Saturday Walkers Club

South Downs Way 8 : Southease to Eastbourne Walk

2 Long Ridge walks over open downs, beautiful Alfriston for lunch, and Eastbourne pier and prom. to finish.

Length 16.5 miles / 26.5 km
Toughness 7 out of 10
Maps OS Explorer OL25 Eastbourne and Beachy Head

This walk along the South Downs Way (SDW) consists of 2 spectacular ridge walks with a picturesque village in the middle for lunch and Eastbourne promenade, beach and pier to finish. Its a long (so summer only) but very rewarding walk. The route is well waymarked, the paths are easy walking, and the route is easy to follow. The South Downs are treeless and open, so there are good views throughout.

The walk starts in Southease, right on the SDW, and climbs the first ridge straight away, up to Firle Beacon. There is an alternate start in Glynde in case the trains to Southease don't line up.

At the end of ridge is Alfriston, a pretty village in a pretty valley with a village green dominated by a large church. 2 good pubs and a village shop to choose from for lunch.

After lunch, follow the northern leg of the SDW up and over Wilmington Hill to Jevington (pub) before a final climb to head south along another ridge towards the coast.

Rather than follow the offical SDW route downhill, continue on to the coast, then follow the 'other' leg of the SDW down in to Eastbourne. Follow the prom for a swim in the sea and chips by the pier.

Walk Options
  1. Start in Glynde - similar distance - better if you have a car as there is free parking, and its a direct train back from Eastbourne
  2. Follow the southern leg of the SDW over the 7 Sisters cliffs
    • 20.5 miles
    • Toughness: 9/10 (longer, and much more hilly in the afternoom)
  3. Reverse the walk
    • Start in Eastbourne, and finish at Glynde (nice pub, more trains than Southease)
  4. Short Cut: From Alfriston, there is a waymarked valley route to Berwick Station. If this walk sounds too long for you, you could do it as 2 short walks to/from Alfriston and Berwick, i.e.
    • Southease to Alfriston and on to Berwick,
    • Berwick to Alfriston, and then on to Eastbourne

Eastbourne : 2 trains an hour (1 Sunday evening), about 1 hr 30 from Victoria

Glynde : 1 train an hour (change at Lewes) from Victoria, also about 1 hr 30

Southease : 1 train an hour (change at Lewes) from Victoria, also about 1 hr 30. Beware The last train from Southease is quite early, around 7pm. There's nothing there, so its a great place to start a walk, but a bad place to finish one

By Car: Park at Glynde Station (free), direct train back from Eastbourne.

Saturday Walkers Club

Take the train closet to 9:15 from Victoria.


Excellent Pubs in Jevington, Alfriston. Tea Rooms and Village Shop in Alfriston.

South Downs Way

This walk is one of 9 stages of the South Downs Way - a 109 mile national long distance path - that traverses the South Downs National Park in South East England.


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Out: (not a train station)

Back: (not a train station)

By Car

Start: BN8 6JS | Directions at 4pm

Finish: BN21 3QJ | [Directions] at 10am

Map Walk This walk requires an OS map and a compass or GPS for navigation. You can print out OS maps using the link above.

Start walking Large print Using GPS data

National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234



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Walk Directions  

The directions for this walk are also in a PDF (link above) which you can download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.

  1. Start at Southease Station
    • SDW: Head east - cross the road (using the new bridge), and climb the hill.
    • SDW: Follow the ridge past the readio mast to Firle Beacon.
  2. Start at Glynde Station
    • Head south along the small road, cross the A27, and continue up the car wide track.
    • SDW: At the ridge, head east along the SDW towards Firle Beacon
  3. SDW: Follow the ridge, eventually descending in to Alfriston.
  4. SDW: After lunch, cross the river, and takle the northerly SDW route towards Windover Hill
  5. Option: Detour north, over the brow of the hill to the trig point of Wilmington Hill, and WIlmington Long Man (a chalk figure)
  6. SDW: Follow the SDW to Jevington (pub)
  7. SDW: Head a few metres south along the lane, and clim back up to the final ridge
  8. SDW: Continue along the SDW along the ridge
  9. Where the SDW veers off downhill, continue south along the ridge, crossing a minor road. Ypou can see the Beachy Head pub.
  10. SDW: Meet up with the southerly branch of the SDW, and head east, straight downhill towards Easbourne seafront.
  11. Follow thw seafront to the pier
  12. Head back on yourself towards the pedestrianised shopping area and the train station