Springtime family fun at Birling Gap

Approaching Birling Gap from the Seven Sisters

There’s so much for you and your family to see and do at Birling Gap in spring. Use your hearing to discover nature’s sounds or have a go at making your own. When you've finished for the day why not stop in the café for a delicious cream tea or an ice cream, all served with a backdrop of sea views? If the suns out we’ll be busy, if you prefer a quieter day visit on a weekday or early morning.

1 to 2-hour visit

A girl explores rockpools on the beach at Birling Gap
A girl explores rockpools on the beach at Birling Gap
A girl explores rockpools on the beach at Birling Gap

Visit Birling Gap with friends early in the morning to watch the sunrise over Belle Tout or walk out over the wave cut platform at low tide before it gets busy. During the day look out for migrating birds flying back to the UK and native Jackdaws, sparrows and gulls. Use your sense of sound and a camera to discover nature on our sensory spring trail, pick up a free trail sheet from the visitor centre. Finish with a visit to the café for a refreshing treat.

Half a day to spare?

Birling Gap, East Sussex
Visitors playing in the sea at Birling Gap
Birling Gap, East Sussex

Arrive an hour or so after high tide to discover what the sea has left on the beach. Collect a tracker pack from the visitor centre and do a beach scavenger hunt. The sea leaves lots of clues about the sea life in it such as cuttlefish bones, shells and seaweed. Keep an eye out for unusual looking pebbles among the flints for fossils of ancient sea creatures or plants. If you want some guidance from one of our rangers book onto one of our rockpool ranger events [link]. Grab a bite to eat in the café and then head out along the South Downs way. Look out for the grazing animals that help keep the grass short across the South Downs. A notepad can be a handy item to bring along to draw the animals you see.

Spend the day

Birling Gap cliff top
Birling Gap cliff top
Birling Gap cliff top

Download the Birling Gap map in our app, set off on a nature adventure and away from the crowds by heading over the Seven Sisters. You can follow the South Downs Way West from Birling Gap and beyond the small group of houses. Once you’re in the countryside the land is open access so feel free to explore beyond the footpaths. Look out for sheep, ponies and other grazing animals. See if you can find one of the clifftop monuments or head inland and find the barn with a bright orange roof. As you wander listen for the sounds of nature and the awakening of spring. Young lambs bleat, birds call overhead and gusts of wind blow past. Look all around to create your own nature story or go on a silent trek and show each other what you can see without talking.

50 things to do before your 11 ¾

Family on the beach at Birling Gap and Seven Sisters, East Sussex
Family on the beach at Birling Gap and Seven Sisters, East Sussex
Family on the beach at Birling Gap and Seven Sisters, East Sussex

Continue your '50 things to do before you're 11 3/4' adventure at Birling Gap this spring. Here are some more activities you can tick off your list:

9. Eat a picnic in the wild
23. Get up for the sunrise
24. Go barefoot
27. Go stargazing
30. Go on a scavenger hunt
44. Watch a bird
49. Watch a sunset

Opening times

The shop, cafe and visitor centre are open every day of the year except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Our opening times vary across the week and throughout the year as follows:

17 February - 3 April 

10am - 5pm 

4-5 April

10am - 5.30pm

6-9 April

10am - 5pm

Easter weekend (10-13 April)

9.30am - 6pm

14-17 April

10am - 5pm

18 April - 19 July

10am - 5pm Monday - Friday

10am - 5.30pm Weekends

8 & 25 May

10am - 6pm

For more information on how to get here visit our homepage or see below.

Contact details: Birling Gap Shop, Birling Gap, near Eastbourne, East Sussex BN20 0AB

01323 423197 or e-mail us

How to get here

On foot: On South Downs Way between Exceat and Eastbourne. Birling Gap is accessible by foot and forms part of the Seven Sisters route. Footpaths from East Dean across Crowlink down to Birling Gap.

By road: 5 miles west of Eastbourne and 6 miles east of Seaford. Birling Gap car park is sign-posted from A259 at East Dean, between Seaford and Eastbourne. Crowlink car park, near East Dean, is accessed from A259 using the lane between Friston Pond and Church, opposite the sign to Jevington

By public transport: For Birling Gap: 13X bus. Runs from Eastbourne to Brighton via Birling Gap, Sundays and bank holidays all year and more frequently in summer. 

Dogs welcome

Wear your lead with pride
Dogs on leads in Mid Ulster
Wear your lead with pride

We love to accommodate you and your dog where we can here at Birling Gap. For the comfort of all our visitors we do ask dog owners to follow our doggy dos and don’ts.  Please keep dogs on their lead at all times when inside the buildings, around livestock outside and on the beach between Easter and November. You and your dog are welcome in the marked area inside café or at the outside seating. Please clear up after your dogs whenever you visit a National Trust property. A bin at Birling Gap is available near the steps to the beach.