undeveloped coastline on the South Coast.
Coastal erosion has already removed some of the row of coastguard cottages built in 1878, and those that remain are still inhabited. There is a cafe, shop and visitor centre there, run by The National Trust, and a large metal staircase leading down to the enclosed pebble beach and the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs. It is likely that soon it will no longer exist because the amount of erosion is so large that all the houses will have to be demolished before they fall into the sea, and because the houses are not worth enough, the Government will not place a sea defence in the way. If walkers are cut off at high tide, they can climb the ladder, which is replaced often, to Birling Gap.#more
The beach, which was awarded the Blue flag rural-beach award in 2005, is advertised by Naturist UK. It has a large number of rockpools.
Noted artist Jean Cooke lived in two cottages at Birling Gap. She painted the seascape there and died in 2008 while looking at the sea.
(Photo: colour adjusted)