I had a dream long ago of a long white pier, ornate and beautiful on a blue sea. I floated above it as if in a plane circling it. The image as been drifting in my mind since. I knew on this trip I wanted to see the white cliffs of Dover and in researching them, I found the Seven Sisters instead. Writings told me the Dover cliffs had lost their white luster and that the Seven Sisters shone brighter and were more impressive. I planned a trip to see them and when searching where to stay, I came across Brighton. As I looked at photos I saw a great wonderful pier like the one in my dream and booked my ticket to visit.
Brighton shone bright with colors of white and blue, full of summertime energy that put a bounce in my step when I stepped off the train. It is a lovely seaside town that blue skies spread over and white metal scroll work framed. Everywhere was life, music, art, ocean air and the sound of seagulls always in the distance. The home I stayed at was high up on a hill and I would walk the main road down to the ocean passing by all the sites, shops and sounds along the way. Girls in summer dresses with their hair pinned up would ride around on colorful bicycles with baskets and children walked along with ice cream cones melting. Musicians played songs from glass bottles and metal boxes on the boardwalk. Handsome hipster men would walk by and families sprawled out on blankets in the park listening to big band music outside of the Royal Pavilion. I ate some of the best food of my life in a Polish cafe and tasted a bit of heaven from a bakery near the train station.
Beyond the boardwalk starts the reason I came to the area, the great white cliffs. One can ride bikes or walk below them as they stretch for miles along the sea. I took a bus early in the morning and made my way to a trail a local woman recommended to me. I got off the bus at the Cuckmere Inn and walked a small grass and dirt path through farmers fields towards the sea. Hills rose on either side and a small, lazy river slowly passed on my left. It was the perfect summer day, 70 degrees, blue skies and not a soul in sight. Every now and then I would pass into another field, entering a wooden gate to keep sheep from getting loose. Curious cows walked up to me along fence lines and flared their nostrils as they took in my scent. They then went back to more interesting things like chewing grass. As I approached the shore, the cliffs came into sight from a small tapered point to a great opening against the water’s edge as they rose to a magnificent height. As I walked and they grew in size, a small chill rose up my back as excitement grew inside me. It was such a spectacular view to see and more beautiful than I had imagined. My smile beamed at the sun and splendor of a perfect day in a place truly made from dreams.
Getting to the Seven Sisters by bus: I found buying day passes from the ticket booth just outside of the front of the train station to be easiest for me. There is a scratch-off saver pass for £4.70 and it takes you all around town and outside of Brighton to the Seven Sisters for one day. This is not to be confused with a city saver pass that you can buy from the bus drivers for the same price. The city saver passes do not go to the Seven Sisters.
Where to find best view of the Seven Sisters:
Take the morning bus to the Cuckmere Inn and follow the path just behind the parking lot. I took the 13X bus, but there are 2 others that will also take you.. the 12 and 12A. The river will be on your left when you walk the trail. I found this path to have far less tourists on it and gave the best view. The path is level and easy going leading you up to a hill near a few cottages with plenty of room to view the cliffs. You can even cross the river to the other side for the best of both worlds. But you will have to take your shoes off or wear sandals across. It is pretty shallow with smaller rocks to walk over. It feels great on a hot summer day. Once you cross, you will walk a while on a beach of smooth rocks and end up right below the cliffs. It’s a great place to bring a picnic to or you can have lunch outside at the Cuckmere Inn after. I had the fish and chips and they were great.
Where to eat in Brighton:
Hands down the best food I’ve had my entire trip so far was at The Witchez. It’s by the waterfront and you need to walk down a few steps to reach it. The food here is amazing and the women that work there are very friendly and provide great service. I highly recommend the “Little Hooves”, a dish of potato dumplings with pesto cream sauce, and sun dried tomatoes for only £10.00. They will melt in your mouth.
For an easy, quick and healthy meal head on over to Foodilic. They have lots of vegetarian options as well as meat. You pay one price of £6.95 and eat as much as you like. Do not wait until right before closing to go or the food options might be limited.
Ella’s Yummy Delights
This cafe is aptly named. For the best desserts, you must visit this small shop not far from the train station. I had strawberry jam and cream filled scones that were little bites of heaven in my mouth. I also tried the apple pie and it tasted like my mothers. The 2 Polish women who run the cafe are very sweet and make the delights themselves.