Our pick of the events taking place between Seaford Head and Cuckmere Haven to celebrate the opening of the King Charles III England Coast Path as part of the UK’s Year of the Coast.

As a county with such jaw-dropping scenery as Beachy Head, and the monolithic chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters, icons of the South Downs National Park, Sussex has some of the best views in Britain. And boasting 140 miles of shoreline from the dreamy dunes of Camber in the east to chic Chichester Harbour – an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – in the west, we can safely say that residents and tourists do like to be beside the Sussex seaside.

Which is just as well as 2023 is the UK’s Year of the Coast and as part of this national initiative to encourage more people to explore, embrace and protect the shoreline, and enjoy all there is to do at the water’s edge, the King Charles III England Coastal Path is being opened.

Spanning 2, 700 miles when complete, the path will trail along the country’s coastline, the longest of its kind in the UK. The coastal path was renamed to celebrate the Coronation of our new monarch in May this year.

England's coast is more than 185 million years old and is celebrated for being among the most diverse in the world. As the Prince of Wales, the King expressed a deep love and concern for England’s wildlife, nature and walking as well as campaigning for the environment for more than 50 years.

Now, as part of the national Year of the Coast celebrations, a flagship event will take place in Sussex to promote the joys of being in nature and the invigorating experience of strolling along the coast, drinking in the world-famous locations we’re so lucky to have on our doorstep.

Walk the Chalk will take place in East Sussex on and around Seaford Head – a 371-acre Nature Reserve - and Cuckmere Haven from September 20 -24. Supported with a grant of over £200,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, it is a free, five-day event with opportunities for the coastal community to meet, celebrate and volunteer, and for visitors to explore this beautiful stretch of coast and biodiverse area owned by Seaford Town Council and managed by Sussex Wildlife Trust.


Great British Life: Walking the Chalk along the King Charles III England Coastal Path at Seaford Head. (C) Alex FranklinWalking the Chalk along the King Charles III England Coastal Path at Seaford Head. (C) Alex Franklin

The events, which are open to everyone, will include guided walks, where you’ll learn about local flora, fauna, folklore, fossils, geology and the impact of climate change on this unique part of the coast. There will be workshops, debates, and wandering performers, dressed as characters from a bygone era including smugglers, soldiers, coastguards and Iron Age fort dwellers, to give visitors a ghostly glimpse into the past.

Five artists from across Sussex have created a series of thought-provoking and site-specific installations around the main walk route. These artworks interpret and reflect on the landscape, the natural world and our place within it. They include ‘Hearts and Minds’ by Michelle Dufaur, four huge representations of short-snouted seahorses as a portal to the King Charles III England Coast Path. Visitors will be able to interact with and learn more about each installation during their guided walks.

At the Seven Sisters Visitors Centre and Exceat, there will be further special events devised and hosted by innovative local creatives. Children will get involved by learning about local wildlife in a series of workshops created by Seaford Contemporary Illustrators & Printmakers (SCIP) and culminating in a Children’s Parade at Seaford Head on Saturday September 23. They will be joined by two local folklorists and storytellers for what promises to be a memorable and magical evening.

From prehistoric geology to futuristic technology, South Hill Barn will host the Living Coast Undersea VR Experience, an immersive virtual reality experience, which enables visitors to dive into Seaford Bay - without getting wet! - and discover the astonishing and unique marine wildlife of the area in three dimensions.

Much of Walk the Chalk’s activity takes place on a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), making this a uniquely sensitive and fascinating location. It’s also part of the South Downs National Park, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Sussex Heritage Coast and a Marine Conservation Area. What better place to celebrate our new national Coast Path, incredible local heritage and truly iconic landscape?


Great British Life: The guided walks are accessible. LYT Productions team testing out the mobility scooters. (C) Alex FranklinThe guided walks are accessible. LYT Productions team testing out the mobility scooters. (C) Alex Franklin

There are three Walk the Chalk guided walks of varying lengths, departing from three locations, led by specially trained community volunteers.

Walk 1: The main circular walk will leave every 30 minutes from South Hill Barn and takes in Hope Gap and the Coastguard Cottages before heading back up to the Barn. It will take about 1.5 hours in total. All guided walks along this route will be stewarded, with paths contained by rope and posts, to keep visitors safe. Local food and drinks stalls will be situated at South Hill Barn, with temporary toilets available to visitors.This is an accessible guided walk. An accessible toilet and all terrain mobility scooters are available. This walk starts from (main site of Walk the Chalk Celebration Week) South Hill Barn, Chyngton Lane North, Seaford BN25 4JQ

Walk 2: More intrepid walkers may like to start and end their guided tours at the Seven Sisters Visitor Centre at Exceat. These circular walks will follow the King Charles III England Coast Path along the West of the Cuckmere estuary, taking in the breath-taking meanders of the river and stunning coastal views, joining the main walk around Seaford Head and Hope Gap. The Visitor Centre has excellent facilities, including a café, shop and toilets. Seven Sisters Visitor Centre, Exceat, near Seaford, East Sussex, BN25 4AD

Walk 3: Circular walks will set off and return to The View at Seaford Head Golf Club, where visitors can collect a map and guide their own journey over the cliffs to meet up with Walk 1 around Seaford Head and Hope Gap. The View at Seaford Head Golf Club, Southdown Road, Seaford, East Sussex BN25 4JS

Book in advance at www.walkthechalk.org


Great British Life: The Sussex Coastline is among the most beautiful in Britain. (C) GettyThe Sussex Coastline is among the most beautiful in Britain. (C) Getty

How to get there

Regular, free shuttle buses will run from Newhaven and Seaford train stations to South Hill Barn, the View and Exceat throughout Celebration Week. No need to book, just look out for the Walk the Chalk signs and hop on board.

There are regular train links to Newhaven and Seaford from Brighton, Lewes, Eastbourne and beyond.

The 12A & 12X Coaster buses running between Brighton and Eastbourne stop on Chyngton Lane, a short walk from the barn. The number 12 route has been voted the second most scenic in UK.

Cycling is not permitted on the King Charles III England Coast Path or the SSSI, but there will be ample, secure cycle parking at South Hill Barn.

Car parking

From September 20 – 24, there will be no car parking available at South Hill Barn except for Blue Badge holders. Instead, limited parking will be available in the field at the bottom right of Chyngton Lane North, with vehicular assistance provided to those who can’t walk up the lane.

Limited parking is also available at the Seven Sisters Visitor Centre, The View and in Seaford Town Centre.


Welcome on all walks,but must be kept on the lead in the SSSI.


Walk the Chalk is a community arts and heritage project devised and produced by Sussex not-for-profit events company, LYT Productions in partnership with Lewes District Council. LYT Productions, the team behind 2021’s spectacular Tide Mills Project, is an inclusive and youth-led company, with over 30 dedicated team members aged 18 – 28 who share a common passion for event production.

Great British Life: Coastguard Cottages from Cuckmere Haven, where smugglers roamed at night. (C) Nigel FrenchCoastguard Cottages from Cuckmere Haven, where smugglers roamed at night. (C) Nigel French

Number 6 Coastguard Cottage.

The iconic 'cottage with the red door' at Cuckmere Haven will be opening for Heritage Open Days this year for the first time. These cottages, built in 1820 to combat smuggling, housed the military during WWII. Lucy, the Great Grand-Daughter of the last Coastguard will be there to welcome visitors. On display will be the history of the cottages and artwork by family and friends inspired by this magnificent landscape. September 9&10 and 16 & 17, 11am to 5pm https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/about