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After visiting the White Cliffs of Dover, I knew I had to see more of England’s dramatic White Cliffs on a day trip from London. However, there were a few things I wasn’t sure about like how long does it take to do the Seven Sisters Walk and how do I get to the Seven Sisters Cliffs?
Luckily, it turns out it is possible to walk from Eastbourne train station to the Seven Sisters Cliffs. So I decided to try it!
I was treated to the most beautiful walk up and down the Seven Sisters Cliffs with the English Channel one side of me sparkling in the sun, the English Countryside the other side of me, and in front of me a view of the White Chalk Cliffs that make this coastline so iconic and so beautiful, all in a day trip from London by train!
So here is how you can visit the Seven Sisters Cliffs from London too!
Seven Sisters Cliffs from London!
How do you get to the Seven Sisters from London??
Here are 4 Options For Visiting the Seven Sister Cliffs from London:
1 – You can drive as there is parking all the way along the coastline and the main road of Beachy Head.
2 – You can get the train to Eastbourne or Seaford and walk all the way along the cliffs. You can get a train and then a bus from the nearby towns of Eastbourne, Seaford and Brighton.
3 – You can get a train and then a bus from the nearby towns of Eastbourne, Seaford and Brighton.
I decided to get the train and walk for my Seven Sisters day trip from London, and although it is quite a tough walk at about 20km and it took me at least 6 hours in total.
My legs were a bit jelly-like at the end but I’m glad I did it this way so I’m going to tell you how to do it too!
Seven Sisters Cliffs from London by Train:
My day started in London Victoria train station on a Southern Train heading down to Eastbourne which I purchased on The Train Line just the day before for £33.40 for a return ticket.
When booking the ticket I did have a bit of a predicament. I had seen on Google Maps that the peak of the Seven Sisters Cliffs is close to Birling Gap which is pretty much halfway between Eastbourne and Seaford.
I had read that people tend to walk from one town to the other to see the cliffs and do the ‘full Seven Sisters Walk’…
However and slightly annoyingly, Eastbourne and Seaford are not on the same train line, it’s not like I could buy a return to Seaford and jump off a station early at Eastbourne, I’d have to buy 2 separate single tickets which was much more expensive than just a return to Eastbourne from London.
I could also see that the footpath along the cliffs seemed closer to the edge from Eastbourne to Birling Gap and then onto the Seven Sisters than it does from Seaford to Birling Gap as it’s more inland (from what I could see on the map) and that’s how I came to the decision of booking a return journey to and from Eastbourne station.
I hope my decision-making process helps you with yours too!
Seven Sisters Cliffs Day Tours From London
If you would rather book onto a tour to see the cliffs and more of the South Downs area I really recommend this one.
It would be perfect to do out of summer in case the weather isn’t that good as you travel by coach- great if you don’t fancy walking 20km, or would like people to spend the day with other people and have a knowledgeable guide!
The train from London to Eastbourne is 1 hr 30 minutes and the walk from Eastbourne train station straight down to the coast is about 10-15 minutes.
Lunch and food options are limited on the walk to the Seven Sisters so for this Seven Sisters day trip from London you can buy snacks and drinks in Eastbourne close to the train station.
Walk straight to Eastbourne Bandstand by the beach and I hope you will be as impressed as I was.
Of course, it helped that I was visiting the Seven Sisters from London on a gorgeous sunny, summers day, however, Eastbourne didn’t seem to have that run-down British Seaside feel to it like I thought Margate had, it’s actually nice.
It has a really nice promenade with lots of seating and greenery, it’s a stone beach but it has huts along it and it’s pretty big!
But you’re here to walk the Seven Sisters Cliffs so turn right at the beach and walked all the way down S.Downs Way right alongside the beach until Helen Garden which takes about 20 minutes.
Seven Sisters Walk Map
Here is a map to help you with your Seven Sisters day trip detailing the train stations and the main points on the walk to the Seven Sisters Cliff.
Eastbourne to Birling Gap
Eastbourne beach is just the beginning of the 10km walk to Birling Gap, which is technically just the halfway point too!
Past Helen Gardens there are handy signs pointing the direction of the footpaths and Beachy Head and infront is a big hill which is the first of many inclines on this walk!
Like walking the White Cliffs of Dover, I really liked walking these cliffs because there are many footpaths, which means that everyone is spread out and it feels more adventurous to have to decide yourself what is the best footpath to take to the Seven Sisters Cliffs!
As a side note, I use the app Maps.me which I love and was so helpful on this walk to see all of the footpaths.
After walking along some footpaths you will reach Beachy Head Road however you don’t need to walk alongside the road by the traffic, there are lots of footpaths closer to the cliffs and the fields flatten out here too.
I was totally in awe of the glistening ocean, the many many peaks of the white cliffs to the side and in front of me doing this part of the walk and so many people were having picnics around here too, it’s a lovely spot for a picnic!
Beachy Head Lighthouse is the centre of attention aside from the Seven Sister Cliffs in my opinion. I kept seeing it peaking through the cliffs as I was walking towards it and even once I had passed it and looked back I saw it.
After Beachy Head lighthouse is Belle Tout Lighthouse however this isn’t in the water, it’s on the cliff and it’s now a cafe selling ice creams and a handy sign saying that Birling Gap is a 20-minute walk away.
This part of the walk is really nice, the field totally opens out and although there are some serious declines and inclines, the white cliffs are on full show for the whole of this section!
Birling Gap is the next point and it’s also the first point of beach access on the Eastbourne to Seven Sisters walk and it is a nice and safe beach to visit.
Birling Gap is set up for visitors, it has a cafe with indoor and outdoor seating , a visitor centre, toilets and a car park.
The car park here is a good place to visit if you end up driving for a London to Seven Sisters day trip.
On my visit, it was now 14:15 so the walk from Eastbourne train station to Birling Gap took me just under 3 hours. A long way and a hard walk yes, but it was amazing too!
Birling Gap to the Seven Sisters Cliffs
The main point of the Seven Sisters Cliffs is further up the coast from Birling Gap towards Seaford, this is why, if you can get the train from one station like Eastbourne and get the train back from Seaford you can do the full Seven Sisters Coastal walk!
For me, I was tired, I knew I had a 3 hour walk back ahead of me and I was happy with the amount of stunning white cliffs I had seen so I didn’t keep walking from Birling Gap to the main point of the Seven Sisters.
I instead walked the 10km back to Eastbourne arriving at about 17:00, my legs were a bit jelly-like, my skin was a little on the red side, my hair a mess from the wind but my heart was very happy because I loved this trip to the Seven Sisters from London so much!
I really hope you do this walk and decide to visit the Seven Sisters White Cliffs on a day trip from London, or on a day trip from elsewhere in England, it was amazing!
FAQ For visiting the Seven Sisters Cliffs from London:
How do you get to the Seven Sisters from London?
There are a few ways, you can take a train from London to Eastbourne or Seaford, drive to the Seven Sisters from London and park along Beach Head road or at Birling Gap, or you can join an organised day tour to Seven Sisters from London and takes you to more of the area.
How do I get to the Seven Sisters hike from London?
This depends where you want to hike to and from. You can start the hike at Birling Gap if you are driving and walk as far long the cliffs as you want before turning back. Or you can do the Seven Sisters hike from Eastbourne to Seaford train stations if you are getting the train from London.
How long does it take to walk the Seven Sisters?
6 hours is the minimum time it will take to do the full walk and around 20km. You may need more time though. However if you are parked in Birling Gap, you can walk as far as you can and then turn around and walk back.
Why is it called the Seven Sisters?
The cliffs are named the Seven Sisters Cliffs because of the seven hilltops that make up the silhouette of the cliffs.
How hard is the Seven Sisters Walk?
The walk is long if you walk all the way along the cliffs and there are a few steep inclines and declines so good fitness is needed.
Can you swim in the Seven Sisters?
Swimming is possible at Birling Gap beach along the Seven Sisters.
More Important information for your visit to the Seven Sisters White Cliffs:
Book train tickets in advance to get the best price. I recommend The Train Line as it’s my go-to site.
Birling Gap is a good turnaround point but you can turn around whenever you want, the white cliffs are in full view as soon as you walk up the hill from Eastbourne.
I left the train station at 11:30 am, got back at 5:00 pm and I stopped for 30 minutes for lunch. I do walk pretty fast, especially on my own. Give yourself at least 6 hours to do this walk, it might be more realistic to give yourself 7 hours if you want to walk all the way to Birling Gap and back.
There are buses and bus stops along the road so you could walk one way and get a bus back into town.
It can be done all year round, I know my photos are nice and sunny but even on a spring, autumn or winter’s day it would be nice. If you’re worried about the wind, you aren’t always that close to the cliff and can walk on a footpath further away. Ideally, just try not to go on a cloudy or foggy day so you can actually see the cliffs.
Take some lunch and snacks as there are limited options at Birling Gap Cafe and other cafes that you pass.
The Birling Gap pub looks like a nice place to stop for lunch or a drink though.
There are quite a few toilets on the route. Eastbourne station, Helen Garden, Beachy Head main car park and Birling Gap.
If you would rather book onto a tour to see the cliffs and more of the South Downs area I really recommend this tour. It would be perfect to do out of summer in case the weather isn’t as good as you travel by coach, and perfect if you don’t fancy walking 20km!