Belle Tout Lighthouse, Beachy Head, Eastbourne, East Sussex

Team Veritas have to find a message at Fuller’s Tower. If they don’t find the message before times runs out then someone is going to die!

The team check out all of Fuller’s follies, but the message isn’t at any of these locations. Then they remember another tower that Fuller was involved in building. It was a lighthouse at the top of Beachy Head Cliffs in East Sussex. Now the original building had been replaced by the famous Belle Tout Lighthouse. This is where the message is waiting!

Belle Tout Lighthouse

It was dark.
They drove through villages and hamlets and then along the coast until the cliffs pulled up as great white peaks along the shore. …

… The earth severed from the sea, gashes in the ground, scarred white with chalk.
‘It’s like the end of the world,’ said Kitty as she pulled the bike to a stop.
Brodie couldn’t answer. By the time they reached the lighthouse, a thick mist was swirling in from the sea. The sky was starless and there was no moon. Kitty kept the headlight of the bike glowing. Brodie swung down from the bike and took off her leather gloves. This was it then. Jack Fuller’s tower of light. They’d been distracted by the sights and follies of Brightling. But this was his work. The building put up in a place where he knew it would save lives.
She took off her helmet and steadied herself against the gate which marked the end of the small and rutted road leading up to the lighthouse.
It was five to midnight.
In the road stood a woman masked in shadow.

(Extract from Secret Breakers Book Four ‘Tower of the Winds.’) Show the full extract

Beachy Head is an amazing place, both beautiful and rather spooky. In summer time it is often busy with day trippers and picnickers but in winter the cliff tops can be deserted and all you can hear is the roar of the sea below. Beachy Head is the highest point along from a range of peaks called The Seven Sisters. In fact, Beachy Head itself is the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain. It is 162 feet, or 531 meters, above the sea so any walks there have to be taken with extreme care!

The area had been used as a location for several films, including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang where the flying car takes its first flight, and for the site of the Quidditch World Cup in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

There are in fact two lighthouses at this location. Belle Tout is built high on top of the cliff but because mist and clouds often obscure the light on dark and dangerous nights, another lighthouse (called more easily The Beachy Head Lighthouse) was built out in the sea at the foot of the cliffs.

Belle Tout is no longer used as a lighthouse. It’s now a Bed and Breakfast Hotel offering quite an amazing view!

You’ll see from the photos that the edge of the cliff is wearing away and falling into the sea. Because of this, Belle Tout moves closer and closer towards the edge with every year that passes. So, in 1999 the whole lighthouse was moved backwards 17 meters to try and make sure the whole building didn’t topple into the English Channel! Apparently, it can be moved back again as the cliff edge creeps ever closer. Click on the video link to find out more about how you move a lighthouse!

Having lived in Sussex for so long I have always loved Beachy Head and its unusual lighthouse on the cliff. As I explain in the Author’s Note of Tower of the Winds, right at the very beginning of the series I KNEW that Brodie would race to meet Freidman here and there would be a life and death struggle above the roaring waves of the ocean. The sea has always been important to me. And I knew that this vital scene just had to take place right here, not in fact in a Tower of the Winds…but in a fabulous Tower of Light at the very edge of the world! I hope you think I chose a good location to reveal the incredible secret that was uncovered there!

Go back to check out more locations used in Book Four.