At the end of 2016, when thinking about goals for the coming year, I decided that I wanted to set a goal to have at least one good adventure a month. For the purposes of this goal, I defined an adventure to be either a hiking or camping trip, or a foreign holiday.
My flatmate mentioned that she would like to go camping for her birthday late in the month, so I decided I’d organise a camping trip for the first adventure. Unsurprisingly, not many of our friends wanted to camp with us in January, so it was just the two of us. Since I expected the weather to be cold I thought that using a campsite would be best, rather than wild camping, as we’d be able fill the car with extra bedding and drive it straight to the pitch. We decided that Seaford would be a good location for the camping trip, as both of us love the sea, and I know there’s a good campsite by the beach that I’ve used before.
When our chosen weekend arrived, the weather actually wasn’t too bad. We had some sunny, clear weather with no wind at all, but with the temperature still in single figures.
We arrived at the campsite on Saturday morning, where we had the whole of the campsite to ourselves. After setting up the tent, we headed into Seaford to eat Fish & Chips on the sea front, and of course some ice cream.
After lunch, we visited Cuckmere Haven and enjoyed one of the most iconic views in England, the Seven Sisters Cliffs.
We then headed over to Beachy Head to hike along the top of the cliffs, and watch the sunset.
The temperature dropped as it got dark, and we made our way back to the campsite to set a campfire on the beach to keep us warm while I cooked dinner on a camping stove. I say cook, but we got soup and bread from Morrisons, so I just heated up the soup. We also made s’mores (with chocolate digestives) and ate way too many toasted marshmallows.
Once we ran out of fire wood, we went back to Beachy Head to take some night shots. The clear weather and our location on the edge of the South Downs and the sea, made for a clear view of the night sky and a good chance to take photos of the stars. I even saw some shooting stars. I was hoping to get a good shot of the lighthouse, but it was a lot darker than I expected, since there was no moon and very little ambient light reaching the lighthouse. I still manage to get a few good shots though.
When we got back to the tent, there was already a little frost on the ground and on the tent. The temperature had dropped to around -4ºC, and we wondered if this was actually a terrible idea. But we climbed into our sleeping bags and blankets, wearing several layers of clothing, and went to sleep. I actually slept quite well and wasn’t too cold at all. My flatmate, however, felt the cold a lot more, and decided to go for a run around the campsite at 4am to try and warm up.
When we got up in the morning, it was another beautiful, clear winters day, everything was covered in frost and the puddles on the dirt road were frozen solid. But we had survived the night.
After shaking the frost from the tent (inside and out) and packing up, we went back to Cuckmere Haven for one last view of the cliffs before driving back to London.
The ground was still frosty, and there was a lot of haze by the sea. I’ve been to this spot so many times before, but it’s interesting how the change in weather can make the same view so different. This is definitely one of my favourite views, and I’m sure this won’t be my last visit.
We finished our trip with a McDonalds breakfast, and both agreed that camping trip was a success.