The Seven Sisters

_ds85863The Seven Sisters is the name given to an iconic, undulating line of chalk cliffs stretching for about two miles westwards from the Birling Gap to Cuckmere Haven on the South East coast of  England.

They form part of the South Downs Country Park and lie on the route of The South Downs Way that stretches from Beachy Head, two miles further east of Birling Gap,  westwards to the Itchen Valley, close to Winchester in Hampshire – over a hundred miles distant.

This image was taken yesterday on a glorious November day from near Birling Gap. The Seven Sisters fill the centre of the frame, furthest away and left of centre are the cliffs of Seaford Head.

The tide was out, and although you can’t see it in this image, there is an area of sandy beach approximately where people can be seen in the middle distance. Seawater had pooled in sandy ripples and there were some unexpected and beautiful reflections. Real bonuses that will be the subject of further posts.

Meanwhile this is unashamedly one of those classic shots that has been taken many times before by countless photographers, but not previously by me.

As always, click on the image to see a higher quality enlargement.


About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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18 Responses to The Seven Sisters

  1. Love the angle on this shot. Nicely done.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks very much for your comment, Donna. I wanted to find a foreground for this image and hunted down some chalk boulders. Once upon a time these were part of the cliffs.

  2. The cliffs are so beautiful contrasting the blue water and green grass

    • LensScaper says:

      Thank you Jengary. These cliffs would never have become such an iconic feature of the coastline if they had been composed of grey or brown rock. As you rightly point out it is the contrast that is so eye-catching.

  3. Louise says:

    It’s a beautiful area Andy , the whiteness of the chalk on a bright day is quite a sight ! Have only visited a couple of times but I could see countless opportunities for pictures . I don’t think we should be fazed by the ‘familiar’ a good view is a good view , but I do know exactly what you mean:) What a gorgeous day it was yesterday so mild too !

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks very much for that, Poppy. It was a beautiful day for mid November, I half expected a stiff on-shore breeze would make it feel quite cold but that was not the case at all. We knew that low tide would coincide with our visit that day, which was an added incentive to go there rather than somewhere else. Well worth the visit. Now I must get to Cuckmere Haven with its meandering river.

  4. shoreacres says:

    The photo is just wonderful. I especially like the algae on the rocks. Combined with the blue skies, that bright, vivid green is a perfect complement to the cliffs.

    Now, here’s the real delight. When I saw the phrase “chalk cliffs,” I stopped and headed straight for a page that would explain their formation. I found that they were formed during the Upper Cretaceous period. So what? you might ask. As it happens, while i was on my trip, I came upon my own group of Upper Cretaceous period chalk formations — in the middle of Kansas. Yes, I have photos. What a connection this is — there’s always some new delight to find in this world.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks so much, Linda. You can see where the high water mark is by the presence of the green algae, as you will know of course.
      Chalk Cliffs in Kansas? I would never have thought it. Getting close up to the cliff in the right of the picture there were thin dark horizontal lines visible in places – you can just see part of one close to the bottom of the cliff at the right edge of the image. Those dark lines are composed of Flint. There are Flint stones scattered through all the chalk, but these bands show that there were periods when Flint alone was deposited or ‘laid down’: Flint being ‘a hard, sedimentary cryptocrystalline form of the mineral quartz’. And Flint was shaped by our ancestors into arrow heads and cutting tools many millennia ago.

  5. Nicely sharp from front to back. Well done.

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