South Downs Circular Walk
This terrific 8 mile circular walk visits some of the major highlights of the East Sussex area of the South Downs National Park. You'll take in Birling Gap, Seven Sisters Country Park, Friston Forest and the Cuckmere River and Cuckmere Haven. There's wonderful coastal views, riverside paths, woodland trails and some moderate climbs to enjoy on this varied route which is one of the best circular walks on the South Downs.
The walk starts from the Birling Gap car park. This National Trust owned area has great facilities and includes the splendid Belle Tout lighthouse. From the car park you head west along the The South Downs Way National Trail. This section of the trail runs along the coast to Cuckmere Haven. This area has a nice shingle beach with wonderful views of the Seven Sisters Cliffs. There's also riverside trails along the Cuckmere River and a wide variety of flora and fauna to look out for.
The route then heads north through the Seven Sisters Country Park. Here you'll find 700 acres of parkland with lots of great cycling and walking trails.
The walk then turns east through Friston Forest, where there are miles of shady woodland trails. You can look out for rare butterflies and deer as you make your way through the forest.
After leaving the forest you turn south, passing through countryside around East Dean, before returning to the car park on the coast.
To extend your exercise you could head east along the South Downs Way and visit Beachy Head, the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain.