This circular walk takes you to the splendid Firle Beacon in the South Downs. The route makes use of the The South Downs Way and various bridleways and country lanes to take you to the beacon from the pretty village of Firle.
The start point for the walk is the little village of Firle, located just a few miles from Lewes. You can enjoy a stroll through the village with its three pubs, old church, cricket green and little pond. You will also pass Firle Place and its surrounding grounds. The old manor house was first built in the late 15th century by Sir John Gage. The route follows a bridleway around the grounds of the house before ascending to Firle Beacon. From the 712 feet (217 m) summit there are wonderful views over the Weald towards the south coast. The Firle Escarpment is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The large area of chalkland is home to a variety of flora and fauna. Look out for the rare spider orchid Ophrys sphegodes and Exmoor Ponies as you make your way through this lovely area.
From the beacon summit you descend on the South Downs Way before picking up Firle Bostal country lane to take you back to the village. This lane is shown on the google street view link below.
It's easy to extend your walk by continuing west from the beacon along the South Downs Way to Beddingham Hill. Another option is to start the walk from the nearby village of Alfriston on the Cuckmere River. You can then follow the South Downs Way to the beacon via Bostal Hill.
You could also visit the lovely Mount Caburn Nature Reserve with its interesting plants, flowers and wildlife.
PostcodeBN8 6LP - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations
Firle Beacon Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Firle Beacon Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Firle Beacon OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Firle Beacon Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
Just a couple of miles to the south of Lewes you'll find the interesting village of Iford. The historic settlement includes 18 listed buildings, a 12th century church and a sundial marking the Greenwich meridian which runs through the village. From here you can enjoy a walk up to the viewpoint at Iford Hill on a particularly lovely section of the South Downs. On the Iford walk there's also Rodmell where you can visit the National Trust's Monk's House. The 16th-century weatherboarded cottage was once the home of author Virginia Woolfe and her husband.