Visiting England's South Coast

At the turn of September and October, I took few days of vacation and together with my wife we've spent three days on the southern coast of UK. In this post, you can find a collection of memories from places we've visited.

It was the first time we've been to the UK's coast, so we were excited to visit the sea (The English Channel, la Manche), see the big cliffs and experience different landscapes.


I've picked Eastbourne as the first stop on our Journey. Small, seaside town, less than three hours drive from London. With a rented car (Hyundai i10) we've departed on Saturday afternoon and headed South. It was also the first time when I was riding a car on the left side in the UK. It wasn't that hard, as previously I had a chance to practice this, a few years ago on our trips to Malta and Cyprus.

Why Eastbourne? Of course, because of the famous Seven Sisters cliffs. I've seen some pictures of them in one Meetup group and the place got stuck in my head. We've arrived in the town around 5 PM and checked in at the Ravensworth Cottage, Airbnb place hosted by a very special lady, Fiona. We've met here couple fellow guests, Americans ladies who were also staying there. For an evening dinner, we've found the greek restaurant in the town center, about 15 minutes walk from the house.

Beachy Head and Seven Sisters

Next day in the late morning driving on a curvy road along the coast, we have visited couple great places. We had a foul start as I didn't take any pounds coins with me. All landscape sites are free to access, but the National Trust maintains it and you're required to pay for the parking for your car.

UK Coast Trip
First stop, just few minutes drive from Eastbourne. Far you can see the city buildings.

First stop was Beachy Head, with exposed cliffs and hills and iconic looking lighthouses. It was an overcast day and very strong wind was blowing from the channel, but it wasn't that bad.

UK Coast Trip
A view on Beachy Head Lighthouse

We've walked the path along the edge towards the lighthouses enjoying beautiful views. The cliff is actually the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain, rising to 162 meters above sea level.

UK Coast Trip
Iconic view of Seven Sisters cliffs near Birling Gap

The cliff edge is very dangerous. Just today, I've read a report about the death of a person, posing for a photo. Sadly, because of the height is also one of the "popular" "suicide spots".

UK Coast Trip
Warning sign informing about cliff's erosion

After couple hours of wandering, we've driven further west, towards our destination for the next two days, Isle of Portland. We've stopped for a dinner in Brighton. Surprisingly, the city didn't look much interesting for us.

In the evening we've reached Weymouth after couple hours of driving and looked for our next Airbnb place, with the apartment located in what was the Olympic Sailing Village, on the Isle of Portland. We've met wonderful host - Jon and rested after a long drive.

Exploring Jurassic Coast

We've got only two remaining days to explore the coast of Dorset county, so next day, on Monday we've driven further west to tour the Jurrasic Coast.

The Jurassic Coast is a World Heritage Site, with rocks exposing over 185 million years of geological history.

We've visited Ladram Bay, beautiful bay carved in red & brown sandstone. Because of bad weather, the pebble beach was empty. Only Sea Gulls were watching us as we were walking admiring those special rock formations.

UK Coast Trip
Empty beach of Ladram Bay, colourful pebbles and could of sea gulfs

On the way back we've visited a beach in Charmouth where we attempted to look for fossils. We've found something, but I'm determined to go back there as it was dusk when we've been walking there and it was definitely too dark to find something decent.

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Fossil hunting. Packing up pair of Hunters for beach walking was a great idea.

Lighthouse in Portland

Tuesday was the last day of our short break and we had to get back to London by the 6 PM to return our rental car.

After packing our stuff we left first to visit the lighthouse in Portland. The far end of the island was very rocky. From what I've noticed it served as a query some time ago. This would explain big cube-like stones laying on the coast.

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Lightouse on a rocky coast in Portland

We've enjoyed a short walk between them and nice views of the surrounding area. After a short break for lunch at Subway, we moved on to next point on the map. There was yet one big surprise waiting for us…

Durdle Door and Man O'War Beach

As our trip was short, I didn't put much effort into planning it. Google Maps appeared to provide enough good suggestions, to find couple interesting places, allowing me to star them and set as the destination. So while this landmark looked interesting on the picture, I must admit, being there made a much bigger impression on us.

UK Coast Trip
Stunning view from the beach on Durdle Door

The weather was perfect, it was sunny, warm, with a clear sky and a gentle breeze. With blue sky, turquoise water, and yellow sand on the beach this place was remarkably beautiful! I think it's one of the most beautiful beaches & coast we've ever seen.

On the one side (left, east), there's a tiny bay called Man O'War with stunning beach and interesting rock formation. The view from the top is simply breathtaking.

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Man O'War Bay & Beach

On the other side (right, west) you'll find Durdle Door, natural limestone stone arch - an iconic landmark in the landscape.

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Once again, Durdle Door with path for accessing the beach

The whole coast in this area is amazing, with high and white walls of the cliffs and grassy slopes. We thought we could stay there forever. Unfortunately, it was getting late and we had to leave this beautiful place and drive back to London. But we knew that we've found a place where we definitely return.

UK Coast Trip
Green hills in the area near Lulworth in Dorset

To learn more about the locations mentioned in my story visit following sites:

Feel free to leave any questions or comments in the box below. Thanks for reading!

Written and maintained with ♥︎ — Jan Kraus, 2007 — 2019