The Lapwing Festival is a unique event on the Sussex coastline. Outstanding artists will perform in the magical setting of the Coastguard Cottages, Cuckmere Haven. Situated in a cosy, acoustic marquee with views of the cottages, the Cuckmere Valley and the cliffs of the Seven Sisters, this is the most beautiful concert venue in the world. Only 60 tickets are available for each of these incredibly intimate recitals. Profits will be donated to the Cuckmere Haven SOS campaign, which seeks to save the cottages from coastal erosion.




Providing delicious local produce

hepworth logo

Hepworth Brewery


Long Man Brewery


Providing our festival marquee

Supported by STC 2019-20

Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) - Once frequently seen and heard on the wing at Cuckmere Haven, Lapwing populations have suffered significant declines in recent years and the bird has now been given Red Status by the RSPB. The Lapwing represents the fragile and ephemeral state of the beauty of this beloved place.

Lapwing call, accompanied by skylarks, bitterns, redshanks, pheasants and sedge warblers (audio by Lawrence Shove)



Cuckmere Haven - "A breathtaking scene...", Simon de Bruxelles for The Times, April 2016

The Cuckmere Haven Coastguard Cottages were built shortly after the National Coastguard Service was founded in 1822. The Lapwing Festival is an extraordinarily intimate occasion to experience music performed by world-class musicians. Guests will be seated in a snug acoustic marquee with views of the cottages, the Cuckmere Valley, the Seven Sisters and the sea. Evening performances will be by candlelight, accompanied by the waves and, hopefully, the cry of the Lapwing.

Learn about the Cuckmere Haven
SOS Campaign

Find out more about the Cuckmere Valley



Option 1. Park at the South Hill Barn Car Park off Chyngton Way. Walk past the gate on the left and it's a ten minute walk to the marquee, on the left of the track about 100m from the cottages. A good level of fitness is required. There is limited parking at the cottages, and we must be very careful not to mark the grass on the reserve. Please contact us if you have any mobility issues. Disabled guests can be brought to the marquee by vehicle.

Option 2. Park at the Cuckmere Inn and walk twenty-thirty minutes along the Cuckmere Valley. Please note you must be on the western side of the Cuckmere River when you begin the walk!

Option 3. Public Transport: Catch a bus to the Cuckmere Inn and walk for 30 minutes on the western side of the Cuckmere River to the Coastguard Cottages. A good level of fitness is required. Alternatively, catch the train to Seaford and catch a taxi (about £10) or walk for an hour along the cliff tops. Lifts can also be arranged in advance. There are trains or train-replacement buses running from Seaford to Lewes, Brighton and beyond until late in the evening.





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Lapwing Festival 2019 Launch

June 6, 2019

Tickets are now on sale for the fourth Lapwing Festival at Cuckmere Haven, in support of the campaign to save our iconic Coastguard Cottages. This year’s festival will again be held in a cosy, acoustic marquee with stunning views of the cottages, Cuckmere Valley and the white cliffs of the Seven Sisters. Our line-up includes…

Lapwing Festival 2018: August 31st – September 2nd

July 7, 2018

We are thrilled to announce the third Lapwing Festival, running from August 31st to September 2nd, 2018. We have an outstanding line-up of artists: Maya Youssef – “the Queen of the Qanun” Manu Delago – hang drums, frequent performer alongside Bjork and Anoushka Shankar Lea Desandre (with Thomas Dunford) – mezzo soprano, exquisite performer in…

Lapwing Festival 2017 has launched!

May 10, 2017

We are thrilled to launch the second Lapwing Music Festival, taking place from September 8-10 this year at 5 Coastguard Cottages, Cuckmere Haven. Our four soloists this year include: Dr. Cheng Yu, a traditional Chinese instrument specialist Ignacio Prego, an internationally renowned harpsichordist, performing J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations Maria Martinez, a stunning Spanish cellist Special guest, Seckou…

Lapwing returns in 2017

February 18, 2017

The Lapwing Festival returns for its second year from September 8-10, 2017. Stay tuned for announcements about artists and other delights!

Lapwing 2016 a huge success!

August 10, 2016

The Lapwing Music Festival, held for the first time at the Cuckmere Haven Coastguard Cottages on August 5-7 this year, was a stunning success. Featured artists includedJoseph Tawadros, a multi-award winning virtuoso oud player and composer, Liam Byrne, professor of viola da gamba at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, John Crockatt, violinist and a member…

© Lapwing Music Festival 2018