Rare opportunity to take a walk out to Eastbourne’s iconic lighthouse

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It’s an iconic landmark in Eastbourne, and this weekend sees a rare chance to actually walk around it.

There are few opportunities each year to walk from the beach at Eastbourne along to the Beachy Head Lighthouse as a low spring tide must occur at the right time during daylight hours to enable people to walk around the building.

One such opportunity is on Saturday, and already more than 1,000 people have signed up to take part. The walk is organised annually by Eastbourne AM Rotary Club and this will be the sixth year.

Organiser Martin Wellings said, “This walk gets more popular every year and we are thrilled.

“The record is around 1,200 walkers and it looks like that will be exceeded this year.

“It all started when the lighthouse owner Trinity House said it no longer intended to repaint it, even though it was badly needed.

“Due to modern navigation aids such as GPS, it was no longer considered necessary to maintain the famous red and white stripes and that it would be allowed to gradually return to plain stone. That’s when Eastbourne AM Rotary Club and The Save The Stripes Internet campaign decided to fundraise ourselves.

“We raised £28,000 and the work was done.”

The starting point will be at the kiosk at the foot of the Downs by Bede’s school in Eastbourne between 4.45 and 5.30pm.

Once checked-in, walkers set off across the Downs to Cow Gap (15-20 minutes), down the steps to the beach and over the rocks, boulders, sand and slippery seaweed to the lighthouse (55 minutes). To take part, you need to be reasonably fit for a mixture of walking and clambering.

On return, everyone will be presented with a certificate.

There is an entry fee of £6.50 each adult or £3 for under 18s. Everyone is urged to register on-line to avoid unnecessary queuing at the kiosk, and whilst there is a facility to register on the day, the cost is £7 for adults, and £3.50 for children.

All entry fees will go to the fund to keep the lighthouse painted, and other local charities supported by the Rotary Club of Eastbourne AM. To book, go to www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/beachy-head-lighthouse-walk-2019-tickets-55401625754?aff=eac2