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Studying Abroad: A Day Trip to East Sussex


Beachy Head Lighthouse
Beachy Head Lighthouse

On Saturday, the international students took another day trip organized by the study abroad office to East Sussex, which is about an hour's drive from Brighton. Our first stop was Beachy Head, a beautiful, steep, chalky cliff that stretches for miles down the coast overlooking the ocean. The view from the top of the cliff spanned for miles and there was a red and white lighthouse at the bottom. The contrast made it perfect for pictures! Although Beachy Head seemed peaceful with its beautiful ocean views, our tour guide told us the cliff is a popular spot for suicides. The cliffside had no protections or barriers and on a windy or rainy day, it would be easy to fall over if you get too close to the edge. Luckily, the day we visited was sunny and warm, and apart from other tour groups, sitting in the grass at the top of the cliff was a calming experience.

St. Andrew's Church in Alfriston
St. Andrew's Church in Alfriston

After leaving Beachy Head, we drove to Alfriston where we explored St. Andrew's Church, an old chapel that dates back to the 1370s. The church was surrounded by a charming little town called Alfriston Village. It was small, but there was a range of stores like ice cream shops and unique art galleries which were fun to explore. We left Alfriston and stopped at The Six Bells, a local pub, for lunch. Back at home, pubs are usually seen as places to get a drink on the weekend, but this pub had a family-friendly atmosphere with groups of friends and families stopping by to get lunch and talk with each other.

View from Battle Abbey
View from Battle Abbey

After a delicious cheesy lasagne and a glass of wine, we headed to Battle Abbey which sits on the site of the Battle of Hastings. The Battle of Hastings in 1066 was between the British and the Norman-French army led by the Duke of Normandy, this was also the last time England was invaded. The massive castle, called Battle Abbey, was built by the Normans as penance for all the people they killed when invading the country.


We took a walk through the Abbey ruins which revealed tight spiral staircases and high parapets that overlooked the town and the battlefield. The Abbey was built with a high alter which is supposedly located on the spot where King Herold died, ending the battle. The Town of Hastings had small cafes and stores surrounding the Abbey, and it seemed easy to get to on the train or bus from Brighton.


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