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A sunny view across the blue sea with cottage roofs in the foreground and the white chalk cliffs of Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters in the distance
The white cliffs at Birling Gap in East Sussex | © National Trust Images/Laurence Perry

Between the South Downs and the sea circular walk

Starting and finishing in the peaceful hamlet of Crowlink, this invigorating walk takes you through meadows and trees, down towards Birling Gap and up over three of the Seven Sisters. Along with great coastal views, there are seasonal wildlife and flower displays to look out for and optional detours to a historic pub and a seaside café.

Total steps: 9

Total steps: 9

Start point

Crowlink car park, grid ref TV549978

Step 1

From Crowlink car park, follow the lane towards the main road.

Step 2

Turn right through the gate into Friston churchyard. Go through the churchyard, through the far gate and down through the meadow.

Step 3

Near the bottom of the meadow, veer right to pick up a path up and go through the trees. At the top of the path turn right and climb the hill, keeping close to the wall on your left.

Step 4

Follow the flint wall until you reach a stone step on your left. Using the step, climb over the wall and continue on the path across the field.

Step 5

Go through the gate and skirt around the left edge of the field. Turn left through the kissing gate, heading across the field towards the red barn.

Step 6

In front of the barn, pick up the sunken track over the brow of the hill and follow it through one gate and then a second to join the track down towards Birling Gap.

Step 7

For the Birling Gap café, follow the South Downs Way along the track as it bears left down the hill and behind the toilet block. To continue without stopping, turn right at the yellow waymark sign, go through the pedestrian gate and up onto the downs. Follow the coastline, but count each hill as you're only crossing three 'sisters' plus their 'little brother', Flat Brow.

Skylark in a grassy meadow
Look out for skylarks | © National Trust Images/Derek Hatton

Step 8

After coming down the fourth hill – Flagstaff Brow, with its stone memorial on top – turn right along the coombe bottom, away from the sea.

Step 9

Pass the pond, bear right along the path then go straight on through a bridle gate and back towards your starting point at the car park.

End point

Crowlink car park, grid ref TV549978

Trail map

Ordnance Survey map of Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters Between the South Downs and the sea walk
Between the South Downs and the sea walking route | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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Get in touch

East Dean, near Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN20 0AB

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