Rottingdean and Saltdean

Book 2 Walk 24 Lewes to Saltdean
Book 2 Walk 25 Lewes via West Firle - Saltdean extension
SWC Walk 65 Southease to Rottingdean or Brighton
SWC Walk 134 Lewes to Brighton via Rottingdean
SWC Walk 213 Newhaven to Brighton and Portslade

These two eastern suburbs of Brighton both have serviceable swimming beaches, with gently shelving shingle, and quiet, friendly atmosphere. At both places you get a pleasant view of the white cliffs as you swim.

  • At Saltdean, watch out at lower states of the tide for the underwater chalk rock platform, which is too rutted to walk on comfortably and which could cut your feet or legs.

  • This is not a problem at Rottingdean, where the central of the three sections of beach (the one opposite the road ramp and toilet block) is swimmable even at low tide. But even here there are a few scattered rocks close to the shore which you have to pick your way across at very low water, and what looks like the remains of a concrete jetty (actually a framed outfall pipe) about 40 metres from the right hand edge of the central beach which is uncovered at very low tide, but invisible when the tide is a bit higher. Decaying yellow metal signs at the top of the beach roughly mark the position of this obstruction.

  • Food and drink: Saltdean has a fine beachfront cafe (the glass fronted building up the steps), but otherwise Rottingdean has the better choice of outlets. There is a cafe, two pubs and a fish and chip shop near the beach, and at least two tea rooms in the village's high street on the far side of the main coast road.

  • Also recommended is the tea kiosk at Ovingdean, about five minutes walk west of Rottingdean along the esplanade that follows the foot of the cliffs. You can also swim here at very high tide, but at low tide there is the same rock platform problem that you get at Saltdean.

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