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Cuckmere Haven, Seaford

#3 of 14 in Things to do in Seaford
Beach · Nature / Park
Cuckmere Haven is an area of flood plains in Sussex, England where the river Cuckmere meets the English Channel between Eastbourne and Seaford. The river is an example of a meandering river, and contains several oxbow lakes. It is a popular tourist destination with an estimated 350,000 visitors per year, where they can engage in long walks, or water activities on the river. The beach at Cuckmere Haven is next to the famous chalk cliffs, the Seven Sisters.At low tide, one can spot ironwork in the sea close to the river mouth. This is the wreck of the Polynesia, a German sailing ship that ran aground in April 1890 west of Beachy Head; it was laden with a cargo of sodium nitrate.HistoryThe beach was commonly used by smugglers in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. For example, in 1783 two gangs of smugglers (each numbering 200 or 300) overcame officers of the law by weight of numbers and carried away a large quantity of goods.In the Second World War, the site was studied by the Luftwaffe as they flew missions to identify potential landing sites for the invasion of the UK mainland. As a result, the British constructed a series of counter-landing defences, of which numerous pillboxes, anti-tank obstacles, ditches and tank traps survive. Admiralty scaffolding blocked the inlet, but is now gone. Cuckmere Haven featured heavily in the war effort: at night lights were placed to confuse bombers into thinking they were above Newhaven and an airfield was set up further inland. In addition to the permanent land-based constructions, the river was heavily mined.
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Cuckmere Haven reviews

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177 reviews
  • Visited today after reading reviews. Shortist trip ever. Unsignposted cattle gate ment my dog on a long lead ran over and caught his leg, resulting in a cut and a back track to the car. We did not...  more »
  • Exercise in the wind. Minus 2*c today but as always very beautiful. The edge of the cliff appears to be very insecure, so stay well away from the edge  more »
  • We had bad weather today but still a great place to walk. Follow the the path to the left of the river then the steep climb up the cliff. Continue to walk along the Seven Sisters
  • Free parking. Stunning views. Lovely walks. However wheelchair users or anybody wobbly on their feet would not be able to access the beach. It is all big stones and pebbles. Path down very stony too. Dog friendly. Can swim in both sea the river running to the sea. Cliff top walks too.
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