Saltdean to Telscombe Tye
Like walking but hate the endless mud? Luckily we have some paths that are still passable during the depths of Winter. I find a brisk walk really is a great way to get some exercise, blow the cobwebs away and calm the mind too.
As long as there isn’t a storm brewing and high tide, then the Undercliff Walk is great for a walk (run/cycle/roller skate etc!). It runs from Brighton Marina through pretty Rottingdean and through to the Brighton & Hove City boundary at Saltdean marked by the last rock groyne.
The stunning chalk cliffs, can sometimes shelter you from the wind, and also block out traffic noise so you can enjoy the sounds of the waves and the sea birds.
On a grim (mostly dry) day in February I decided to walk from this point back towards Peacehaven, following the Seaford Coastal Trail as shown on a leaflet produced by local partners including local councils, SCDA and South Downs Park Authority. You can pick this up locally, or look at the interactive maps online.
This was a great place to start, as the scenic Whitecliffs cafe serves up a very good cup of tea, and has an amazingly tempting display of fresh brioche sandwiches and fine pattisserie cakes.
At Saltdean it’s worth a diversion too, to see the iconic Saltdean Lido (open in the Summer). Beyond the Lido is the Oval Park where I recently spotted this beautiful kestrel at very close quarters!
From Whitecliffs you can walk a little further along the undercliffe but do come to a dead end. Look out (and listen out) for oystercatchers and other waders and gulls picking along the shoreline.
From the cafe I took the slope back up to the cliff top walk and kept walking westwards over the top of the cliffs, which are covered in wild flowers in Summer. There is only one section to the north of the coast road that has not been built on, and that is the precious grassland of Telscombe Tye. The picturesque village of Telscombe has no road access to the coast, making it a precious secluded spot! Telscombe Tye is an area of common open land, a natural break between the settlements of Saltdean and Telscombe Cliffs/Peacehaven. It’s one of the few places where the South downs National park boundary reaches the seafront. There are some lovely walks north through the Tye to Telscombe but today, I’m just heading for the Smugglers Rest pub. To get there I continue along the coast, taking a recently restored path through the Southern Water plant.
You can read more here about the battle to get this valuable public right of way restored.
From the pub, you can stop for a drink, or scramble down to the beach.. where I’ve spotted yet more oystercatchers sheltering before! From here, you easily can get buses in both directions, or just keep walking!
Seahaven coastal trail – blog challenge..
Do download the trail leaflet or pick one up locally..
We are sure lots of you know these paths, and we would really love someone else to walk the next section and write us a blog. It can be as short or long a section as you like, and include any local details you would like to share. If you have a passion you want to write about along the way (birds, bees, botany, history, reciting poems, spotting yellow cars with your five year old, whatever!) we would love to hear about it. Or you could write about your favourite walk instead. Do get in touch, so we can share your stories!