Feel the sea breeze blow and admire the views of this white bluff, the highest chalk sea cliff in the United Kingdom.
Beachy Head, a slice of windswept chalk headland overlooking the English Channel, is one of the most striking spots in southeast England. Rising to heights of about 530 feet (160 meters) above sea level, these cliffs provide dramatic views of the rugged coastline. Trek along clifftop paths, enjoy the spectacular coastal scenery and look for birds nesting on the cliffs.
Beachy Head takes its name not from the English word beach, but from the French “beauchef” meaning “beautiful headland.” This area was a major landmark for sailors, though the rocky seas caused many ships to run aground. Look down toward the foot of the cliffs to see Beachy Head lighthouse, which was used to warn ships away from the treacherous rocks.
As you approach, note the distinctive contrast between the deep green grass that grows on top of the cliff and the bright white color of the sheer rock face. On a clear day, the views from here extend far up and down the coastline and out across the English Channel.
Follow the path west along the coast toward Birling Gap for access to a secluded and scenic beach. Along the way, try to spot interesting flowers, including forget-me-nots, orchids and buttercups, as well as birds, such as collared doves, peregrine falcons and the rare hoopoe. Other trails lead east from Beachy Head.
Return to Beachy Head and reward yourself with a drink at the charming Beachy Head Pub. Enjoy a meal and a beer in the pub garden overlooking the cliffs. Plan your visit for October to participate in the grueling Beachy Head Marathon or watch runners conquer the off-road challenge.
Beachy Head is located between Eastbourne and Newhaven. Access to this beautiful spot is free and parking is available for a fee. If you haven’t rented a car, get here using bus services from Eastbourne.