Beachy Head: My Dream Drive

Name: Matt Bird
Where: Beachy Head road, East Dean
Car used:Nissan GT-R

Great roads certainly; this sunrise not guaranteed
Great roads certainly; this sunrise not guaranteed
The route:
"Coming from the A23 heading south to Brighton, the first sign to look for is the A27 towards Lewes. The first right after Falmer station and the AmEx stadium is for the B2123 towards Woodingdean which has some good sections in itself. Past Rottingdean (what a lovely place name!) the B-road joins the A259 along the south coast.

"There is nothing much of note as you trundle through Newhaven and Seaford. Look at the map from Seven Sisters Country Park and you can see the area is much less populated, the road tracking through Friston Forest towards Beachy Head. This is where it's far more interesting.

"The sign on the right to Beachy Head is fairly clear - it's the best part of the route, and although it rejoins the A259 all too soon and carries on to Bexhill, which is worth continuing for. The A259 goes all the way to Folkestone but I stopped at Hastings for some breakfast and then returned home."

Once you're at Birling Gap the fun really starts
Once you're at Birling Gap the fun really starts
Why it's a dream drive:
"Because it's a great coastal route. And despite being an island nation, we don't always get to experience that as much as we would like. To be on a road as the sun rises on over the Channel is a special thing to witness. Don't be distracted for too long though, there are roads to drive!

"This route is far from being the Pacific Coast highway but to run near the sea for so long (admittedly through some dull sections on occasion) is a lot of fun.

"The few miles around Beachy Head are the reason for an early-morning trundle down the A23. The star of many a magazine feature, the Birling Gap/Beachy Head loop is a fantastic section of road. There are tight and twisty sections as the road carves through the landscape, a long straight or two and some gorgeous sea views along the way. The odd bump or two keeps you on your toes. Early in the morning there's nothing to stop you turning round and doing it again either. And again. Then once more...

There's plenty to explore off the main route too. Have a look at all the little B-roads around the area, like tributaries to the main route. The B2096 runs from just past the Battle of Hastings site and there are all manner of other minor roads to keep you entertained."

Enough space (just) for a GT-R
Enough space (just) for a GT-R
Highlights and lowlights:
"Other than the Beachy Head section, it's really worth getting on the B2123 nice and early. It's not especially long but there are couple of excellent fast and flowing corners before you reach any residential areas.

"It will also put you in a good frame of mind for the tedious sections of the A259. At points its nothing more than a main road taking you through towns. It's best to see it as a way to get you the more interesting stuff.

"Make sure you drive the B2103 into Eastbourne as well. I've never before seen hairpins with a 15mph suggested speed limit. They are very tight but are a great test of braking and traction. Just don't forget it becomes a 30mph speed limit after the last one..."

No jokes about arcade games
No jokes about arcade games
Sights, stop-offs and diversions:
"If you make it to Hastings there are plenty of classic car events going on at weekends. The Sunday I was there a stunning Sierra RS Cosworth was driving along the seafront, soon followed by a Fiat 500, Mini Cooper S and Ford Anglia. There is of course one or two interesting distractions there for those into history!

"Bexhill is notable as the home of British motorsport too with a section in its museum dedicated to the early years of racing in Britain. And of course you have the myriad delights of the south coast's coastal resorts. Maybe not at this time of year though..."

Follow the route here.



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Comments (18) Join the discussion on the forum

  • chrisjpartridge 14 Nov 2014

    Used to do this route on a motorcycle years ago. Pretty good on a quiet summer evening.

  • Beer Man 14 Nov 2014

    Rather than going up the Woodingdean Road from Falmer, the better road is if you carry on the A27 to just past Lewes and take a right onto the A26. Much more fun and it also brings you out at Newhaven so you miss the 30mph drudgery from Rottingdean to Newhaven.

    but yes, that Beachy Head loop is great fun!

    Once you've done the loop......probably several times......instead of heading to Bexhill there's a VERY tight and twisty road that leads straight down into Eastbourne at the far western part of the front. EPIC.

  • pisdonthread 14 Nov 2014

    This is my stomping ground and you will often find my up doing the beachy head loop. Although the road surface is awful from Birling gap to Beachy Head.

    Personally I prefer to head through Pevensey and Boreham Street toward Battle rather than Bexhill, there are some well sighted roads there to get past any traffic

  • homologeo 14 Nov 2014

    Yep, a nice bit of road.

    It's great to let the mighty Polo 1.2 12V Twist stretch it's legs...

  • BrightonEd 14 Nov 2014

    A good drive indeed, there's lots of good roads around here. If you fancy an alternate route, head into Ditching off the A23, then take the B2116 over to Lewes where you can continue back onto the A27, or continue across country.

    And of course, the Devil's Dyke road over the Downs is a good 'un, as is the A272 - as long as you're up early enough.

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