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A Quirky Review of one of our Quirkiest Properies

belletAlone on the top of the white cliffs at Beachy Head, close to Eastbourne, sits the historic B&B lighthouse - Belle Tout. Once owned by the BBC, you may remember the mini series The Life and Loves of a She-Devil being filmed there if you are of a certain age. It was also featured in the Bond film The Living Daylights. Nowadays it is a lovingly converted unique B&B with 6 themed rooms. Choose the old keeper's room for an added authentic touch - and climb a ladder to a raised bed as the original lighthouse keeper would have done.

melMy friend, and colleague, Lisa and I were invited here to see for ourselves how it is to stay in one of QuirkyAccom's most popular and unusual properties. We were given a lovely twin room on the ground floor with quality ensuite, fluffy towels, plump pillows and crisp white sheets. We could pull up the blinds for views out to the headland.

It was a pleasure to quickly realise that Belle Tout is run in such a friendly and personable way. On arrival we were immediately offered a drink in the lounge along with other guests who wished to join and this broke the ice - making us feel quite at home. This then lead to a flurry of greetings at breakfast next day. If however, you are feeling less social you can just keep you head down and go about your own business, no problem.

Ritchie had promised a spectacular breakfast - and we weren't disappointed. Both he and Ian are chefs (who take it in turns to run the place) and their efforts to impress don't go un-noticed. First you can help yourself to fruit, yogurt and cereal and the like from the buffet. Then a full English, or special of the day, is served by cheery Louise - all with the backdrop of far-reaching views across the cliff tops. We were lucky to have the perfect weather to fully appreciate this experience.

 

 

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Our room and the view from the breakfast room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Further enhance this location by climbing one floor higher to the circular former Light Room to take in the 360 degree panorama from this vantage point.

Well fed, Lisa and I were ready for a vigorous circular hike of the area, first to Birling Gap then through farmland trails and back along the cliff until we reached the Beachy Head pub for a bit of lunch. We had QuirkyAccom topics to discuss - but having our business meeting while walking in this beautiful place I'm sure gave us extra-inspired ideas!

We kept a safe distance from the edge as around 30 cm is dropping off the cliff per year. A sizable chunk had fallen near Seaford just the week before our visit. The lighthouse has been moved once due to erosion, and will need to be moved again at some point. It was quite unnerving observing other walkers not being very cautious. Couples laying in each others arms near the edge seemingly oblivious to the potential peril - and several people alone, were perhaps deliberately being reckless with their lives. This place is renowned for suicide jumps sadly. It's a bit spooky really, but a mesmerizing and impactful place.

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This picture, right, is of where the lighthouse used to be, before it was moved. This is now right on the edge of the cliff!

 

Sunset from the Lamp room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feeling revitalised from our November walk (in t-shirts!) we returned to watch sunset in the Lamp Room. We couldn't have asked for a better experience.

Many guests obviously feel equally happy and there are plenty of repeat visitors. It is wise to book in advance for a stay at Belle Tout, particularly on a weekend, any time of the year. There is a 2 night minimum stay with prices from £155 a night. The Belle Tout Lighthouse is well worth a visit!

Adults only. No children, no pets and no stag or hen parties.