Things to see & do


Autumn leavesʩ NTPL/©National Trust Images/Mark Bolton

Autumn leaves

Step out this autumn and enjoy landscapes at their seasonal best at places we look after.  Spectacular views of the Seven Sisters make for wonderful family wander. If you feel like a longer stroll, join the South Downs Way over the Seven Sisters hills to really stretch your legs. For a more secluded walk, venture inland at Birling Gap or Crowlink and enjoy searching for signs of autumn colour.  A perfect spot to enjoy big skies, seascapes, changing colours and quiet walks, and then enjoy a hot drink in our cafe and take a look at our fantastic shop.

Fossil hunting

A beautiful fossilised shell © NTPL/National Trust

A beautiful fossilised shell

From Birling Gap car park, head down the steps to the beach for an excellent spot to take a glimpse into the past.  The whole family can hunt for fossils in the chalk falls on the beach, this is a great time of year to uncover hidden treasures.  Grab a tracker pack from the visitor centre and start your detective work.  The best time of day to look is at low tide, so check out the tide times before you set out.  We would love to see any fantastic finds so please e-mail us a photo of any special discoveries to


Birling Gap is one of the best spots to surf in the South East © NTPL/National Trust

Birling Gap is one of the best spots to surf in the South East

With a south-west-facing beach, Birling Gap is one of the best spots to surf in the South East. Surfers are always welcome and our car park is open all day all year round (free parking for members).  It's a great place to enjoy stunning views whilst you're waiting to catch a wave, and if you want to warm up after a day on the waves why not visit to our tea-room for a hot drink and a well-earned bite to eat?

Beachy Head and beyond

Beachy Head © NTPL/Alexandra Bosly/National Trust

Beachy Head

Birling Gap is a wonderful gateway to the wider South Downs, and is a great place to kick off a visit to this amazing part of the country.  So why not extend your visit and check out the nearby landmarks of Beachy Head and East Dean village.  Both are within easy walking distance of Birling Gap, and offer a great opportunity to discover some hidden spots and national treasures.  The historic seaside town of Eastbourne is a short drive away and offers an array of museums, galleries and shopping opportunities.

What's on?

There is more to do at Birling Gap than just visit. Wonderful autumn walks, fossil hunts and family fun activities are just a selection of some of our events, so why not pop down and see what's on offer?

September highlights

Catch the sunset at Birling Gap from the beach © Vivienne Blakey

Enjoy the long September evenings and watch the beautiful sunset over Birling Gap beach and the Seven Sisters cliffs

October highlights

Fairy ring mushrooms are a common but magical sight on the chalk grassland © Vivienne Blakey

Watch out for incredible stormy skies at Birling Gap, and head up to Crowlink for a fungi foray on an autumn day.

November highlights

Gorse in flower © Nigel Hester

Take in the autumnal beauty and be inspired on a bracing cliff top walk this month.  The gorse is still in flower and provides a vital source of winter nectar for birds and insects through the cold winter months.  A local saying suggests that 'gorse stops flowering when kissing is out of fashion', so luckily the coconut fragrance can be smelled all year round.

50 Things

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.


Bounding up to Belle Tout

Take a wander up Lookout Hill to Mad Jack Fuller's folly and enjoy some breathtaking sea and downland views. Find out more about the customs officers who have kept a vigil along these cliffs, whilst smugglers lurked on the beaches below.

Between the South Downs and the sea

Discover stunning views of the Seven Sisters, where the flower-embroidered downs plunge into the sea in a dazzling wall of white. Then turn inland through the peaceful hamlet of Crowlink to reach Friston Church and back across the downs to Birling Gap.

The Tiger Inn trail to Birling Gap

This circular walk allows you to enjoy great views over the downs and coast. By following old drovers' and smuggling routes to the sea from this small Downland village you may also feel a sense of the landscape's long history.