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.
Last night I went to listen to one of our local Community Choirs sing at the underground Grove Theatre, one of Eastbourne’s more intimate theatres.
They were an absolute joy. There is something uplifting and joyous in a group of people, all ages, getting together to sing. Songs we all knew and some we didn’t. You don’t have to be pitch perfect, just enjoy singing; sing loud and proud. It was a pleasure!
Last weekend we took a walk on the Firle Country Estate near Lewes in East Sussex. Firle Place is a privately owned country house in Sussex that dates from the time of Henry VIII. Incorporating several villages and farms spread over rolling hills, the Firle Estate, is in the heart of the magnificent South Downs National Park.
The Estate incorporates the Old Coach Road, which dates from over 1000 years ago and is the original road running from the Beddingham to Newhaven Road at the Lay, just south of Beddingham Church, to Firle.
It was a fabulous walk over sweeping downland. We are right in the cusp of the shooting season so there were pheasants and partridge a plenty. We finished the walk of with a pint of cider in Village pub.
A beautiful sunny, warm autumn morning saw us heading out to the stunning 15th century moated Herstmonceux Castle, set in a beautiful estate featuring woodland trails, lakes, meadows and themed and formal gardens, including a magic garden with definite echos of Francis Hodgson Burnett (The Secret Garden).
Built as a luxurious fortified home in the mid 15th century by Sir Roger Fiennes, who had fought at Agincourt with Henry V, it is now owned by Queen’s University in Canada and is their UK campus as well as a visitor centre.
It’s is a magical location and well worth the £8 entrance fee