England Part 3 – White Cliffs (18-21)

Day 4 – Seven Sisters/Birling Gap April 29, 2018

We took a train from Victoria Station to Brighton, and there rented a car for our next two weeks of adventures.

Our first stop was Birling Gap, East Sussex, on the English Channel. We took a short walk along the South Downs headlands toward Belle Tout Lighthouse, and had good views to the west of the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs.

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Belle Tout Lighthouse

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Walking back to Birling Gap

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Seven Sisters chalk cliffs to the south

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Half of the near building has fallen into the sea due to cliff erosion.

We went down the cliffside staircase to the beach along the white cliffs.

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Bluebells!

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To the north – cliff edge with half missing building above

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South view from staircase

The cliffs are composed of Cretaceous chalk with flint bands and nodules. They weather to a gold color, but calve so often that they appear a beautiful stark white from a distance.  Up close, the texture is flint nodules in a chalky substrate, and the beach itself is composed of wave washed nodules.  I would notice these nodules later on our trip in the local building stone.

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Chalk/flint cliffs

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Nodules on the beach

We managed to stay just ahead of an impending storm. From Birling Gap, we drove back west to a B&B in Chawton, Hampshire. Tomorrow would be Jane Austen history day!

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