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A reservoir, then the South Downs Way past pretty villages (Jevington and Wilmington) and a ridge walk.
East Sussex TOCW Book 2, Walk 27 • Toughness: 7/10 • Length: 12 miles (21 km)
This South Downs walk heads from inland Sussex to the coast, taking in a variety of scenery along the way. From Berwick the walk cuts across to the peaceful birdwatchers’ paradise of Arlington Reservoir before crossing farmland towards Wilmington, then ascends to the huge chalk figure of the Long Man. From here the route continues to the historic smuggling village of Jevington, then ascends the South Downs to follow ridges of chalk grassland with views in all directions, before descending to the seaside resort of Eastbourne and the possibility of extending the walk to the dramatic heights of Beachy Head.
Note that this walk involves one busy road crossing (A27) at Wilmington.
The best walk in the book! A South Downs ridge, picture postcard Alfriston, Cuckmere Haven (beach), and cliffs with views of the Seven Sisters. Long but worth it.
East Sussex TOCW Book 1, Walk 31 • Toughness: 8/10 • Length: 14 miles (23 km)
Everyone's favourite walk in the book. It starts with a South Downs Ridge walk. Lunch is in the picturesque village of Alfriston. After lunch there is Cuckmere Haven (a pretty river valley), and a coastal cliff walk into Seaford. You can swim at Cuckmere Haven or Seaford.
Near the start, the route goes through Firle Park and then follows the South Downs Way for much of the day, with not as much climbing as Walk 25's arduous route into Hastings, and with marvellous views across the lush valleys to the north and down to the sea. There are three lovely villages to enjoy during the course of the day, all with open churches: West Firle, West Dean, and (the suggested lunchstop) the old smuggling village of Alfriston, which likes to call its church a cathedral.
There is slightly further to walk after lunch than before it. From Alfriston the route follows the riverbank through the Cuckmere Valley and through Friston Forest down to Exceat, an extinct village on the edge of the Seven Sisters Country Park, where there is a Visitors’ Centre. The Vanguard Way then leads through the Seaford Head Nature Reserve – hoopoe, bluethroat and wryneck have been seen here – to the beach at Cuckmere Haven. This is in season a good enough place to take a dip or just to enjoy a front-stalls view of the white cliffs of the Seven Sisters.
Finally there is a walk along the coastal path and down into Seaford, a seaside town with a long esplanade and reconstructed shingle beach.
An energetic walk over the South Downs with great views, 3 hills, 3 pubs, and a ridge.
East Sussex SWC Walk 47 • Toughness: 7/10 • Length: 14 miles (24 km)
This is an energetic walk (550 metres or 1,600 feet of ascent) over three distinct downland ridges, with magnificent views throughout. One of the pleasures of the walk is that the entire route is in view for much of the walk, so you can look back at the terrain you have already done or ahead to the delights to come. Navigation is easy, the walking is over wide and distinct paths, and while there are three substantial climbs, most of the walk is flat, gently undulating or downhill.
As well as plenty of grand downland walking, the route includes a start and finish in historic Lewes, quaint corners of which you see both at the start and end of the walk, an optional detour to Mount Caburn (Iron Age fort) with its dramatic viewpoint of the whole circuit, and the pleasant small village of Glynde. You also pass the remote station of Southease, with its YHA cafe nearby.
The walk passes 3 good pubs, and 3 train stations on the way (between the 3 hills, so if you want to drop out, its quite easy). You can do the walk either clockwise or anticlockwise, and directions are given for both in the attached pdf
The best walk in the Southeast! A dramatic cliff walk passing Cuckemere Haven, the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head as the South Downs meets the sea. Ends with Eastbourne's promenade and pier.
East Sussex TOCW Book 2, Walk 28 • Toughness: 9/10 • Length: 13 miles (22 km)
This classic cliff-top walk – one of the finest coastal walks in England – affords stunning (and very famous) views of the white cliffs of the Seven Sisters, and the renowned Beachy Head, before ending in the elegant seafront town of Eastbourne. There is quite a lot of climbing and descending on the walk – indeed, apart from the section around Cuckmere Haven and the finish along the Eastbourne seafront, almost none of the route is flat – but somehow in the grandeur of the scenery the effort is not noticed.
In summer, the walk also offers numerous opportunities for a dip in the sea: which is best will depend on the tide. Seaford and Eastbourne beaches can be swum at any state of the tide. At Cuckmere Haven and Birling Gap, however, there are awkward underwater rocks that are well covered at high water and exposed when the tide is out, but covered by shallow sea for a period in between; nonetheless, if you catch these beaches at the right time, they make a wonderfully scenic place for a dip.
Take care near the cliff edges on this walk, as they are crumbly and liable to collapse: the official advice is to keep 5 metres from any cliff edge (advice regularly ignored by summer tourist: but don’t copy them!).
2 Long Ridge walks over open downs, beautiful Alfriston for lunch, and Eastbourne pier and prom. to finish.
East Sussex SWC Walk 25 • Toughness: 7/10 • Length: 16 miles (27 km)
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.
3 steep hills with fine views before lunch at Devil's Dyke. A gentle ridge walk in the afternoon to Upper Beeding (short bus ride to Shoreham station)
West Sussex TOCW Book 2, Walk 23 • Toughness: 7/10 • Length: 10 miles (16 km)
It is a matter of opinion which is the finest view in South East England, but the amazing panorama from Devil's Dyke on the South Downs escarpment must surely be a strong contender. Such beauty comes at a price, however, and the area immediately around the viewpoint can be exceedingly busy on a fine weekend. However, the South Downs also afford numerous other less frequented viewpoints, and this walk introduces you to several of them, including tranquil Wolstonbury Hill and Edburton Hill.
The morning in particular is a delightful series of climbs and descents on slopes covered by rare chalk grassland. In the afternoon - which is somewhat easier on the leg muscles, though still with a couple of short uphill sections - you follow the South Downs Way for a while across Fulking Escarpment, before descending into the riverside village of Upper Beeding for tea.
Follows the South Downs Way along the ridge of the South Downs. Good views in the morning, a forested trail in the afternoon (travel by bus).
West Sussex SWC Walk 33 • Toughness: 3/10 • Length: 12 miles (20 km)
This is a ridge walk along the South Downs Way (SDW) along a good, easy to follow path. There are fine views in the moring. The afternoon is forested, so even though you're on top of the ridge, its like walking along a forested trail. There might be better views in winter
At Coking its a (regular) bus ride to Chichester. Or stay overnight, and continue along the SDW towards Petersfield
There are no pubs or other refreshment stops on this walk
If you walk in ther other direction, there is a nice pub in Amberley to finish in.
A ridge walk along the South Downs Way, passing Chanctonbury Ring.
West Sussex SWC Walk 26 • Toughness: 5/10 • Length: 14 miles (24 km)
This walk, which can be done in either direction, follows the South Downs Way (SDW). The route follows the crest of South Downs Ridge with good views in both directions, It passes Chanctonbury Ring, a ring of trees planted on the remains of an ancient Hill Fort. This spot has a beautiful 360° views, and is the recommended picnic spot.
Apart from the endings in Lancing or Shoreham, the route is very well way-marked. All the paths are wide, easy to walk on, and easy to follow. The route is almost entirely over an open, treeless, chalk ridge, which is very exposed in bad or windy weather.
At the half way point, there is a break in the ridge, where the route crosses a busy A Road. There is a longer 'via Washington alternative' which avoids this crossing, and passes a walker friendly pub.
This walk can be done with the help of an OS map (or by printing the map segments), but the instructions below alone are sufficient.