Fairlight Glen

Walks: Winchelsea to Hastings, Winchelsea to Hastings via Three Oaks, Hastings to Rye

Fairlight Glen is the only place between Hastings and Pett Level where you can get down to the seashore, though the crumbling cliffs make it slightly perilous. Your reward is a long curving pebble beach backed by high wooded cliffs that has a wild and secluded air unlike any in the south east. For this reason, it is also popular with naturists.

  • The path down to the beach takes some finding. The turning off the coast path is in a wooded gully in the second major dip in the cliffs when coming from Hastings, at a point where the path crosses a stream. The path is no longer fenced off, but a sign warns you that you use it at your own risk. Use your own judgement here, as this is an unstable coast where landslips often happen, but the naturists that use this beach seem to keep this path in good repair.

  • Watch out for underwater boulders. There is a band of them 30-40 metres wide right along the shoreline, but at high tide they are covered by a reasonable depth of water - at least in the centre of the beach (ie, just to the left when you get to the bottom of the path). For two to four hours before or after high tide the boulders are a real difficulty, however. If you can pick your way out beyond them (easy enough at low tide) the beach is sandy and swimming is easy.

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