GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Alfriston Circular Walk

11 miles (18 km)

The riverside village of Alfriston is located in a wonderful spot for exploring the South Downs. This circular walk visits some of the highlights of the area including Cuckmere River and Cuckmere Haven, Seven Sisters Country Park, Long Man of Wilmington and Friston Forest. The route runs for just under 12 miles, using sections of The South Downs Way National Trail and other public trails and paths that run through the countryside to the east of Alfriston.
The walk starts on the eastern side of the village where you cross the river and pick up the South Downs Way trail. Follow it north east and will climb to the Long Man on Wilmington Hill. The striking hill figure is thought to have originated in theIron Ageor even theneolithicperiod. From the hill top there are fine views over the Downs to the coast.
The trail then heads south and the west to visit the Lullington Heath Nature Reserve. It's a lovely area made up of chalk heath with heather, bell heather and gorse bushes.
The trail then skirts the edge of the expansive Friston Forest before heading through the Seven Sisters Country Park to Cuckmere Haven.
The route then heads back to Alfriston, passing Charleston Manor before a final riverside section leads you back into the village.

Alfriston OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Alfriston Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking

Walks near Alfriston

  • Firle Beacon - This circular walk takes you to the splendid Firle Beacon in the South Downs
  • The South Downs Way - This beautiful 100 mile long trail runs from Winchester to the coastal town of Eastbourne
  • Vanguard Way - This trail runs from the outskirts of London, through Ashdown Forest, Alfriston and Cuckmere Valley to the stunning East Sussex coast.
    Route highlights include the lovely Ashdown Forest, the White Horse near Alfriston and the wonderful final coastal stretch that gives views of the Seven Sisters Cliffs and Tidemills beach
  • Lewes to Alfriston - A lovely walk from Lewes to Alfriston, first following the River Ouse before picking up the South Downs Way
  • Cuckmere River and Cuckmere Haven - This lovely waterside walk takes you along the Cuckmere River from Alfriston to the beautiful Cuckmere Haven on the south coast
  • Seven Sisters Country Park - Explore nearly 700 acres of parkland and coast on this delightful circular walk through the South Downs
  • Long Man of Wilmington - Climb to this iconic hill figure on Windover Hill on this splendid circular walk in the South Downs
  • Friston Forest - Enjoy miles of cycling and walking trails in this large forest on the South Downs near Eastbourne
  • Seaford to Eastbourne - This is a popular coastal walk between these two East Sussex towns

The George Inn is a historic pub of some note. It dates all the way back to the 14th century and has a charming interior with low beams and a roaring fire. Outside there's a lovely beer garden to relax in on warmer days. You can find the pub on the High Street at a postcode of BN26 5SY for your sat navs.

The area is excellent for dog walking with open countryside trails and nice woodland paths in Friston Forest. The George Inn mentioned above is also dog friendly.

Back in the village be sure to enjoy a stroll around the Tye where you'll find a picturesque village green and an historic Saxon church. There's also theAlfriston Clergy House which dates from the 15th century and was the first property to be purchased by the National Trust. It has a thatched roof, timber-framedwalls and a pretty garden which is well worth seeing.
For another nice circular walk from the village head up to nearby Firle Beacon by following the South Downs Way north west. After enjoying the fine views from the summit you can follow the Comp Lane track back into Alfriston.

Photos

Cuckmere River, Alfriston - geograph.org.uk - 168799

Cuckmere River, Alfriston. Taken from Whites Bridge, the church is to the right out of the picture.

Long Man of Wilmington - geograph.org.uk - 936784

Long Man of Wilmington. Viewed from the footpath from Wilmington at sunset. The first record of a chalk figure dates from 1710 and the 226 foot figure has been scaled in a way so as not to look short and stumpy from below. Whether the figure dates back to antiquity has been much debated but is generally believed not to. The figure is in the current ownership of the Sussex Archeological Society who received it from the Duke of Devonshire along with nearby Wilmington Priory in 1926.

Windover Hill - geograph.org.uk - 936653

Windover Hill. The peak is actually in the next square though all of its slope into Ewe Dean is in this one. Taken from the South Downs Way next to the reservoir.

Lullington Heath - view to the south-west - geograph.org.uk - 39673

A lone walker on Lullington Heath. As well as interesting wild plants, one often sees rare breeds of sheep and goats here.

Lullington Heath National Nature Reserve, East Sussex - geograph.org.uk - 846940

Lullington Heath National Nature Reserve, East Sussex. The reserve is one of the largest areas of Chalk Heath in England. It is a haven for wildlife including butterflies and spiders (48 different species of spider found there in June 2007)

Seven Sisters Country Park Sign - geograph.org.uk - 1282013

Seven Sisters Country Park Sign

Cuckmere Haven - geograph.org.uk - 945356

Cuckmere Haven. The view from the western end of the shingle beach. Further to the west the shoreline is rocky. The mouth of the river is in the middleground beyond the third groyne. The Seven Sisters and Belle Tout are in the background.

Friston Forest - geograph.org.uk - 1272307

Friston Forest. Viewed from the northern side of Charleston Bottom. The forest is an early 20th century plantation on former open downland currently owned by Southern Water who lease it to the Forestry Commission. All tracks within the forest are open access for walkers though cyclists and horse riders have to stick to specifically marked ones.

Video

GPS Files

GPX File

Alfriston.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Share>Save to Files')

Memory Map Route

Alfriston.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Share>Save to Files)