This circular walk around the county town of East Sussex includes riverside paths, lovely views of the South Downs and a visit to Lewes Castle. The attractive town is located a few miles north east of Brighton, in a pretty area of the South Downs. As such there's several good options for walkers with some good hill climbs and waterside walks along the River Ouse to enjoy.
This walk starts at the 11th century castle and heads east along the High Street to the river. Here you pick up the Sussex Ouse Valley Way to take you north along the River Ouse to South Malling and Offham. This section runs past the Offham Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest where you can look out for birds such as mallards, mute swans, grey herons and moorhens. After passing through Offham you turn south to pick up a section of the Greenwich Meridian Trail which leads you through the countryside and back to the town.
To continue the walk you could follow the river in a southerly direction and visit the village of Rodmell. Here you can pick up the South Downs Way long distance trail.
One of the higlights of the area is the nearby Mount Caburn. Here you will find a lovely nature reserve and wonderful views from the 480-feet (146m) hill summit.
Another good option is to follow the Sussex Ouse Valley Way in a north easterly direction to Barcombe Mills. Here you can enjoy waterside trails, a small reservoir and a delightful riverside pub.
Another major highlight of the area is the climb to Firle Beacon. Near here you can also visit Charleston, the delightful home and country meeting place for the writers, painters and intellectuals known as the Bloomsbury group.
Heading east from the town will take you past the Malling Down Nature Reserve to Glyndebourne. The English country house, is also the site of an opera house that, since 1934, has been the venue for the annual Glyndebourne Festival Opera.
Other Walks around Lewes
- Barcombe Mills - This delightful area of East Sussex has riverside trails, a small reservoir and lovely countryside views
- Sussex Ouse Valley Way - This splendid waterside walk follows the River Ouse from its source near Lower Beeding to the coast at Seaford Bay.
The walk starts near Horsham at the village of Lower Beeding and passes through Slaugham, Handcross, Staplefield, Lindfield, Freshfield, Sheffield Park, Newick, Barcombe Mills, Hamsey, Lewes, Rodmell, Southease, Piddinghoe and Newhaven before finishing at Seaford Bay.
Walk highlights include the beautiful Nymans Gardens at Handcross
- Mount Caburn - This walk visits the delightful Mount Caburn Nature Reserve in the South Downs
- 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