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.
7 miles (AA walk) or 10-and-a-half miles or 2 walks of 6 and 6-and-a-half miles (Fancy Free Walks)
mostly easy walking
good pubs and cafes in Hartfield, ice cream vans often in car parks along route at Gills Lap and King’s Standing
Pooh Corner Shop and tea rooms/garden in Hartfiled
These walks explore the haunts of AA Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh and his much-loved friends. The AA walk takes in undulating farmland and dense woodland on its way the fine village of Hartfield and Pooh Bridge for a game of Pooh Sticks. The Fancy Free Walk replicates much of the AA walk but is far more extensive taking in more of the Classic Pooh sights such as Eeyore’s Gloomy Place, Roo’s Sandy Pit and the Enchanted Place, all landmarks in the Pooh stories. Another highlight is a memorial to AA Milne, the author of the stories (at the place where he – and Pooh Bear in the stories – used to sit) and EH Shepard , the illustrator, where there are fine views over heathland.
one fairly steep climb, can be boggy around Eeyore’s Gloomy Place!
ice cream van often in car park
These two walks are classic Ashdown Forest walks in Winnie-the-Pooh Country. This is the part of the forest that features the places that most inspired A A Milne when he wrote the Pooh stories, and is fine heathland with some excellent views. The shorter walk takes in The Enchanted Place and the Sandy Pit and is suitable for younger children, whilst the longer walk descends to the North Pole and Eeyore’s Sad and Gloomy Place. Another highlight is a memorial to AA Milne (at the place where AA Milne used to sit and Pooh bear in the stories) and EH Shepard , the illustrator, to commemorates the stories, which reads:
“and by and by they came to an enchanted place on the very top of the forest called Galleons Lap”
This is walk one in the Exploring Ashdown Forest by Foot series of attractive and informative leaflets.
Pooh Bridge is quite a walk away but only a short drive and is also worth a stop for a game of Pooh Sticks. See Pooh’s Ashdown Forest Walk for details of how to get there and for the option for a longer walk near this part of the Forest.
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.
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.
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.
accessible by bus and train – extra walk to/from station
This short circular walk from the edge of Rye passes Camber Castle and Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, and starts out by following the route of an old railway line. Camber Castle was built in 1539 by Henry VIII to defend the threat of being invaded by France and Spain, and is one of a series of forts along the south coast. The castle, once on the edge of the sea, is now two miles from the coast. It has taken around 500 years for the land to fill up with silt, and this has helped form the land that make up the nature reserve. Camber Castle is open to the public on the first Saturday of the month from July to September at 2pm for a guided tour. Admission £3 adults.
Disabled and Buggy Access: This route is possible with more robust wheelchairs and all-terrain buggies but is challenging. It is not a hard surface.
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.
pubs at East Dean and Exceat Bridge, cafes at Birling Gap and Exceat
Having walked this route recently, this is one of the most challenging walks in Sussex, but it well worth it thanks to the wonderful coastal views. It also passes through Friston Forest and the perfectly preserved downland hamlet of West Dean. The Tiger Inn at East Dean is a wonderfully situated pub on the traffic-free village green.
The walk can be walked in either direction. The prevailing winds are south westerley, along the coast from west to east. If it’s a cold windy day and this is the case, you might do best walking down the Cuckmere Valley first to the coast, and then onto Birling Gap and back through the Forest. Look out for the wind effect on hill-top hawthorn bushes and trees.
A short circular walk, almost half of which is along one of the few stretches of unspoilt Sussex coastline. It starts from the beach car park at Climping, heading inland and across fields before heading back along the coast with its shingle and (at low tide) sandy beach, backed by sand dunes, a rarity in Sussex.