long man's walking guide to Sussex

A Compendium of Sussex Walks

Tag: south downs (page 1 of 3)

The Egrets Way

Egrets Way Sign
The Egrets Way, Ouse Valley Cycle Network

  • variety of walking, cycling and accessible routes
  • still under development so check the Ouse Valley Cycle Network website for latest
  • mostly flat
  • accessible by bus and train

disabled access signtrainbuscup of teacycle

The Egrets Way is a new and developing network of interlinking, safe and accessible cycle and walking routes within the Ouse Valley between the County Town of Lewes and the channel port of Newhaven including the parishes of Kingston, Swanborough, Iford, Northease & Rodmell, Southease, and Piddinghoe.

Egrets Way at Southease

The South Downs Way intersects The Egrets Way at Southease

The way is already providing some safe and accessible walking and cycling routes, and much of it will be suitable for buggies, wheelchairs, mobility scooters and child cyclists. To date, paths have been completed running from Kingston to Lewes and also from Rodmell to Southease. Now the project is continuing the process of constructing the path, which will largely run alongside the River Ouse.

For the latest information, check the The Egrets Way website by the Ouse Valley Cycle Network.

 

Alfriston and the River Cuckmere

Church of St. Andrew, Alfriston, England Crop - May 2009

Alfriston and the River Cuckmere (South Downs National Park, PDF)

  • 6.4 miles, 10.3k with shorter circular options
  • pub and tea rooms in Alfriston, Seven Sisters Visitor Centre and Litlington.
  • riverside, quiet roads and downland walking with several stiles and short steep climbs
  • accessible by bus

buscup of tea

A varied walk which takes in the historic downland village of Alfriston, the River Cuckmere, Friston Forest, the hidden flintstone village of West Dean, and the small attractive village of Litlington, where there is a choice of two good places to stop for refreshments – the Plough and Harrow pub and Litlington Tea Gardens (summer only).

Along the way, you’ll also visit the hill of High’n’Over, known for its White Horse (an impressive but relatively recent creation) carved into the hillside on the way up.  During the 19th century, the horse was cut into the downs to the west of the village, replacing an earlier one known to have been present from some years earlier. From the top of the hill, there are fine views over the Cuckmere River, Friston Forest and the village of Litlington.

For an alternative walk in the area, you could try the National Trust’s Over Hill and Under Vale at Frog Firle Farm.


Alfriston Clergy House Walk

Alfriston Clergy House

Alfriston Clergy House Walk (National Trust)

  • 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

buscup of teahistoric attraction

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’.

Hangleton Manor Walk

Hangleton Manor Walk (Hall & Woodhouse, PDF)
Hangleton Manor pub

  • 2.8 miles, 70-90 mins
  • moderate walk up to the Downs
  • starts and ends at the Hangleton Manor pun
  • accessible by bus

cup of teahistoric attraction

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.

Hangleton Manor history (Wikipedia)

 

Walks on the Slindon Estate

Slindon Wood - geograph.org.uk - 166111
Slindon Estate Walks – Treasures in Trust (AA) and A Walk with Views (Guardian Great Britsh Walks)

  • 6 miles, 3 hours (Guardian walk) or 4 miles, 2 hours (AA Walk).
  • moderate downland walking
  • a tea room in Slindon, and pub nearby
  • accessible by bus

cup of tea

The Slindon Estate, 7 miles from Chichester and managed by the National Trust,  is an impressive 1,400 hectares of woodland, downland, farmland, and parkland. it includes the very attractive flint village of Slindon itself with lovely houses and a fine setting at the foot of the South Downs. Two walks are offered here to make the most of it.

This Guardian walk, featured in its Great British Walks Guide in 2012,  captures the grand scale and variety of the Estate. Beginning at the village, it heads north towards Bignor Hill, through sun-dappled woodland, and down the route of the famous old Roman road of  Stane Street past fields of downland  sheep. The route’s description leaves something to be desired, so make sure you have an OS map with you (and it’s probably best working out the route in advance on the OS map).  You’ll probably go wrong otherwise, particularly as some steps seem to be missing i.e. getting from Stane Street to the 6 Posts sign!

The shorter AA walk provides an easier woodland walk, but still offers some  fine views.

Note that the Newburgh Arms, mentioned in the AA walk, is now sadly shut. The Spur, a traditional pub with a skittle alley, is a detour away along the A29. The village also lost its post office and shop in recent years, but a a new community shop and licensed cafe opened in 2012 at the Slindon Forge in Reynolds Lane, going away from the village towards the A29.

Amberley, Burpham and North Stoke Walk

Burpham Church

Burpham Church

Amberley, Burpham and North Stoke Walk (PDF, Souths Downs National Park)

  • 10 miles, 5 hours, with a shorter option for a 2.5 mile Amberley Walk.
  • downland walking, no stiles, some gates
  • plenty of pubs and a tea room at Amberley and by Houghton Bridge near the station, plus The George at Burpham.
  • accessible by bus and train

traincup of tea

This is an area of fine downland walking with river valley views, and picturesque villages. The popular pub, The George in the attractive village of Burpham (Local tip: Burpham is pronounced ‘Burrfam’) makes a convenient stopping point at about the halfway mark. Amberley village is a little detour but is a picture postcard village of thatched flint cottages.

Amberley Museum and Heritage Centre, near the start/finish of the walk, is a 36 acre open air museum dedicated to the industrial heritage of the south east. The main chalk quarry at the museum is famous for being the location of the mine in the James Bond film View to Kill. The Bridge Inn and Riverside Cafe Bar are at the start/finish of the walk situated by the river.

For a bit of luxury and history, stay in nearby Amberley Castle!

Note that Amberley Station is at Houghton Bridge, a 15 minute walk away from the village. To visit the extremely attractive and mostly traffic-free village, you’ll need to detour from the main walk or you could do the short walk instead or if you’re feeling fit, add it on to the main walk.

 

 

 

Hassocks to Wolstonbury Walk

Jack and Jill windmills from Wolstonbury Hill

Jack and Jill from Wolstonbury Hill

Wolstonbury Walk (PDF, Visit Hassocks)

  • 5 miles circular walk
  • one steep climb to the top of the hill
  • pub and cafe in Hassocks, Jack and Jill pub at Clayton.
  • accessible by bus and train

trainbuscup of tea

Wolstonbury Hill was a bronze age encampment and juts out from the main ridge of the downs to provide excellent views over the Weald and along the downs, as well as towards Brighton and the sea. This is Walk 5 of the ‘Circular Walks Around Hassocks’ series of walks by the Hassocks Community Partnership. The bridleway at point 3 is often very muddy.

Jack and Jill Windmills Walk

Clayton Church

Hassocks Jack and Jill Walk (PDF, Visit Hassocks)

  • 4 miles circular walk
  • one steep climb to top of downs
  • pubs, cafes and toilet in Hassocks, Jack and Jill pub at Clayton.
  • accessible by bus and train

trainbuscup of tea

A Short Walk of 4 miles (6.4km) from Hassocks Railway Station and on to the South Downs to visit  the Jack and Jill Windmills high above the small hamlet of  Clayton. Make sure you visit the church of St John the Baptist in Clayton to see its rare 12th century wall paintings, painted by monks from Lewes Priory.

This is Walk 2 of the ‘Circular Walks Around Hassocks’ series of walks by the Hassocks Community Partnership. Walk 1 covers some of the same ground and features Butcher’s Wood, a lovely wood, especially in Spring when its floor is carpeted with bluebells and wood anemones.

Cissbury Ring Circular

Cissbury Ring ramparts
Cissbury Ring Circular (Argus)

buscup of tea

This is a walk from the  northern edge of Worthing, up on to the lower slopes of the Downs, climbing all the time on a well-graded path, to the ever-prominent Cissbury Ring, before heading back down on a different downland path. Cissbury Ring is is the largest hill fort in Sussex, the second largest in England, and is truly impressive in scale. Set high up on a chalk promontory, its ditch and ramparts enclose about sixty-five acres, and on a clear day there are views across to the chalk cliffs beyond Brighton and as far as the Isle of Wight.

 

Birling Gap Walk from the Tiger Inn

Tiger Inn, East Dean
Birling Gap from the Tiger Inn (National Trust)

buscup of tea

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!

Birling Gap

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.

For a more challenging walk in this great area for walking, try the Friston Forest and the Seven Sisters Walk which takes in all the Seven Sisters.

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