Views & Icons
The iconic image of the South Downs is the rippling wall of chalk stretching to the horizon at the Seven Sisters. These monolithic peaks and dips are the remnants of dry valleys gradually being eroded by the sea.
The views and iconic features of the South Downs National Park have become engrained in local culture, but if you want THE photo you’ll need to cross the river Cuckmere to Seaford Head. From here you gain the full eastwards panorama of the chalk – definitely scrapbook material.
On a smaller but no less impressive scale Alfriston in the Cuckmere Valley is one of the best preserved villages in the National Park and home to timber-clad buildings and a traditional flint walled church.
You’ll also find the exquisitely thatched Clergy House, the first property bought by the National Trust in 1896 (for the princely sum of £10) and more tea rooms and traditional pubs than you can shake a stick at.
For a last iconic interlude, you’ll need to head inland to the pretty village of Wilmington and its enigmatic chalk guardian, the Long Man. Whilst you can get right up close to inspect the 235 foot giant figure incised into the hillside, the iconic view is from the lane below. There are many stories behind the Long Man’s creation so you’ll have to choose which one you think best fits your experience of this huge strangely enigmatic figure.