Birling Gap Beach

The beach at Birling Gap is set at the base of the imposing, sheer chalk cliffs known as the Seven Sisters. Despite being set between the well known seaside resorts of Eastbourne and Brighton this is one of the longest stretches of undeveloped coastline on England’s south coast.

Birling Gap beach is a mix of mostly pebbles which give way to the occasional patch of sand. As the tide goes out rocky platforms are revealed which provide an array of rock pools to explore.

Access to the beach is via a sturdy tower staircase from cliff level. At the top you will find the pleasant weatherboarded National Trust cafe along with a car park and row of cottages which is slowly disappearing into the sea as the cliffs erode.

The white chalk cliffs here are white for a reason, and that is the rate at which they are eroding; up to a metre a year in places. As well as meaning the cottages are falling into the sea the unstable cliffs also present a significant danger to anyone standing too close.
Birling Gap’s cliffs are also of some geological interest and are a fine example of sedimentary layers. The beach is also a good place for fossil hunting.

Certain areas of Birling Gap beach are used by nudists. These tend to be a respectable walk west (or right) of the access steps down to the beach.

Just over a mile east of Birling Gap the white chalk cliffs rise to to 531 feet (162m) above the English Channel below. This is Beachy Head, the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain and notorious suicide spot.

Type of beach

Sand & shingle

Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

We do not have information on this beach but restrictions may apply (usually from Easter until the end of Summer)

East Sussex dog friendly beaches »


  • Kayaking/canoeing
  • Kite surfing
  • Rock pooling
  • Surfing
  • Wind surfing


  • Cafe/restaurant
  • Toilets

Nudist/naturist beach


Nearest town



BN20 0AB

OS grid ref.

TV 5537 9599


Free car parking is available.

Water quality

Water quality star rating


Marine Conservation Society Recommended

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Birling Gap Beach Reviews

stunning views

Aug 02nd 2019

I visit today for the first time today and was totally blown away with how stunning this place is. the views are fantastic. very calming and relaxing place. I definitely intend on visiting again.

What did we get wrong?