July 28th. East Dean to Eastbourne

After a 90 min train journey from London, 12 members assembled on the sunny concourse of Eastbourne station. I thus directed them outside across the road to the bus stop where we boarded the 12A bus to East Dean village. We started the walk from here in still sunshine but on proceeding south onto the downs beside Went Hill, the sea came into view and what seemed like a mild gale ensued! This subsided as we descended down to Birling Gap. It was noon so I asked the party whether they wanted lunch or just a coffee stop here. The vote was for coffee/cake, with a lunch at the later stop. Suitably refreshed, we all continued eastward along the South Downs Way clifftop path, passing the monument lighthouse of Belle Tout. We took lunch at the Beachy Head PH.
After lunch we continued along the SDW, with views of Eastbourne. We used the newer SDW link path which joins the coastal section to the Jevington loop, proceeding over Pashley Down. After crossing two roads we joined the Jevington loop on a ridgetop for 0.75 miles. This section provides a good panaramic view of Eastbourne, Bexhill and coast. Then we descended eastward past burial grounds into suburban Eastbourne. Soon after passing the Cavendish School, with a bird-looking kite flying, we reached my sister’s house where we all stopped for tea. More cakes! The party were very grateful for this.
Eventually we set off, not all at once, downhill for the last mile to the station, and we all joined the 18.26 train back to London.

Thanks to Susan and Rochelle for photos