Seaford Head

Seaford Head © 2011 Mufidah Kassalias

On Sunday afternoon Sean and I jumped in the car and drove to Seaford, to walk up over Seaford Head and along the cliffs past Hope Gap and down to Cuckmere Haven. Since it was already late-ish in the day for a November afternoon, the light had completely changed by the time we arrived at Cuckmere Haven so I didn’t manage to get any shots of the iconic Seven Sisters, but I did get this one of Seaford Head just after we arrived. It’s taken from the much smaller cliff that juts out immediately before Seaford Head itself.

The amazing thing about these cliffs is that they change colour depending on the light — from a very pale cream (they never appear white to me) to yellow, orange and pink — and the time of day. Since this was not long before sunset the light was soft and warm, bringing out the yellows in the chalk.

Once at Cuckmere we sat on a bench beside the (also iconic) coastguard cottages while the sun set behind us. By the time we set off back to Seaford it was dark enough to pull out our flashlights, just to make sure we didn’t step in a rabbit hole or trip over a mole hill or suchlike. With the crescent moon rising it was a lovely, if somewhat cold, walk back.

38 responses

  1. Taking a flash light. Ingenious! Guess what happened when me and a friend went to Beachy Head … we misjudged how long it would get to the top and had to stumble back in pitch black darkness … There was something funny about the disconcerted sheep complaining about our presence, although we couldn’t quite see where they were *rolleyes*

    • Oh no! The last place you want to be stumbling around in darkness is Beachy Head. Good to know that you both got back safely though, even if you did unnerve the sheep with your presence.

    • Thanks Karen. The cliff is quite crumbly, evidence of which is on the beach below where some of it has fallen off. Further down the coast there are houses that are in danger of falling into the sea, indeed some have already, though the people living in them had fortunately left before that happened.

    • Thanks David :-) Just after taking the shot I noticed another photographer arrive with his camera and tripod to shoot the same spot — I expect he got some good images as the light continued to change for the next ten minutes or so, whilst getting more lovely by the minute.

  2. Again, shadow and light! Wonderful picture. I love this place, beautiful colors around, and since you mentioned color changes in the chalk with time, it would be amazing to hang around here for some time. Great. :)

    • Thanks Mike. It’s a 15-minute drive from where we live. And if we walk up onto the Downs (hills surrounding the town) we can see, from certain vantage points, the white flash that is the tip of these cliffs.

    • Thanks Abu. Although the cliffs are very crumbly and prone to losing chunks to the sea, the cliff edges aren’t closed to walkers, although there are sign posts dotted along that remind people to beware of the cliff edge, and in a couple of places there is some fencing, although it’s low enough that you could climb over if you were so inclined. Not far along, about an hour or so walking, there’s another place called Beachy Head that Verena mentioned, which is infamous for being a suicide spot. People travel from far and wide to throw themselves off the cliff. And no matter when you go for a walk at Beachy Head you can usually see flowers pinned to the fence in remembrance of someone who has jumped off. All of which is very sad.

      • that is indeed sad and hazardous in case of accidental rather than a planned fall. And sorry if it sounds gross, but if i am not mistaken, the fall from this cliff looks like landing on hard ground rather than water which would make for a very painful death

        • It’s even worse at Beachy Head where the landing is not only hard but rocky. So a truly horrible way to die, planned or otherwise. I think that people walking are very aware of the cliffs and stay a safe distance from the edge — don’t think I’ve heard of any accidental deaths in the area. Which is a good thing!

    • Happy to know you like this image, thank you! And yes, we are very fortunate to have so many beautiful places within such easy reach — these cliffs are only a 15 minutes away by car.

  3. Wow what a dramatic place to visit and to stare out to sea. I miss the ocean…150 miles inland we don’t get to see it or smell it. The light you have captured is fantastic!

    • Thanks Katie :-) The cliffs really are quite breathtaking to witness — and to walk along the coast with views of even more cliffs in the near distance, such as the Seven Sisters, is a wonderfully uplifting experience.

  4. What a gorgeous cliff. I would love to be there to capture all the hues you mentioned. Heck, I would love to be there even without a camera. I’ve enjoyed browsing through your blog (lots more to explore :) ) Your compositions are are always so well chosen.