Newhaven NCI lookout is built on the cliff top on Castle Hill 175 feet above sea level. It provides a panoramic view of Seaford Bay from Newhaven Harbour entrance to Seaford Head eastwards and to the ocean off Brighton westwards as well as to seaward into the shipping lanes of the English Channel. On a clear day, a total exceeding 400 square miles can be observed. There is very good coverage for VHF radio reception.
The lookout is of value to leisure sailors, fishing boats, swimmers, parascenders and walkers. The harbour is also used by Transmanche cross-channel ferries of LD Lines, dredgers and cargo vessels. All of this activity is logged by our NCI watchkeepers who have direct contact with all the Rescue and Emergency Services when needed.
The lookout at Newhaven was built in the early 1960s to replace a small lookout inside Newhaven Fort. Due to cutbacks over the years HM Coastguard had reduced the regular watchkeeping and only used the lookout for casualty working and in recent years had wanted to have it demolished.
With the vigorous support of local people, National Coastwatch Institution, Lewes District Council, Newhaven Town Council and the Castle Hill Group the lookout was saved. Following a meeting on Thursday, 4th June 2004, a group of volunteers signed up to join NCI, and after training, watches began in June of that year. The lookout is now leased to the National Coastwatch Institution, a registered charity, and regular watchkeeping takes place seven days a week all year.
This was the 26th Station reopened by National Coastwatch since it began in 1994 at Bass Point in Cornwall. In 2013 there are now 50 NCI stations around the UK coastline.
Reg Charity No 1159975