The last time I went to Cuckmere Haven was a painful mid-break up outing when I was desperate to prove we could 'still be friends'. That story does have a happy ending; he is now Mr Big Tree Little Moose, but certainly not as a result of that little trip! Anyway, I've been wanting to erase that 'last time' memory for the last 8 years, so when my mum suggested going together last weekend I jumped at the chance. As a family we've always referred to it as 'Seven Sisters' but I think that's actually the name for the park above the cliffs. Cuckmere Haven (or Valley) is the estuary bit you walk through to get to the beach. I'm pretty sure Birling Gap fits in there somewhere too, but I'm not sure where!
We got there just before 11am and parking was easy, even for a sunny bank holiday. Glad we arrived at that time though, because when we returned to our car a few hours later the car park was mayhem! Cost of parking seems reasonable at £3.50 for the day. Although it's slightly frustrating that we didn't get it free with National Trust membership; although much of the country park is NT the car park is not.
It was so lovely to be able to take the dog, Otter. She absolutely loved it! And fortunately there were no grazing sheep in the areas we were walking so she could run freely most of the time. It's worth knowing that there are no dog poo bins on the walk to the beach; the nearest one is by the car park. And dogs on leads on the beach May to September.
Our little toddler's greatest pleasure is running. And here she could run! The paths are far enough away from the river that she wasn't going to trip and fall in. She would have run the entire mile route to the beach but at one point we put her in the pushchair for a forced break! We took the park trail down to the beach, as opposed to the beach trail, as it was so much quieter and gets you to pretty much the same place!
Once at the beach we settled down for a picnic but a ridiculously crazy amount of teeny tiny flies forced us to relocate backwards onto a grassy spot just before the beach. Which was equally as beautiful.
The walk back felt quite long! Little J did more running. By this time the route was busy with visitors so I'm glad we came at an earlier time.
It's such a happy family place for me, full of great memories of cycling, climbing trees, exploring old war bunkers, collecting stones, sea swimming, searching for fossils in the cliffs and more. I'm glad I've been able to take my mind back to those memories, and start making new ones of our own.