The river Cuckmere, Sussex

This is nice and pleasant short paddle, best done with the tide from either the sea or the canoe club on the meanders. you need to find the tide timetable, this can be purchased from the gift shop at the Seven sisters Country Park. If you start about an hour before high tide, this will give you sufficient time to reach the end and not have to long to wait before the tide turns. It took us about one and a half hours each way.

To start from the sea you will need to portage you canoe about a mile along a good footpath, alternatively, canoe round the sharp bend away from the canoe club house (car park, £3.50 all day) to a dead end, where you can lift out and over the levee. You are now next to the Exeat Bridge, a very busy road.

Canoeing up the river the estuary is wide, with mud banks and appropriate sea smells and on your left appears the White Horse, carved into the hill side. the river starts to narrow considerably and the next bridge is where the river is more freshwater than sea, though still tidal.

The banks of the river are now very deep with little opportunity to get out. You may see the church at Litlingon off to your right, but mostly tall bamboo plants will obscure your view. We saw or heard many people walking by the river. Aflriston church then comes into view and there is a possible get out by the white footbridge on the left. A short walk of 200 metres takes you into the village with cafes and a small shop.

You can canoe further up the river. Just above Alfriston there is a road bridge with an easy get out on the right and a good place to have lunch. After this the river is even more narrower and it would be difficult to turn round. Watch the reeds for the return journey, they will start point down stream and it is now easy to head back.

The river mouth from Seven Sisters
Possible start from the sea
Alternative start from the canoe club
Round the first meander to a short portage
Over the levee and into the river
Looking down the new cut to the sea
Exeat Bridge
Canoeing up the estuary
The White Horse
First footbridge up the river.
A possible view of Litlington
Deep bamboo groves.
First view of Alfriston
Get out for Alfriston
Just above Alfriston
Look for the rees changing direction