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Published: August 2nd 2016
Based on Bryson's description in his book, we looked forward to hiking the Seven Sisters. We headed toward the National Trust Birling Gap, to start our trek along the chalk cliffs called the Seven Sisters.
We came across a Seven Sisters County Park in the South Downs NP. It was too early for the visitors center, but the park included rock pools, grasslands and the meaders...a constructed channel that was built in 1846 to divert the Cuckmere River.
The walk is along the cliffs are a working farm, the Gayles Farm. Galyes has a rich history dating back to the Stone Age and serving as a airfield during WW2. Sheep and rabbits are everywhere. You see numerous locations indicating the receding of the cliffs at more than two feet a year. Belle Tout lighthouse was built in 1824. It proved ineffective due to the fog and would appear to be a resiidence today.
After the all day hike we drove to Beachy Head. I thought it would be a small village, but actually is white cliff face created 10,000 years ago whhen Ice Age sea levels created the English Channel. A lighthouse is located here, replacing the ineffective
Belle Tout. The adjacent village of East Dean is winner of several "Best Kept Villages Awards."
We reached the hostel late in the day. YHA South Downs is a refurbished Sussex farmhouse and barn buildings located on a road, public paths, and a short stroll along a country lane from Southease Railway station. The rail station is still operational today although literally in the middle of nowhere. Apparently it was a deal struck by the lord of the manor that allowed the railroad to run across his land.
The hostel is on the South Down Way, a public path used by bikers and hikers as they travel the Downs. I got early to walk the path, only to find myself confront by cows where the path is nearly indistinguishable. Not as dramatic as some stories told by Bill bryson in his books. I spent a few minutes before breakfast picking up the road frontage of all the litter. It is counter intuitive for me to see all the roadside litter in England.
YHA South Downs - http://www.yha.org.uk/hostel/south-downs?utm_source=google&utm_medium=maps&utm_campaign=google-places
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