4-5 miles, 2 to 2-and-a-half hours, moderate walking
pubs and tea rooms in Alfriston, and the picturesque Cricketers in Berwick and Rose Cottage Inn in Alciston, just off the main trail
accessible by bus
This walk starts in Alfriston within the South Downs National Park where you can also visit the National Trust’s first property, acquired in 1896, the 14th century Alfriston Clergy House. Heading north, you reach the downland village of Berwick where the cottage style Cricketers pub makes a good stop as does a visit to the church for a look at the murals by Bloomsbury Group artists. There are fine views later in the walk over Alfriston and the spire of St Andrew’s Church, known as the ‘Cathedral of the Downs’.
An undulating walk on to the South Downs around Hove taking in the Benfield Hill Nature Reserve. Good under foot with far reaching views, there’s lots to enjoy. The walks starts and ends at The Hangleton Manor, an old manor house, now a a pub and a grade II listed building – the the oldest domestic secular building in Brighton & Hove dating back to the 1500s. This makes the Hangleton the ideal location for a short pub walk with the option of a pint and bite to eat before or after a walk up to the Downs above Hove.
village pubs in Ripe (closed as at April 2015) and Yew tree Inn, Chalvington
An easy walk starting in the small village of Ripe, eight miles east of Lewes, along country lanes and across fields with a few stiles, taking in two attractive churches and the nearby village of Chalvington. There are views towards the South Downs. The walk starts at the currently closed Lamb Inn in Ripe and a short diversion in Chalvington will take you to the Yew Tree Inn, a friendly and traditional rural pub with good value food and a large attractive garden.
The villages of Ripe and Chalvington are close neighbours, which still retain their individual characteristics. One of the most eye-catching houses in Ripe is The Old Cottage, a 16th century timber framed building covered in a large number of carvings. The tiny church in Chalvington is unusual, being constructed of local flint from the South Downs. It has a wooden tower which has leant slightly since the Great Storm of October 1987.
Tiger Inn at East Dean, National Trust cafe at Birling Gap
The short 3 mile circular walk starts from The Tiger Inn at East Dean in East Sussex, a wonderfully situated pub on a traffic-free village green. On this walk, you still walk down to the coast but after a short coastal stretch you turn back inland (avoiding the challenge of walking the Seven Sisters but getting the view). Great downland and coastal views.
What remains of the small settlement at Birling Gap is crumbling into the sea but you should be able to visit the cafe as long as the sea has not made any further inroads!
The last of the Coastguard Cottages, Birling Gap
The alternative walk is longer with some short steep ascents along the coast as you tackle the start of the Seven Sisters.
A walk through woods, farms and fields taking in the villages of Copsale and Nuthurst, south of Horsham. The walk used to pass two pubs, The Bridge House Inn in Copsale, and the 17th century Black Horse Inn in Nuthurst. The former is no more and has apparently been demolished, though you may still spot the pub sign! The walk finishes on a short stretch of the Downs Link path on a disused railway. The Black Horse Inn grew out of three cottages built for estate workers attached to Sedgewick Park, a nearby hunting lodge used by Henry VIII.
6.2 miles (10k), 2 and a half hours for the AA walk
good pubs and tea rooms in Alfriston (note that this is a short detour off the AA walk) and Litlington (Fancy Free Walk only). Wilmington also has a pub and tea rooms, but these are a short walk away from the start/finish.
accessible by bus
The Long Man of Wilmington
A choice of two excellent walks up to some of the finest Downland in East Sussex, above the historic village of Alfriston, where there are a range of tea shops and pubs.
Both walks start in Wilmington and take you past the tiny and remote Lullington Church, built from the remains of the chancel of an earlier church that was destroyed by fire. It’s then up to the edge of Lullington Heath, a rare chalk heathland. Towards the end of the walk, you pass above the mysterious 235 foot hill figure of the Long Man of Wilmington.
The longer Fancy Free walk also takes in the downlannd hamlet of Folkington, as well as Litlington and Alfriston itself.
Follows the course of the Arun River from the riverside Black Rabbit pub along a raised bank to the small hamlet of South Stoke and d return enjoying quiet lanes and good views water meadows and towards Arundel Castle.This is one of Hall and Woodhouse’s Public House Walks.