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Notice: We're pleased to announce that the steps to the beach are now open but please note, they may have to be closed at short notice in any periods of bad weather.

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 a National Trust café 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.

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

Stormy weather, heavy rain, big tides and high winds have caused a number of cliff falls along the Seven Sisters. Our sun room is now too close to the edge of the cliff and is unsafe. So as part of our commitment to working with natural processes, we'll be taking down this part of the building.  However, our café and shop are still in use and will be open every day as usual. We are also working with Wealden District Council to re-establish access to the beach.

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. A visit to our new ice cream parlour serving local Sussex ice cream from Caroline's Dairy would make your trip to the seaside complete.

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.

 

Fun events and activities

50 things to do at Birling Gap

Come and join us for some family fun. Why not try one of our top activities:

  • No. 18 Create some wild art
  • No. 27 Go stargazing
  • No. 26 Hunt for fossils and bones
  • No. 4 Build a den
  • No. 8 Catch a fish with a net

Doggy days in the great outdoors

Dogs are welcome at Birling Gap

Dogs and their owners are welcome at Birling Gap. Please remember to keep your dog on a lead near the cliff edge, and if there are cattle or sheep grazing in the fields where you walk.

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