South Downs Saga

I recently finished the Forsyte Saga (all three novels and two interludes) by Nobel Laureate John Galsworthy. We just traveled to the U.K. back in June so reading about the characters living the landed gentry life in London was a trip down memory lane. 

When one of the characters goes down “south” to see his cousin who lived near South Downs, I was reminded of my visit to South Downs and wanted to share that experience with you.

The White Cliffs of Dover are famous. So on our trip to the U.K. we wanted to visit Dover. To squeeze it into our itinerary, however, we would have had to drive three hours from Brighton to Dover and then 2 more to get to London.

Luckily, we found out about white cliffs just 30 minutes from Brighton – Beachy Head, thanks to Rick Steves England.

My husband and I and my mom and dad (who joined us for this trip) drove there one morning and parked in a field turned parking lot at Beachy Head. It turns out that these white cliffs are in some ways better than Dover because there is easy access to the beach below via stairs giving you views of the cliffs from below and above.

Bogdan and I have seen our fair share of natural wonders, but these cliffs were one of the most unusual and striking. Made of chalk, they towered above us, blindingly white and leaving a chalky feel on everything. The chalk is very fragile and prone to breaking (the boulder-sized chalk scattered along the beach were a clue), so we walked the beach at our own peril.

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And, yes, it is chalk. Like chalk in a classroom. We tested it.

After dad and Bogdan tested the water (it was cold), we spent some more time admiring the cliffs from above, walking on a sliver of the 100 mile South Downs Way.

My dad, the daredevil, kept getting dangerously close to the cliffs’ edge, which was tempting to do because the views were spectacular.

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But you could definitely admire from a safe distance and we did. For a long time. It was hard to pull yourself away.

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About Stephanie Y.

I'm a professional news writer in Frederick, Maryland. I blog at S.Y. Ciphers.

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