Despite the bitterly cold winds and freezing temperatures, when the sun comes out in Brighton, so do we. Nothing is better than a Sunday walk along the Undercliff Walk
With never ending layers of clothing covered by thick winter coats, we jumped in the car with one bike and one scooter to the Marina. Parking is free and it’s relatively easy to find a spot in the multistorey’s awkward and narrow spaces. It’s the perfect starting place for the Undercliff Walk which stretches all the way to Saltdean if you’re up for 4.5km of fresh air. With two pairs of little legs we had more modest plans. A jaunt in the sun, turn back to the Marina for a budget Sunday lunch.
Access to the Undercliff Walk from Brighton Marina can be found at two main points. Firstly from the far end of the Asda car park, opposite the opening to the tunnel leading to Black Rock. The other is from the opposite end of the Marine Village behind the boat yard. Cycling is permitted along the Undercliff Walk but pedestrians have priority, so at peak times cyclists shouldn’t expect to gain momentum. But it is a gentle flat route to Rottingdean avoiding the steep inclines of the A259 clifftop cycle path.
We headed towards Ovingdean Gap where there’s an outdoor cafe and one of the few accesses back up to the cliff top. A mixture of dog owners, families and walkers congregate to grab hot drinks, snacks and sandwiches. There’s a row of plated homemade cakes greeting you at the serving hatch, we resisted but only because we hadn’t had lunch.
We drank our take away coffee on the beach, basking up the winter sunshine while the kids burned energy chasing waves and throwing pebbles. The coastline view is utterly beautiful, showing clearly the cliffs and magnificent sea wall structure. The Brighton to Newhaven Cliffs is a Site of Special Scientific Interest which means it is protected area. Throughout the seasons you can see wildlife, particularly birds nesting in the cliffs.
Soon enough, even kitted in thermal garb, the cold got to us and we had to keep moving, back to the Marina to grab a hot lunch. Sadly frequenting a local business for food at the Marina Village is nigh on impossible, as it’s mainly chains, so our next best choice is the West Quay. The food isn’t legendary but it’s good value and they cater well for families.
Our cheeks were still glowing when we headed home, our bodies energised from the sea air. It was the perfect way to spend a bright winter’s day with the family.
Read more on the Brighton and Hove City Council’s webpage about the transformation of the cliffs and how the Undercliff Walk project developed.
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