Birling Gap is one of my favourite places. It’s between Brighton and Eastbourne, but is unspoilt and beautiful, and owned by the National Trust. It’s part of the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs and has seen some perfect days out throughout my life, the most recent being with my Mum and kids a couple of weeks ago.
When we carried our picnic down the steep stairs to the beach the tide was coming in, so the eldest and I went for a walk through the rock pools while they were still exposed. The youngest made a pebble mountain and waited for the picnic to be declared officially open.
Later we climbed back up the stairs to go for a walk along the cliffs above the beach. As we started our walk we passed an old-fashioned red phone box, and the eldest remarked that she’d never used one. The kids then tried to phone people from the phone box – unsuccessfully because we didn’t have a BT phonecard. They found the phone very entertaining and viewed it as I probably would have done a mangle at their age.
Up on the cliffs we could see for miles in every direction. We walked as far as the old lighthouse, now a private home. There we stopped while the kids made pictures of their names out of the small chalk stones which speckle the cropped green grass.