The fully air-conditioned South Downs Tours minibus will pick you up at 9.00am from the reception of The Langham or The Lansdowne Hotels and we’ll drive along the seafront before climbing up on to the South Downs. Thus it begins!
Just minutes in, our first stop is world famous landmark, Beachy Head, formed when the last ice age ended, more recently featuring in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Bond and Potter films! We will walk along this, England’s highest chalk cliff measuring a gargantuan 530 ft taking in panoramic views across both the rolling chalk hills, the iconic lighthouse and across The English Channel.
Next on our itinerary is Birling Gap where steps take us down to the beach. From the beach you will have a close-up view of the vertical cliffs and see the effects of coastal erosion which make this coastline so dramatic and which have claimed four of the terraced cottages you will see at its top. At Birling Gap you will have time to visit the delightful National Trust Tea rooms and shop.
Onwards West along the coast road! See the meanders at Cuckmere Haven before arriving at our next destination, Seaford Head. I will then take you on a ten minute walk along the lane to the coastguard cottages and it is from here that you will be able to see that classic view of the Seven Sisters, in all its glory. There will be time for photos before we return to the minibus and set off for a spot of lunch at a traditional Sussex Country Pub. A table will be reserved, and you will be able to order a variety of food and drink (not included in the price) many serving local produce and locally brewed ales.
Our tour of The South Downs now takes us up a windy lane up to Firle Beacon, almost to the very top of this peak which stands a towering 712 feet high. From this vantage point you have more panoramic views towards the sea and across The Weald. There will be time to appreciate the scenery and take photos before returning to the minibus and heading back Eastwards. The next stop will be Middle Farm, a traditional working Sussex farm that has been in the same family for over 200 years. Middle Farm offers a wonderful selection of Sussex produce in its farm shop which includes English sparkling wine and offers an opportunity to sample a variety of ciders and perries.
From here, our downland tour heads toward the historic Sussex village of Alfriston. A picture postcard village nestled in the Cuckmere valley with an array of pubs, galleries, boutiques and the National Trust’s very first property acquired back in 1896 for the princely sum of £10. It also has a lovely church, the ‘Cathedral of the Downs’ built in the 1360s, and a quintessential village green which sits a few yards from the banks of the River Cuckmere. You will have time to wander around the village and enjoy a cup of tea.
Our homeward journey back to Eastbourne takes us a leisurely route along country lanes, stopping briefly to take in The long Man of Wilmington, a mysterious Neolithic figure on the side of the Downs.
Our Tour comes to a close on arrival at the seafront hotels shortly after 5.00pm and a day exploring the exciting sights and tastes of the South Downs with memories and photos to share.
Book the whole minibus for The Full Day Out Tour from £35.00 per person*
*Based on a group of 8