Cuckmere Haven


Situated east of Brighton on the south coast of England, Cuckmere Haven sits in the midst of the iconic chalk cliffs and the South Downs national park. The Cuckmere valley is a stunning wetland environment that has salt marshes, saline lagoons, shallow wetlands, and wet grasslands.

But….. it is incredibly popular with tourists and locals alike, and to enjoy the stunning landscape fully I like to have it all to myself (almost anyway).

An early start (in May, that means up at 4AM) gets you to the Coastguard cottages car park just outside Seaford before Sunrise.

Image from Google Maps.

A short walk through the pre-dawn light brings you to the cliffs overlooking the sea and the Cuckmere estuary. It’s a beautiful and tranquil time, with the wildlife around you just waking up. Then comes the sunrise over the far side of the valley, and it looks like the hills are on fire. And the best thing of all is you get to revel in this majestic spectacle all by yourselves.

By this time it was about 5.45Am and this was the cue for the birds, rabbits, and insects to wake up fully. The quiet soon disappeared beneath a growing cacophony of bird song, and insect buzzing.


A truly beautiful place, and well worth the early start to the day.


All images are copyright S Hall.