Saturday, July 7, 2012

Beachy Head to Birling Gap

After walking 8 miles to the Devil's Dyke, we needed to take the next few days easy. So the next day we decided to do one of our favorite walks from Beachy Head to Birling Gap, on the chalk cliffs above the Channel. It is a very peaceful and pleasant walk over easy rolling hills, and only a couple of miles long. It's the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain, with long, long views of the coast in either direction.  

The name 'Beachy Head' has nothing to do with beach, by the way.  It's a corruption of 'Beauchef', Old French for 'beautiful headland'.  It has been an important as a landmark for sailors forever, and, along with the adjoining Seven Sisters was strategic during WW2, as a landmark for airplanes, both enemy and friendly.  There's a little red and white lighthouse at the foot of the cliff and this view (I hope the COG posts a better picture of this) is an  iconic British picture.  Because the lighthouse is so low, and is often obscured by mist, there's another, higher, one called Belle Tout on the next cliff over. 

Pictures don't really capture how peaceful and idyllic this spot is - there's something about the combination of distant views, with beautiful reflected light, and sheep baa-ing in the distance and birds singing and the sound of the wind that I find just smooths all the rough places in my soul. 

The holes above are rabbit holes:  Desirable purpose built dwellings with million-pound sea views, rustic interiors, in need of some updating.

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