Cuckmere Haven and the Seven Sisters Country Park is perhaps the most popular destination in all of Sussex. Encompassed by the South Down’s National Park, the white monoliths that are the Seven Sister’s rear up to greet the sea. Thousands of years ago, these cliffs were not cliffs at all, but were rather hills, just like the rolling hills of the South Downs behind them. However, their chalky composition and generations of erosion have worn the cliffs into the shape they are today, giving the impression that these once hills have been sliced in half by a knife. Today, these cliffs continue to erode at a phenomenal rate, with the chalk, formed by dead sea creatures millions of years past, offering little resistance against the fury of the sea. Not far from here, William the Conqueror landed during his invasion of England in 1066, back then the coastline looked very different. Villages, once safe and high above the water level, now lie beneath the swirling waters of the English Channel. In more recent times, since the coastguard cottages, (which now constitute one England’s most picturesque scenes, with the Seven Sisters in the background) were built, in 1822, the coastline has retreated by more than 30 metres (about 100 feet).
Still, despite the raw powers of nature at display, this geographically fascinating area is still most inviting and beautiful to behold. The exposed chalk cliffs reveal countless fossils and Cuckmere Haven behind serves as a rich habitat for countless birds and other creatures. The image of the Seven Sisters is renown throughout the world as the quintessential picture of England, in the same vein as Big Ben or the Queen’s Guard. But enjoy it while you can, because it won’t last forever.
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