the world famous Seven Sisters chalk cliffs, one of the longest stretches of undeveloped coastline on the south coast.

One minute you can be walking on ancient downland, the next you could be rockpooling below towering cliffs of chalk. Spectacular, unspoilt views of the sea can be seen from all angles.

Birling Gap provides a point of entry for delightful walks and you can find our café, shop and visitor centre here on the cliff top. The beach below is ideal for seaside picnics with its rock pools and areas of pebbles and sand. It is a great example of a marine nature reserve.

The wild forces of the sea create unusual chalk platforms and huge heaps of gleaming white chalk as the cliffs erode at up to one metre a year. For a more secluded walk venture inland at Birling Gap or Crowlink. With over 500 acres of open chalk grassland the area is rich with butterflies and downland flowers. Nearby sites of archaeological interest, like Belle Tout neolithic enclosure, have much to tempt families further along the coast.

Please note: Access to the beach may be closed at short notice in bad weather or due to sudden cliff falls.

New visitor centre now open

Coastal and downland wildlife diplays © National Trust/David Cooper

Coastal and downland wildlife diplays

Our new visitor centre, 'Life on the Edge', is now open next to the shop. It has interactive displays which inform and educate about coastal erosion, wildlife in the South Downs National Park, local shipwrecks and leisure in a place that lives 'Life on the Edge'.  Look out for floor markings showing the edge of the cliff in years to come.

Adapting to change at Birling Gap

View along the Seven Sisters from Birling Gap © Alexandra Bosly/National Trust

View along the Seven Sisters from Birling Gap

The combination of tides, storms and rain this winter has seen dramatic cliff falls and seven years’ worth of erosion in just two months. We need to adapt to the change that coastal erosion brings and that meant taking down the sun lounge of the café and the safety boat house before they became dangerous. The cliff top fences are moveable and the beach steps are designed to be moved as the cliffs erode. Despite the storms the café and shop have stayed open through the winter.

Delicious desserts and scrumptious food

The beautiful new cafe and seating area at Birling Gap on its first day © National Trust/ Lee Walther

The beautiful new cafe and seating area at Birling Gap on its first day

The new and improved café area offers extra space for 60 people plus a comfy soft seating area. From here you can relax and enjoy delicious food, beautiful views over the sea and our exclusive new Harold Mockford paintings which the family have kindly let us use. Don't forget the café has extended opening hours over the summer!

Retail therapy

The new shop interior at Birling Gap showing the view towards the window © National Trust/ Lee Walther

The new shop interior at Birling Gap showing the view towards the window

Our new shop sells locally sourced items, seaside goods and traditional National Trust favourites from fishing nets to fleeces, books to buckets and spades. We hope you find everthing you need. If there is something you would like to see us stock but do not currently hold, please let us know and we'll see what we can do.

 

50 things to do before you're 11 ¾

Wave jumpers © National Trust/John Millar

Wave jumpers

Here at Birling Gap we've counted 33 things for you to tick off your 50 things to do before you're 11 ¾ list. They include rock pooling, kite flying and bug hunting. Have a go, you may even find more than we did.

50 things to do before you're 11 ¾

Discover rock pools teeming with life © John Millar National Trust

Discover rock pools teeming with life

You never know what's in a rockpool - the ones at Birling Gap are full of all sorts of iggly-wiggly, slippery-slidey creatures. Come along and see what you can find, and don't forget to tick off your 50 Things list.

50 things to do before you're 11 ¾

Come and have an adventure this summer © NTPL/National Trust Images/John Millar

Come and have an adventure this summer

There are lots of wild adventures to be had at Birling Gap, from geocaching to birdwatching, and from bug hunting to star gazing. Check out our list of 33 Things to do at Birling Gap before you're 11¾, or go out and find your own adventure.

Fun events and activities

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