Things to see & do


Purple crocus peeking through the soil 

Purple crocus peeking through the soil

Step out this spring 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 spring.  A perfect spot to get in the mood for Easter with views of spring lambs and flowers, and then enjoy a hot drink in our cafe and take a look at our fantastic shop.

Fossil hunting

A beautiful fossilised shell © 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 © 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 © 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 spring walks, fossil hunts and sunset suppers are just a selection of some of our events.

March highlights

Look out for violets dotting the tracks and paths © NT/ Katie Archer

Dog violets live happily in many different habitats. They flower from April to June but its flowers are not scented, unlike those of its cousin, the sweet violet, which was used in Ancient Greece as a perfume and Medieval Britain as a deodorant.

April highlights

Blackthorn blossom in the hedgerows © Copyright

Blackthorn flowers in April before it’s leaves appear. It is a great early source of nectar for insects. Blackthorn was long associated with witchcraft and it is said that witches wands and staffs were made of blackthorn wood.

May highlights

Swallows rest before flying further north © Sophie Thomas

Swallows and house martins can now be seen returning from overwintering in Africa and the Indian sub-continent. Look for them gathering on telegraph lines as they feed up before flying further north.

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.