As today is the first day we’ve had any sun for what seems like ages, we made the most of it. We left the dogs at home after a walk, then drove the 30 minutes to Beachy Head. Luckily we brought scarf, gloves and hats as it was still a tad windy up there.
It is such a beautiful coastline, hence the name. Courtesy of www.beachyhead.org.uk we found out, “The name Beachy Head has nothing to do with a beach, but is in fact a corruption of the original French words Beauchef (13th Century) and Beaucheif (14th Century) meaning ‘beautiful head(land)’.”
While researching the area before we went, we also looked up www.bhct.org.uk as we’d seen some coverage of this wonderful charity on TV a while back. They exist to help people in distress who have come to the cliffs in contemplation of committing suicide, aiming to help save lives. When you arrive at Beachy Head you can park in the main car park (80p for 30 mins, £1.40 for two hours) and right next to it is the Countryside Centre and the Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team headquarters. There is also a telephone box with the number of the Samaritans prominently displayed.
On a more positive note, we strolled over to the cliff edge where there is a memorial to Bomber Command. It was erected in July of this year, the only operationally relevant monument to the 110,000 RAF personnel who flew with Bomber Command. Of those, 55,573 never returned (www.bombercommandtribute.org.uk) with the white cliffs of Beachy being their last glimpse of Britain. It is astonishing that it has taken nearly 70 years for a permanent memorial to be made.
Having paid our respects, we wandered further along the coastline and took some amazing shots of both the cliffs and the sea, whilst slowly freezing!