I’ve lived in Brighton just gone two years now, and have loved every minute of it.
I try to explore as much of the city as I can, when I can – finances allowing! Still, to this day, there are areas I have not yet discovered, which excites me greatly. It’s a city of mystery, yet also a city of expensive taste (depending on where you go, of course). Many of my friends and family have visited me in the past, and I do my best to entertain them and show them as much as possible of what Brighton has to offer but it’s becoming more and more important to do so on a budget.
When you live in Brighton like myself, or are just thinking of visiting, a few ideas may spring to mind of what you would like to do with your time: a visit to the North and South laines, an ice cream on the pier, or simply a walk along the sea front on your way to the Marina. However, there comes a time when your mind craves something slightly different, and may tire at the thought of going to that one coffee shop in town to meet your friends again.
Put it simply: you’re skint, but want to get out of the house and see your friends.
I have been confronted with this dilemma many times before, but struggled to think of the ideal outing that would be cheap, yet fun. That is until a good friend of mine made the ideal suggestion. If you hate the thought of being outside, then look away now! But if you’re like me and in need of the occasional dose of nature at its best, then take a trip to the Seven Sisters country park.
When you first arrive, you will notice fields and hills of green that appear to span miles and miles. It may seem daunting to try and walk all the way up that big hill to the cliffs you see far ahead of you. If it’s been raining, then oh yes, there will be mud. But dress appropriately (proper walking shoes and dark trousers/jeans recommended here), and it won’t bother you so much once you see what the park has to offer.
My previous experience at the park started with a hearty meal at the Golden Galleon pub just by the country park. If you fancy a roast on a Sunday or simply a cheeseboard (like myself!), then this is a nice location to do it before your walk. Once I enjoyed all that cheese and crackery goodness, I was keen to burn some of it off! Our walk began just beyond the car park of the pub, onto a muddy path. It had been raining (boo!) but wearing my Timberland boots meant I took no notice. The smell of the wet grass was inviting and refreshing as we started on our mini adventure.
We were surrounded by fields of green and still rivers and lakes, where sheep and cows grazed peacefully and ducks paddled around blissfully. As we followed the path, we passed several concrete blocks scattered around. These were ‘pillboxes,’ used during the Second World War to defend the seashore at the edge of the country park. Not for the claustrophobic, these boxes are just big enough to crawl into and provide an interesting look into the life of a soldier while they kept watch and prepared to shoot at their enemies.
After exploring the pillboxes, we prepared to climb the steep hill ahead of us, with the goal of observing the magnificent view of the park from above. I warn you: it is a work out, especially if you are not particularly fit. My legs were aching the following day, but the effort was worth it. We reached the top of the cliff at an ideal moment: sunset. The experience was beautiful: the view of a vast sea reflecting the sun connecting to seemingly endless fields of green, and the freshest air you could ever imagine (especially after living in the city centre for so long). If you ever need to clear your head for whatever reason, this is a brilliant and natural way of doing so.
The only cost of this is the bus ticket you buy to get there (bus 12, 12A and 13 go from Brighton to the park = £2.90 single, £4.70 return) and the flask of tea you may choose to bring along with you. However, the beautiful landscapes and views that you stumble upon are absolutely FREE and totally breath-taking. The fresh air makes for a great hangover cure, as well!
Image by Jereon Francois