Saturday, 10 October 2009

Seven sisters

Fancy a walk?

A few miles East along the coast, it's possible to leave behind the built up and the gridlock and enjoy some wild spaces where the only sounds are the sea and birds and your feet as they meet the ground or shift on the stones.

The beaches beneath the towering chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters are narrow strips, often blocked by falls. They are gradually falling into the sea while the sea adds to the work in progress by carving away at the chalk every high tide.

I love the caves that line the shore, but I'm always a bit nervous of staying too long in them. Flecks of chalk dust scatter down as you eat your picnic, sit on your shoulders as a reminder that it's best to have wings here, or waders.

My favourite beach here seems to make it clear that she likes her own company.
There's another shot of it form a previous post here.
Barefoot is best because she will chase you back to land if you stay too long.

The walk West is my favourite. It always reminds me of a roller coaster route and I always lose count of which of the seven cliffs I'm on as the huff and puff of another climb leads me to thinking it's the last, only to find another looms ahead of me as the swallows whizz and whoop past my head and the seagulls just drift along the edge where the reflections from the sea turns their bellies pink.

And just at the point where you think you can climb no more, the final sister leads you to a wonderful view across a river estuary and there's nothing to do except sit there and look....
Low tide gives views like this one -

And then, if you turn to look behind the shingle beach, there's a lagoon which I love to sit and gaze at as the sun goes down.

It's a couple of miles to the car park or the bus route into town and it's all downhill! (Have I worn you out yet?) All the paths are worn chalky white. You won't need a torch to find your way or the help of a full moon. You'll see the tracks leading you in the dark, like white lines on a school blackboard.