The best Airbnb in the world

England! The land of our forefathers! The homeland! We had made it.

Our initial welcome consisted of the immigration officer giving me a massive grilling. How long are you going to stay? How will you support yourself? Are you planning to undertake any work, paid or unpaid?

Entering the UK with a stream of campervans and freight trucks

I had written on the form that I was planning to stay three months which was pretty arbitrary, really I had no idea how long I would be staying and I figured that since New Zealanders are allowed in the UK for six months it wouldn’t be a huge deal. Turned out I was wrong. I got an additional stamp on my passport to make it doubly clear that I’m not allowed to work and the immigration officer noted on the system that I was only staying for three months. Apparently if I stay longer than this it would count as overstaying and reflect badly on me for future visits. But if I had said that I was staying longer on the form I would have been grilled even more intensively and they would have wanted to see stuff like my bank accounts for proof I had the funds to support myself, so that would have been an even worse idea. Overall it the most intensive interview I’ve had entering into any country on this trip, and that includes China and Russia.

Anyway, we eventually got through and cycled to our Airbnb home for the next three nights in the town of Seaford. Our host was a retired woman called Anne who was the loveliest Airbnb host we had ever met. She was super generous, driving us places and cooking our meals. The breakfast that was included was ‘continental’ but included bread, toast, baked goods, fresh fruit, muesli, dried fruit and nuts, yoghurt, cereal, cheeses, cold meats, tea, coffee and orange juice. It was a challenge to make any sort of dent in what was provided. Plus she encouraged us to make a packed lunch and even offered to boil us eggs to take away. It was incredible and outrageous. I would have been impressed with a breakfast with half as many things. Based on the breakfast alone we would highly recommend her Airbnb┬ábut she was also just a really lovely person and had a great house.

Our first goal in England was to eat some traditional English meals since there were a few things that we were craving after months on the continent. In Seaford we managed to tick off a traditional English (well, Irish) breakfast cooked by Anne as well as fish and chips. Om nom nom.

We decided to spend the first day walking through the Seven Sisters Country Park. Anne kindly dropped us at the park entrance and we started along the walkway above the top of the Seven Sisters cliffs. It was pretty cool, the countryside was quite different to what we’d seen in France and it was our first time at the coast for a while.

Looking towards Seaford Head and the lagoon at the start of the walk

There were a few people on the walk but it wasn’t particularly busy until we reached Birling Gap. I had expected a cute little chilled out tearoom but it turned out that this is where all of the tourist buses pull up and it was crazy busy with tour groups and school children. We opted to skip a cup of tea and instead ate our packed lunch down on the beach with a view back toward the Seven Sisters that we had just walked across.

View from our lunch spot at Birling Gap

From Birling Gap we nipped up the next hill to check out a lighthouse and then decided to turn back. It had been an interesting walk but we were losing enthusiasm and running out of time to go all the way to Eastbourne. Instead on the way back we did an extra detour up to Seaford Head which seems to be a bit of a local secret. Instead of being full of tourists it was frequented by locals walking their dogs and from the top you got a great view of the Seven Sisters. Arguably it provides a better viewing angle than being on top of the cliffs.

Seven Sisters Selfie in Seaford

Having successfully avoided falling off the edge of any cliffs we headed to Brighton the next day on the bus. Or as we like to think of it, Old Brighton. We were keen to see how it compared to New Brighton in Christchurch.

Unfortunately the first scheduled bus failed to materialise and then when we did manage to get on one it gave Andy bad motion sickness, not a great start to our trip. And I think to be honest maybe Brighton wasn’t the town for us. The main attractions seemed to be the pier, museums and boutiquey little alternative shops and cafes. We wandered around to check out some of the sights, sat on the beach to eat lunch and tested out one of a cafes but we sort of exhausted our options after a few hours. I think Brighton can probably be quite cool to visit but we were just having a bit of an off day.

The Royal Pavillion in Brighton

So instead we hopped back on the bus and headed back to Seaford where Anne provided us with an enormous and delicious three course meal. Best Airbnb ever.

Ooh, and we also received the new sleeping mat that we had ordered online. No more broken mat, woop woop!

26 September 2017 Dieppe to Seaford (plus ferry) 17km
Total distance cycled: 3,152km


  1. I would like to apologise on behalf of my motherland, for treating you so poorly on your arrival :o(

  2. A retired specialist Home Economics teacher, no wonder she was such a good host !!

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