Beachy Head Lighthouse Challenge

'In light of the COVID-19 pandemic we are unable to take bookings for this year's Lighthouse Challenge.

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The first Challenge was in 2013, so it is now in its seventh year. There are very few days when it is possible to walk around the lighthouse as it has to be during spring tides, when it is light enough and on a weekend – this year it has been fixed for Saturday 04 July 2020. 

The original event was organised by the Rotary Club of Eastbourne AM in conjunction with the “Save the Stripes” campaign and supported by the Eastbourne Herald in order to raise money to repaint the Beachy Head lighthouse at a cost of around £30,000; had this not been undertaken the iconic red and white stripes would have been allowed to fade and eventually disappear. Due to the popularity of the event, Eastbourne AM Rotary club has continued to organise the Challenge each year since with the help of the many volunteers. The funds raised are partly set aside towards the next time the Lighthouse needs painting, with the balance donated to charities supported by our club, including the RNLI, St. John Ambulance and the Sussex Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus.

The arrival point will be at the kiosk at the foot of the Downs by St. Bede’s school in Eastbourne. On arrival, participants will then proceed up the lane for about half a mile to Whitbread Hollow where they will see the check-in desks alongside a gazebo. 

Once checked-in we set off across the Downs to Cow Gap (approx. 10-15 minutes), down the steps to the beach and over the rocks, boulders, sand and slippery seaweed to the lighthouse (approx. 50 minutes). Apart from the Downland stretch, this Challenge is not suitable for running due to the very slippery nature of the beach – particularly near the lighthouse. 

On return, everyone will be presented with a certificate to authenticate that they are one of the few people who have undertaken the “Lighthouse Challenge”.

Safety Guidelines

To take part in this event, you need to be reasonably fit for a mixture of walking and clambering: some of the rocks around the lighthouse are 5’ to 6’ high and, due to the seaweed, parts of the route are very slippery and the going gets more difficult the nearer to the lighthouse you get. 

We do not allow anyone under 16 years of age to go on the Challenge without being accompanied by an adult, and we generally do not advise the Challenge to be suitable for children under the age of 12 as the going is difficult near the lighthouse.

Safety is obviously paramount, and it is for this reason that we have a large team of volunteers at key points along the route to keep a good track of all participants. In addition, we have marshals to check that there is no one left on the beach, have first aid available, and both the Coast Guard and the RNLI are notified –just in case. Please read the “Information for Participants” for full information and hints, and do re-read just before you join our annual Lighthouse Challenge.


Entry Fee

There is an entry fee of £7.00 adults, or £3.50 for under 16s. which increases to £8.00 and £4.00 on the 1st. May. It is possible to register on the day, but due to the popularity of the event and safety concerns, numbers may have to be capped and no further registrations on the day would then be possible.

How to Book

Bookings are made on-line using Eventbrite. Please complete the registration form on-line and pay via PayPal. By paying, you and everyone in your party agree to be bound by the safety guidelines for the event, and acknowledge that all participants are responsible for their own safety at all times and enter and walk at their own risk. It is further understood that the organisers cannot be held responsible for any injury or loss sustained during or after this event.


FAQ’s                Checking-in Information                   Information for Participants

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(If you are a Rotarian, please name your club.)