Another walk from the ‘Cheeky Walks in Brighton & Sussex’ book by Tim Bick, David Bramwell and John Ashton. This one was in Newhaven, East Sussex and followed the last steps of Lord Lucan- a cad and a bounder who in 1974 reportedly killed the nanny, abandoned his car outside 26 Norman Road in Newhaven and then walked into the sea never to be seen again. There are lots of alternative theories as to his disappearance but this one is the one we are going with on this walk.
Besides the car abandoned road, we walked along the stretch of beach where he folded his clothes and left them in a neat pile before drowning himself; an industrial deep water working port;two disused railways; the eerie and deserted village of Tide Mills and up to the underground New Haven Fort.
It was a figure of eight walk that felt longer than it’s six miles, but covered the majority of Newhaven.
And Lord Lucan… is he dead or alive? Did he feign his own death or could he not live with the guilt; or the fear of boing caught? Retrace his final steps and form your own conclusion.
This weekend’s walk was the stretch of coastline between Peacehaven and Newhaven.
Newhaven is a working port town, as opposed to a seaside town like Eastbourne and Seaford, with a regular ferry passenger service to Dieppe in France. It’s West Beach, French owned, was closed in 2008 because of safety concerns about the crumbling sea-defence walls and harbour steps. but there is an ongoing local campaign and negotiations to reopen the beach.
The coastline was barren and exposed but beautiful. We passed the coastguard watch tower and the old fort, which dates from the Neolithic age, through the Bronze and Iron Age and was then occupied by the Romans. Today there are the remains of various Second World War buildings.
During the Second World War the port, along with a large stretch of the South Coast, was a German bombing target. To protect Newhaven Port, the nearby river Cuckmere acted as a night-time decoy. The valley would be lit up like the port during bombing raids in an attempt to draw bombers off course and minimise the barrage of the town.
It was a fabulous walk, steeped in history and a totally different landscape from the Eastbourne South Downs where we commenced our coastline walk.
Followers of my blog will know that I’m a bit of a football fan. They will also know that I like local football grounds. Lockdown has meant that instead of international travel we’ve been rediscovering our local area over the past year. Today took us over to Newhaven in East Sussex- another stretch of the coastline that I’ll cover in another blog.
Today’s picnic stop was by Newhaven Football Club grounds.
Newhaven FC is one of the oldest clubs in Sussex, and was formed by the Towner family who were brewers in the town during the latter 19th century, plus some of their enthusiastic friends. A meeting took place at the Bridge Hotel in December 1887 when it decided to form the Club and 20 members signed up on the day.
‘Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore’
Even the humble shores of Newhaven in East Sussex. Newhaven ferry port overlooks the English Channel, one of the busiest shipping channels in the world. It is located on the south coast of England in the county of Sussex at the mouth of the river Ouse. It is the closest port to London with Ferry links to France, and is ideally placed between the seaside resorts of Brighton and Eastbourne with quick and easy access to the rest of the UK.