This walk is organised by The Rotary Club. There is a cost of £8.50 with money going to different charities, including the RNLI and also towards the upkeep of the lighthouse’s famous red and white stripes.
There are very few days when it is possible to walk around the lighthouse as it must be during spring tides and when it is light enough.
The meeting point was at the foot of the Downs by St. Bede’s school in Eastbourne. We then proceeded up the lane for approximately half a mile to Whitbread Hollow where we checked in. Once checked-in, we set off across the Downs to Cow Gap, down the steps to the beach and over the rocks, boulders, sand and slippery seaweed to the lighthouse.
It was a fairly strenuous walk; the beach part the hardest. You could go right up to the lighthouse and climb the steps up onto the base. Stewards were there counting people on and off, ten at a time. Stewards were also strategically placed along the route, as were paramedics and the RNLI shoreside.
Beachy Head is a notorious suicide spot in the South Coast and the sad part of the walk as we came closer to the lighthouse along the cliff base was the rusted remnants of car parts caught in the rocks. We had a silent moment of contemplation for those who had been driven to such drastic measures.
On return, all participants received a certificate to authenticate that we were one of the few people who have undertaken the “Lighthouse Challenge”.
It was a beautiful still and sunny evening for this unusual walk in a beautiful part of the South Coast.