5 min read

Shelli’s 40th – Day 1

Day 1 Of The Birthday Celebrations

Unlike my 40th Birthday, where we spent a week in Morocco trekking in the Atlas Mountains and climbing Mount Toubkal, Shelli wanted something different for her 40th Birthday. Something a whole lot less scary than being blown off the side of a mountain! So, a long weekend away was booked at the Belle Tout Lighthouse at Beachy Head.

We waited for the Friday rush hour to die down and headed off in the car to Hove station so that we could park up (cheaply) and stroll along to Brighton. This was a great nugget of information to save on the extortionate parking charges in Brighton, given to us by one of Shelli’s friends. It was a lovely day so a nice stroll along the front and back would be just what we needed after the drive down.

As we weren’t in any rush I punched in the destination in my car sat nav and set it to avoid motorways, with the hope that it’d take us on a nice drive through the countryside to get down to the coast.

We weren’t disappointed. The drive down was lovely, even if some of the roads it took us on were an “interesting” choice; quite a few single track lanes were included on our magical mystery tour! We made it though, parked up in the station car park, and hit the streets to get down to the sea front and along to Brighton.

It was a glorious afternoon and the walk was indeed what we needed after the drive down. After getting through the busy high street in Hove things quietened down until we got into Brighton proper. The glorious sunny weather had everyone out enjoying the seaside. It was packed!

We took a break at one of the little restaurants along the front – outside obviously – and enjoyed a spot of late lunch and a pint to properly start the Birthday celebrations.

There must have been a conference on nearby as there we a lot of people wearing name badges looking for somewhere to have some lunch. I think we got there just in time? Even so, there was a bit of a wait for our food, not that we were bothered as we were enjoying a chilled out afternoon in the sun.

Fed and watered we took a stroll along the pier and then headed back to the car to make our way to the Belle Tout Lighthouse to check in for the weekend. It wasn’t a long drive (about 20 miles) and we took the executive decision to take the coastal road to enjoy the scenery. A great idea until we came to a complete standstill as we made our way into Peacehaven – doh! I did my best to make my way around the worst of the traffic jam – to some success – and it wasn’t too long before we were heading up the track to the lighthouse.

As we were unloading the bags from the car we were greeted – by name – by Ian who helped us with our bags up the stairs to our room. You don’t get that in many B & B’s do you?!

We were staying in the Keeper’s Loft; the original lighthouse keeper’s bunk room! In no way could the room be called big (we knew this before booking) and the bed was up a step ladder! I’m sure for a lot of people this room would have been the worst thing ever but for us, it just added more magic to the weekend because of its uniqueness. It was perfect!

Unpacked and freshened up, we headed up to the top of the lighthouse to take in the views. They were stunning, made all the better for the slowly setting sun.

For dinner we’d planned on a little stroll up to The Beachey Head pub, a couple of miles along the South Downs Way. The sun was getting lower and lower as we made our way to the pub, giving us some spectacular views back to the lighthouse.

The food was good, as was the beer, and we had a lovely couple of hours sitting and chatting before we headed out into the dark (torches on) and back to the lighthouse.

It was an absolutely amazing start to Shelli’s Birthday weekend!


Route Details

If you’re interested you can download the KML file and/or GPX file of the plotted route. Please be aware though that the route was hand-plotted and so may not be 100% accurate.

Route Map

Elevation Details

Start Elavation (m) End Elavation (m) Max Elevation (m) Min Elevation (m) Total Climb (m) Total Descent (m) Climbs on Route
26 26 149 155 2 277 -277

Climb Details

Rating Start Point (miles) End Point (miles) Length (miles) Start Elevation (m) End Elevation (m) Average Grade
5 0.45 1.73 1.28 5 153 4.6%

More information about climb ratings can be found at Map My Walk.