Please use the links below to view full route information including descriptions, elevation profiles, interactive maps and GPS downloads.
You can also view an overview map of all the routes in the using the Sussex Walk Map
|1066 Country Walk||31 miles (50 km)||Follow in the steps of William the Conqueror on this historic walk through the Sussex countryside which commemorates the famous battle in 1066.|
The route starts by Pevensey castle and heads through the countryside to the 15th century Herstmonceux Castle with its moat and Elizabethan gardens. The path then continues through Ashburnham to the fascinating Battle Abbey, set on the site of the 1066 Battle of Hastings.
The final section takes you to the finish point at the attractive town of Rye via Westfield and Icklesham.
For more information on the attractions and history of the area please click here
|Abbot's Wood Sussex||3 miles (5.5 km)||Explore miles of walking and cycling trails in these extensive woods in Arlington, Sussex. There's nice waymarked footpaths and bridleways which are great for mountain biking. You can reach the woods from Hailsham by heading south along the Cuckoo Trail and then heading west along National Cycle Route 2 from Polegate.|
There are two trails to try on the site. Abbots Amble will take you through bluebell woods to the lake. The Oak walk will take you through the collection of Oaks with bluebells and woodland birds to look out for. Both are easy paths ideal for a peaceful afternoon stroll.
To extend your walking in the area you can head about a mile to the west and visit Arlington Reservoir. There's a nice walking trail around the water with lots of birdlife to look out for.
The Wealdway passes through Arlington so you could pick this up and head towards Hailsham or Wilmington.
Also nearby is Michelham Priory in Upper Dicker. It's just to the north of the woods and is well worth a visit. The Augustine Priory dates from the 13th century and includes a restored watermill in the pleasant grounds.
|Ardingly Reservoir||5 miles (8 km)||This 198 acre reservoir and nature reserve has a lovely waterside walking path ideal for an easy stroll. The walk starts at the parking lot at the southern end of the reservoir and take you around the perimeter to the village of Balcombe before returning to the start point. As a nature reserve you will pass through a variety of habitats including wetland, reedbed, deciduous woodland, hazel coppice and haymeadow. Look out for Great crested grebe and kingfishers as you make your way round the reservoir.|
Ardingly is located near Haywards Heath in West Sussex. It is right next to the stunning Wakehurst Place which has beautiful gardens and is a great option if you'd like to continue your walking. Alternatively the High Weald Landscape Trail can also be picked up from the edge of Wakehurst Place.
|Arlington Reservoir||2 miles (3 km)||Enjoy a nice easy stroll around the pretty Arlington Reservoir on this short circular walk near Hailsham. There's parking on the western side of the reservoir and a good path running around the perimeter. The walk includes a woodland section at the start before reaching the dam where there are fabulous views across the Downs and the Long Man of Wilmington, The area is also a nature reserve and excellent for bird watching with 173 recorded bird species and a wintering population of up to 10,000 wildfowl. Look out for great crested grebe, swallow, mallard, pied wagtail and cormorants.These can best be observed from the bird hide.|
The reservoir can also be easily accessed by train - get off at Berwick station and a short walk north takes you to the start of the walk.
If you'd like to continue your walking in the area then you could pick up either the Vanguard Way or the Wealdway which both run past Arlington.
About a mile to the east you will find the pretty Abbot's Wood. There's two nice waymarked walking trails to try in the bluebell woods.
|Arundel Castle and Arundel Park||9 miles (14 km)||This walk takes you through the parkland and countryside surrounding this restored medieval castle in West Sussex. The walk starts near the castle and picks up the Monarch's Way long distance walking trail to take you into Arundel park. You'll pass Swanbourne Lake and follow footpaths through woodland and grassland to the River Arun. The route then follows a lovely riverside footpath back towards the castle. You'll pass the splendid Arundel Wetland Centre where you can look out for a wide variety of wildlife including water voles and rare geese.
The castle itself is well worth visiting with lovely gardens and a fascinating history, though there is a fee for entry to the grounds.|
The Slindon Estate is located just a few miles to the west of the castle so you could continue your walking in the area by visiting this 1400 hectare estate.
|Ashdown Forest||7 miles (12 km)||Explore the 'home' of Winnie-the-Pooh in this large area of woodland and heathland near Crowborough. The expansive forest has miles of good footpaths to try. This route makes use of the Wealdway long distance footpath which runs through the woods from south to north. There are car parks near Duddleswell which give direct access to the forest paths. You then head north passing Camp Hill and Wren's Warren before finishing at Five Hundred Acre Wood. Hundred Acre Wood in the Pooh stories is based on this area. From here you can return the same way or continue north to the nearby village of Hartfield for refreshments.|
The forest consists of open heathland, woodland trails and a series of hills where you can enjoy splendid views over the Weald to the chalk escarpments of the North Downs and South Downs.
The area is great for wildlife. Look out for several species of deer including roe, muntjac and sika deer. Keen eyed birdwatchers can spot Dartford warbler, yellowhammer and stonechat.
There's also a wide variety of flora to look out for with Oak and Beech Woods, interesting vegetation around the streams and ponds and a variety of heathland plants and flowers.
Ashdown Forest is well known as the setting for the Winnie-the-Pooh stories by A. A. Milne, who lived on the northern edge of Ashdown forest. The illustrations in the Pooh books are based on areas of the woods you will see on this walk.
This route is designed for walkers but the area is also very popular with cyclists. You could start your ride from the same start point as this walk and then follow the country lanes through the forest. See the link below for more details or download one of the maps below for all the tracks, lanes and routes in the area.
|Beachy Head||4 miles (6 km)||This exhilarating walk takes you along the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain, at Beachy Head on the South Downs. The cliffs rise to a height of 162 metres (531 ft) with fabulous views along the coast to West Sussex and Dungeness in Kent. |
You can start your walk from the good sized car park on Beachy Head Road. From here you can pick up the trails on to the The South Downs Way which will take you along the headland. You could also start the walk from the nearby town of Eastbourne and follow the Wealdway along the beach from the town centre. As well as the magnificent views there's some lovely countryside to explore inland. Look out for lots of wildflowers in the summer and a variety of birdlife which includes Lapwing, Skylark and Perigrin Falcon.
After your walk you can enjoy refreshments at the Beachy Head cliff top pub which is next to the car park.
To extend your walk you can continue west along the coastal path to Birling Gap and the Belle Tout Lighthouse. Beyond there is the fantastic Seven Sisters Country Park at Cuckmere Haven. Here you will find more great cycling and walking trails along the coast and the River Cuckmere.
|Bewl Water||12 miles (20 km)||This is a walking and cycling route around the beautiful Bewl Water reservoir near Lamberhurst. The route runs alongside the reservoir for most of the way though there is an inland section on quiet country lanes around Tolhurst. It runs for about 12.5 miles with great views of the High Weald AONB. |
Bike hire is available during the summer months from the Boat House Bistro.
The area is also great for wildlife watching with Goldcrests, Long Tailed Tits, Wagtails, Skylarks and Lapwings in the woodland. Also look out for Kingfishers, Herons and the Great Crested Grebe on the water.
Please note the route is not always open for cyclists during the winter months - please check the Bewl Water website before setting off.
The Sussex Border Path runs past the reservoir so you could pick this up if you wanted to continue your walk.
Just to the east of the lake you will find Bedgebury Forest. The 2000 acre woods are an excellent place for extending your cycle or walk. There's miles of mountain bike trails with jumps and fun descents. For walkers there's the delightful Bedgebury Pinetum with 10,000 trees growing across 320 acres.
The National Trust owned Scotney Castle is also nearby and well worth a visit.
|Birling Gap||2 miles (3 km)||Visit Birling Gap and enjoy a splendid coastal walk to the Belle Tout lighthouse. The area is run by the National Trust so there are great facilities with a good sized car park, cafe, shop and visitor centre on the cliff top. This walk starts from the Birling Gap car park just a mile south of East Dean at the end of Birling Gap Road. From here you can pick up the trails along the The South Downs Way to the lighthouse. Belle Tout has been used many times in films and tv because of the spectacular location. It has been called 'Britain's most famous inhabited lighthouse'. There's fantastic views along to the nearby Beachy Head and 500 acres of open chalk grassland with a wide variety of butterflies and wildflowers to look out for. |
To extend your walk just head east along the The South Downs Way to Beachy Head. Here you can walk across the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain with fabulous views and Perigrin Falcons to look out for. Continuing east from the headland will take you into Eastbourne.
If you head west you will soon come to Seven Sisters Country Park where you can explore the beautiful Cuckmere Haven on foot or by bike.
The village of East Dean is also nearby so you could start the walk from here and follow bridleways south to the coast. Just beyond East Dean you will find Friston Forest which has miles of good mountain bike trails and footpaths.
|Black Down||4 miles (6 km)||Climb to the highest point in the South Downs on this challenging route in Sussex. The area is run by the National Trust and includes a series of well defined paths taking you to flower-rich meadows, ancient woodland and copses. There are fabulous views over the Weald from the Temple of the Winds, at the southern end of Black down. The English Channel can also be seen through the River Arun gap on a clear day. The circular route below starts at the car park near the Temple of the Winds and takes you north across Black Down to Boarden Door Bottom.|
Cyclists can also enjoy a number of easy bridleways or more challenging mountain bike trails which run across the area.
The Sussex Border Path walking trail runs through Black Down so you could pick up this trail and head west to the nearby Marley Common to continue your walk.
Black Down is located just a few miles south of Haslemere town centre.
|Bodiam Castle||1 miles (1 km)||This 14th century moated castle in Sussex is one of the National Trust's most visited properties. You will see spiral staircases, battlements and the castle's original wooden portcullis, an extremely rare example of its kind. You can also listen to an interesting talk about medieval life from one of the authentically dressed medieval characters in the castle. |
The grounds are particularly lovely with wide lawns, views of the moat and the River Rother. Also look out for bats roosting in the castle structure.
The Sussex Border Path long distance walking trail runs past the castle so you could pick this up and walk east to Northiam if you wanted to continue your walk.
|Brede High Woods||4 miles (6.5 km)||This large area of ancient woodland consists of hundreds of acres of walking trails, a variety of wildlife and the pretty Powdermill Reservoir. There's a circular waymarked trail and a number other permissive footpaths to follow through the 262 hectares (647 acres). It's a lovely place for a peaceful stroll with heathland, coppice, ghyll woodland, broadleaf woodland, ponds, springs and streams to enjoy. |
You can start your walk from the car park off Chitcombe Rd at the northern end of the woods. The site is great for wildlife enthusiasts with glow worms, great crested newts, lampreys, dormouse, badgers and fallow deer to look out for. Also keep your eyes peeled for birds including woodcock, nightingales and buzzards.
The attractive woodland includes conifers, spruces, oak, Hornbeam and sweet chestnut coppice. Also look out for bluebells and wood anemones in the spring months.
If you would like to continue your walking in the area then you could head south to Battle and pick up the 1066 Country Walk. The long distance trail will take you through the nearby Battle Great Wood where there are more nice trails to try.
A few miles to the west you will find Vinehall Forest and beyond that the pretty Darwell Reservoir. Here you can enjoy footpaths through Darwell Wood with views across the water.
|Brighton to Newhaven||9 miles (14.5 km)||Follow the Brighton to Newhaven clifftop path on this splendid coastal walk on the south coast. Much of this route follows a traffic free path along National Cycle Network route 2 so you can bring your bike too. Part of the route also passes the popular Undercliff Walk Brighton from the marina at Black Rock to Saltdean. This follows a nice surfaced path along the sea wall with great views of the white cliffs and the sea. Much of the rest of this walk is on an elevated clifftop trail with splendid coastal views. It's about a 9 mile walk but fairly flat throughout. |
The walk starts on the front in Brighton and heads east to the Brighton Marina where you pick up the sea wall path. This takes you to Saltdean where you will pass the impressive Saltdean Lido. You continue to the outskirts of Peacehaven where the cycle route turns inland but you can continue along the cliff top if you are on foot. At Peacehaven you will pass the the Greenwich Meridian monument marking the site where the Greenwich meridian crosses the English south coast.
The final section takes you past Peacehaven Heights, Harbour Heights and the 19th century Newhaven Fort (video below) before finishing at Newhaven Harbour.
At Newhaven the walk links with two long distance walking trails. You can pick up the Sussex Ouse Valley Way and follow it north along the River Ouse to Piddinghoe if you would like to extend your walk. You could also follow the Vanguard Way further along the coast to Seaford.
You can virtually explore the part of the path around the Peacehaven Greenwich Meridian Monument using the google street view link below.
|Brighton Way||54 miles (87 km)||A super route though the South Downs from Horley to Brighton. The trail passes Crawley, Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill before finishing on the south coast. The walk has several train stations dotted along the route so you can easily do this one in manageable sections. Highlights include the Ardingly Nature Reserve and reservoir near Balcombe. The walk also climbs Ditchling Beacon where there are fabulous views of the South Downs.|
|Broadwater Warren||2 miles (3 km)||This delightful RSPB nature reserve in Tunbridge Wells has a nice nature trail and an all ability path to try. You can pick up the walking trails at the car park at Broadwater Forest Lane. The waymarked trail guides you through the reserve's woodland, wetland and open heath with lots of wildlife to look out for on the way. This includes nightjars, dormice and dragonflies around the pond. There's also a section along a boardwalk which takes you through an area of wet woodland.|
Just to the south of the reserve you will find Eridge Rocks Nature Reserve. It's well worth extending your walk here. You'll find a series of large boulders, woodland trails and a wide variety of interesting plant species.
The Tunbridge Wells Circular Walk also passes the southern edge of the site. You can pick this up to explore the countryside surrounding the town. Tunbridge Wells Common is also nearby with its sandstone outcrops, heathland and nice woodland trails.
The reserve is located just to the south west of Tunbridge Wells. You can reach it by bike by following National Cycle Network Route 18 from the town centre.
|Buchan Country Park||4 miles (7 km)||Explore 170 acres of woodland, heath, ponds and meadow in this delightful park on the outskirts of Crawley. There are numerous peaceful trails to follow and a variety of wildlife to look out for such as dragonflies, nightjars, great-crested grebes, adders and grass snakes.|
|Camber Sands||3 miles (5 km)||Enjoy a cycle or walk along National Cycle Network Route 2 from Rye to the beautiful Camber Sands. You can pick up the trail in the centre of Rye near to the train station. It's about a 3 mile ride to the beach, passing alongside Camber Road. There are lovely views of Northpoint Water and Rye Bay before passing Rye Golf Club and entering the village of Camber. It's a beautiful and popular beach with the only sand dune system in East Sussex. If you continue your cycle along the coast road you will come to Broomhill Sands and Lydd.|
To extend your outing you could pick up the Saxon Shore Way long distance footpath and walk to the Rye Harbour Nature Reserve just south of Rye. The reserve a variety of habitats such as saltmarsh, lagoons, grazing marsh, shingle and reedbeds. You can also visit the ruins of Henry VIII's Camber Castle. The Device Fort was built to protect the Sussex coast against French attack in the 16th century.
The Sussex Border Path also passes through Rye. You can follow the path north from the town centre and enjoy a waterside walk along the River Rother.
You can also follow the England Coast Path east and visit the wonderful Dungeness RSPB Nature Reserve. The large reserve boasts lakes, lagoons and an expansive section of shingle beach with a wide variety of wildlife.
|Centurion Way||6 miles (10 km)||This pleasant short route follows the Centurion Way along a disused railway path from Chichester to West Dean.|
The ride is flat and traffic free making it ideal for cycling families or walkers looking for a pleasant easy stroll through the Sussex countryside.
|Chanctonbury Ring||4 miles (6 km)||Climb to this early Iron Age hill fort on the South Downs and enjoy wonderful views over the surrounding countryside and coast. The hill is also an important area for flora and fauna, including the protected Great Crested Newt which can be found in the dew pond on the hill.|
Chanctonbury hill stands at a height of 238 metres (781 ft) a few miles north of the coastal town of Worthing. You can start this circular walk from the car park on Washington Bostal, just off the A24. From here you pick up the South Downs Way and follow it east to the hill. After exploring the fort and taking in the views you descend to Chalkpit Wood where you follow the Wiston Bostal track towards Chanctonbury Ring Rd. Here you turn west and follow a bridleway through woodland passing Owlscroft Barn and Combe Holt, before returning to the car park.
A shorter alternative route is to start from the car park on Chanctonbury Ring Road and climb to the hill fort from there.
If you would like to extend your walk then we recommend you head south from the hill to the nearby Cissbury Ring. The historic site can be reached by following a bridleway south from Chalkpit Wood for about 2 miles. It is the second largest hill fort in England, dating back to around 250 BC.
You can also continue along the South Downs Way in either direction. Head west and you will come to Kithurst Hill, Springhead Hill and the village of Amberley. Head east and you will come to Bramber Castle on the River Adur.
Also nearby is the mysterious Clapham Wood near the village of Clapham.
|Chichester Canal||7 miles (12 km)||Enjoy a lovely waterside stroll along the Chichester Canal on this easy walk in Sussex. The walk begins in the centre of Chichester (near the train station and cathedral) following the canal towpath to Birdham Pool with its pretty boating marina.|
Although this is categorised as a walking route, cyclists can also enjoy the first section of the towpath from Chichester to Hunston.
|Cissbury Ring||2 miles (3 km)||Visit this historic hill fort in West Sussex and enjoy terrific views over the South Downs countryside on this circular walk. It's a very beautiful place with rolling hills, patches of woodland, wildlife-rich chalk grassland, wildflowers in the summer and a series of good footpaths and tracks to guide your around the area.|
At 60 acres the fill fort is the second largest in England, dating back to around 250 BC. It also contains a Neolithic mine, one of the first flint mines in Britain.
You can start the walk from the Storrington Rise car park which is less than a mile west of the hill. Then climb east towards the hill fort which stands at a height of around 600ft. The area is wonderful for flora and fauna in the summer months. Look out for bee orchids, field fleawort and round-headed rampion. Around the wildflowers you will see many different types of pretty butterfly. Keep your eyes peeled for chalkhill blues, dark-green fritillaries and marbled whites.
The area is located just north of Worthing so you could walk there from the town. You can follow a bridleway from the outskirts across Findon Valley to reach the site.
The Monarch's Way long distance footpath passes just to the north of the hill so you could pick this up to extend your walk. If you head east you could visit Bramber Castle and Upper Beeding on the River Adur. The The South Downs Way also passes close to the site.
There's lots of different bridleways you can pick up around the hill too. You can follow them across Canada Bottom and Tenants Hill for more great views over Worthing to the coast.
If you follow the paths north you will soon come to Chanctonbury Ring Hill Fort. The fort dates from the early Iron Age and at a height of 238 metres (781 ft) commands fine views of the area.
Also nearby is the mysterious Clapham Wood near the village of Clapham.
|Clapham Wood||2 miles (3.5 km)||These mysterious woods are located in the Arun District of West Sussex, next to the village of Clapham. The woods are most well known for paranormal activity including several UFO sightings. They also have some nice public footpaths to follow through the woods. The woods are surrounded by some lovely Sussex countryside and have bluebells growing in the spring. There's parking available at the south western corner of the woods.|
To extend your walking in the area you could climb to the hill forts at nearby Cissbury Ring and Chanctonbury Ring.
|Cuckmere River and Cuckmere Haven||10 miles (16 km)||This lovely waterside walk takes you along the Cuckmere River from Alfriston to the beautiful Cuckmere Haven on the south coast. The walk starts in Alfriston and follows the riverside path to Exceat, passing the famous chalk White Horse on the way. You continue to the coast and Cuckmere Haven where you will find a shingle beach and wonderful views of the Seven Sisters Cliffs. The route then passes along the beach and picks up the The South Downs Way to take you into the popular Seven Sisters Country Park. In the park there are 700 acres of parkland with wonderful views over the South Downs.|
The walk continues to Exceat where you cross the bridge and follow the footpath along the western side of the river to Alfriston. It's a super walk and very flat and easy apart from a short climb on the coastal section. The area is also a nature reserve with species-rich chalk grassland and wildflowers. Look out for wildlife which includes a variety of butterflies and wildfowl.
If you enjoy this walk then you could try the Long Man of Wilmington walk which also starts in Alfriston and takes you up to the iconic chalk figure.
|Cuckoo Trail||14 miles (23 km)||This traffic free cycle and walking path runs along a disused railway line from Heathfield to the outskirts of Eastbourne. The trail follows National Cycle route 21 and runs through a mixture of woodland, grassland and countryside with a variety of interesting sculptures lining the way.|
For wildlife lovers there is plenty to look out for along the trail including different species of butterflies such as the orange-tip. Also look out for various birdlife including bullfinch, lesser whitethroat and cuckoos of course (The trail obtained its name from the tradition that the first cuckoo in Spring was heard at the Heathfield Fair)
The trail is easily accessible with train stations at Polegate and Hampden Park. It is also a nice easy, safe route ideal for families.
|Darwell Reservoir||5 miles (8 km)||Explore Darwell Reservoir and Darwell Wood on this walk near Mountfield in East Sussex. The woods have lots of nice walking trails with streams, broadleaf woodland, bluebells and wild garlic to enjoy. From the public footpaths there are nice views through the trees to Darwell Reservoir. Look out for wildlife including green woodpeckers, buzzard, nightjar and sparrowhawk. |
The walk starts from the village of Mountfield just to the east of the woods. From here you can pick up public footpaths leading into the woods and towards the reservoir.
Darwell Reservoir is located close to Robertsbridge and Battle.
|Devils Dyke||2 miles (4 km)||This circular walk explores this beautiful V-Shaped Valley near Brighton. The valley stretches for about a mile through the South Downs. It is the longest, deepest and widest 'dry valley' in the UK. The area is criss crossed with footpaths and bridleways making it an ideal location for walking and mountain biking. As well as stunning views across the south downs you will pass lovely meadows with a variety of flowers, an Iron Age Hill Fort and the remains of a Victorian funfair. In the summer months you can enjoy a sea of pink Orchids with a variety of butterflies including Adonis blue, chalkhill blue and silver spotted skipper. You can easily extend your walk by heading east onto Newtimber Hill where you will find one of the finest examples of chalk grassland in the country, ancient woodland and rare plants and flowers such as burnt orchid and juniper tree.
Also on the route is the Devils Dyke Pub where you can have some lunch while enjoying some wonderful views.|
This route starts at the parking area at the western end of Devils Dyke and makes use of the the South Downs Way and other footpaths to take you around the Dyke. The area is managed by the National Trust so there are good footpaths and an excellent cafe.
This route is designed for walkers but there are many bridleways running across the area so mountain bikers can enjoy the Dyke too.
If you'd like to extend your walk you could follow the South Downs Way east and visit Ditchling Beacon - the highest point in East Sussex.
If you head west along the South Downs way you can visit Edbarton Hill and Truleigh Hill with its distinctive radio masts. The hill was originally the site of a radar station during the Second World War.
|Diamond Way||60 miles (97 km)||This is a fairly easy walk from West to East Sussex through heathland, farmland and forest. The walk runs from Midhurst to Heathfield and passes through Petworth, Billinghurst, Haywards Heath, Lindfield and Nutley. It was created by the Sussex Ramblers Association to celebrate their 60th anniversary.|
Highlights on the walk include Petworth House which holds the 'National Trust's finest art collection displayed in a magnificent 17th century mansion within a beautiful 700-acre park'. This can be found on the first leg of the journey from Midhurst to Petworth. The walk also includes pleasant waterside sections along the River Arun near Billinghurst and then along the upper reaches of the River Ouse at Lindfield.
There are also several wooded sections including Flexham Park, Sheffield Forest and a number of other smaller woods dotted along the route.
|Ditchling Beacon||5 miles (8 km)||Climb to the highest point in East Sussex and enjoy wonderful views of the Weald and the Downs on this circular walk. The lovely chalk grassland of the area is covered with a variety of flowers and plants during the summer months. Look out for marjoram, thyme and different types of orchid with butterflies such as the Chalkhill Blue flying around them. |
The walk begins in the village of Ditchling just to the north of Ditchling Beacon and follows the Sussex Border Path to Burnhouse Bostall. You then pick up the South Downs Way and head to the beacon passing the Ditchling Beacon Nature Reserve on the way. You then descend to Ditchling following bridleways past Wick Farm and Stoneywish Country Park.
If you'd like to continue your walking in the area then you could head west along the The South Downs Way to the beautiful Devils Dyke.
The video below shows the area well from about 7:00 minutes on.
|Ditchling Common Country Park||2 miles (4 km)||Explore 188 acres of lovely parkland near Burgess Hill in East Sussex. The park trails pass oak trees, grassland, a lake and a stream. Many different birds visit the park including stonechats, linnets, woodpeckers, chiffchaffs, and blackcaps. Cycling is permitted through the park along the bridleways but all of the paths are open to walkers.|
|Downs Link||36 miles (58 km)||This is a terrific walking or cycling path running from St Martha's Hill to Shoreham-by-Sea and linking the North and South Downs National Trails.|
You start on St Martha's Hill will terrific views of the Surrey countryside before heading south to Cranleigh along the Wey and Arun Canal. The path continues to Rudgwick and then onto the delightful Southwater Country Park. The next stage takes you to Henfield and then onto Bramber with its ruined castle. The final stage runs along the River Adur taking you to Shoreham-by-Sea.
|Dunwich Heath||2 miles (2.5 km)||This beautiful coastal heathland is a wonderful place for a peaceful walk. The area is owned by the National Trust and is covered in miles of good footpaths taking you through the pretty purple heathland. It's great for birdwatching with Dartford warbler, nightjar and woodlark regular visitors to the area. Also look out for red deer and muntjac deer. After exploring the heathland you can enjoy a stroll along the lovely Dunwich beach and take in the coastal views.|
There are very good facilities with a National Trust tea room, shop and car park.
It's easy to extend your walk in this lovely area. The Suffolk Coast Path runs through the heath so you can pick this up and head north to Dunwich Forest. Here you will find miles of peaceful woodland walking trails and lovely conservation areas of marshland and wetland. Look out for Dunwich ponies and a variety of other wildlife in the woods.
Just to the south you will find Minsmere Nature Reserve. The reserve consists of woodland, reed bed, lowland heath, wet grassland and shingle vegetation. It attracts many different birds such as Avocet, Bittern and Marsh Harriers.
You can virtually explore the heath using the google street view link below!
|Eridge Rocks||1 miles (1 km)||This fascinating nature reserve in Tunbridge Wells contains a series of large boulders and mixed woodland. The imposing rocks are surrounded by interesting vegetation such as conifers, deciduous trees, bamboo, mosses, liverworts, ferns and bluebells. You can park at the car park at the southern edge of the reserve and then pick up the walking trails from there. Eridge Rail Station is also located nearby. You could catch the train and then follow National Cycle Network Route 21 for about a mile to reach the site.|
The Tunbridge Wells Circular Walk passes the site so you can pick this up to extend your walk. The long distance trail takes you through the attractive countryside surrounding the town and includes a visit to Harrison's Rocks. Just to the north is the RSPB Broadwater Warren. It's a great place to continue your walk with its nature trails, wet woodland, boardwalk, ponds and wide variety of wildlife.
|Firle Beacon||4 miles (6 km)||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.
|Forest Way||11 miles (17 km)||This cycling and walking route runs from East Grinstead to Groombridge following National Cycle route 21 along a flat tree lined path. The path is also a designated country park. |
The trail follows a disused railway line route and has splendid views of the rolling hills of the downs and local farmland.
Please click here for more information on this route.
Weir Wood Reservoir is just to the west of the route so you could visit this lovely nature reserve if you have time.
|Friston Forest||5 miles (8 km)||Enjoy miles of cycling and walking trails in this large forest on the South Downs near Eastbourne. There are trails for mountain bikers ranging from gentle off road trails to an exhilarating single track ride. There are two fairly easy waymarked trails for walkers. Look out for wildlife including rare butterflies and deer. |
This circular route starts at the car park and takes you along some of the bridleways in the forest. It also visits the pretty village of West Dean.
It's easy to extend your outing by visiting the nearby Cuckmere River and Cuckmere Haven and Seven Sisters Country Park. You could also pick up the The South Downs Way which runs past the forest.
|Goodwood Country Park||7 miles (12 km)||Explore the Goodwood estate in Chichester, West Sussex on this circular walk.|
|Harting Down||3 miles (5.5 km)||This large area of chalk downland on the South Downs is managed by the National Trust. It's a wonderful place to go for a walk with splendid views over the downs and an abundance of flora and fauna. The area is covered with wild herbs, wild flowers and pyramidal orchids attracting butterflies such as the Duke of Burgundy fritillary and the Grizzled Skipper. |
This circular walk starts in the National Trust car park and follows the South Downs Way to Beacon Hill - the highest point on Harting Down. The route then heads to Little Round Down where you will follow woodland trails through a large area of Yew woodland. Look out for wren, thrush and finch in this area. The final section climbs Harting Hill through more woodland to return you to the car park.
It's a splendid area with fabulous views across the Weald, the North Downs and towards the coast and the Isle of Wight. Look out for Fallow deer, Turtle Dove and Skylark on the downs.
The whole of this route is designed for walkers but you can mountain bike across Harting Down on the South Downs Way from the car park to Beacon Hill.
|Hastings Country Park||3 miles (5 km)||Enjoy over 600 acres of beautiful parkland and coast on this circular route in Hastings. The park is located in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, most of the park has been designated a Special Area of Conservation and a Local Nature Reserve. Peregrines, black redstarts and fulmars can be seen on the coastal cliffs, while Dartford warblers, stonechats and yellowhammers can be seen on the gorse covered hills. |
The route below is most suitable for walkers but National Cycle Network route 2 also runs through the park and is a short cycle from Hastings. See the Eastbourne to Rye Cycle Route for more details.
|High Beeches Gardens||1 miles (1 km)||These pretty gardens in Handcross are ideal for a peaceful afternoon stroll. There's 27 acres to explore on well laid out footpaths. In the park you will find woodland trails, ponds, azaleas, rhododendrons, a lovely wildflower meadow and a collection of rare and exotic flowers and plants. The gardens are set on a hillside so there are marvellous views in all directions.|
|High Weald Landscape Trail||94 miles (151 km)||Explore the High Weald AONB on this fabulous 90 mile walk that links the ridge-top villages and historic gardens for which the area is famous. |
The walk starts at the rail station in Horsham, West Sussex, and heads east to Rye in East Sussex.
Walk highlights include
The High Weald AONB website has split the walk into 7 manageable sections as follows:
Horsham to Cuckfield - 23.3km (14.5 miles)
Cuckfield to East Grinstead - 27.4km (17.0 miles)
East Grinstead to Groombridge - 21.0km (13.1 miles)
Groombridge to Matfield - 22.8km (14.1 miles)
Matfield to Rolvenden - 30.6km (19 miles)
Rolvenden to Flackley Ash - 20.0km (12.5 miles)
Flackley Ash to Rye - 7.1km (4.4 miles)
Please see the link below for a series of fantastic pdf guides to the route covering the sections above.
|Highdown Hill and Highdown Gardens||3 miles (5 km)||This walk visits Highdown Gardens before climbing Highdown Hill in the South Downs. The walk begins at the car park at Highdown Gardens. Both the gardens and parking are free, though you are free to make a donation if you wish. You can then follow a series of footpaths through the park with its beautiful collection of rare plants and trees. The chalk gardens are situated on Downland countryside with wonderful views towards the sea. Highlights include two pretty ponds with fish, toads and newts, a Himalayan Birch Bark Cherry Avenue, a Rose Garden and a Herb Garden. |
After touring the gardens you can then continue your walk to Highdown Hill. The hill stands at 81 metres (266 ft) and is a popular spot for walkers. From the summit there are wonderful views of the coast including the Seven Sisters and the Isle of Wight.
Highdown Hill and Highdown Gardens are located in between Littlehampton and Worthing.
|Iping Common and Stedham Common||2 miles (3.5 km)||Follow the heathland trails across these two pretty commons on this walk in Midhurst in Sussex. There's a car park off Elsted Road which gives direct access to the footpaths. On the commons you'll find a large pond and lots of wildlife. Look out for woodlark, Dartford warbler, nightjar and stonechat. |
To extend your walking in the area you can head north towards Woolbeding Common. The National Trust managed area has miles of good footpaths taking you to woodland, heathland and ponds.
Also nearby is the New Lipchis Way which runs through the lovely Rother Valley. You can pick up the riverside trail just to the north of Stedham. It can be followed east all the way to Midhurst or north to Woolbeding Common.
The Serpent Trail also crosses the common. You can follow it west towards Petersfield or east towards Midhurst Common, Graffham Common and the National Trust owned Lavington Common.
|Kent Coast||207 miles (333 km)||Walk the entirety of the beautiful Kent Coast on this long distance walk.|
|Kingley Vale National Nature Reserve||4 miles (7 km)||Enjoy a walk around this interesting and beautiful Nature Reserve in the South Downs, near Chichester. There are well defined paths with fabulous views over the South Downs towards the south coast. The reserve also contains one of the finest yew forests in Europe, including a grove of ancient trees which are among the oldest living things in Britain.|
If you have time you could continue your walk along the Monarch's Way to Stoughton where you can buy refreshments at the local pub.
|Lavington Common||3 miles (5.5 km)||Enjoy a peaceful stroll across the Lavington and Duncton Commons on this easy walk near Midhurst in West Sussex. There's miles of good footpaths taking you across attractive heathland and woodland. It's a great place for wildlife with woodlark, nightjar, tree pipits, stonechat and reptiles including the rare sand lizard. The site also includes Merlin's Wood with its tunnel of rhododendrons. You can pick up the trails from the car park on Duncton Common Road. Heading west will take you across Lavington Common while heading east takes you across Duncton Common where there are more woodland trails and a pretty stream.|
The Serpent Trail long distance footpath runs across the common so it's easy to extend your walk. If you head west the trail will take you to Iping Common and Stedham Common where there are more nice heathland trails and a large pond. The The South Downs Way passes across Graffham Down just a mile to the south of the common.
|Long Man of Wilmington||5 miles (8.5 km)||Climb to this iconic figure on Windover Hill on this splendid circular walk in the South Downs. The walk begins in the village of Alfriston on the Cuckmere River and follows the South Downs Way to the Long Man. It's a fairly easy climb on a good path with splendid views of the South Downs and the coast to enjoy. From the high point you descend to Litlington passing the delightful Lullington Heath Nature Reserve on the way. It's a lovely area made up of chalk heath with heather and bell heather, surrounded by gorse bushes. At Litlington you pick up the Vanguard Way and enjoy a lovely waterside section along the Cuckmere River which takes you back to Alfriston. |
If you enjoy this walk then you could try the Cuckmere River and Cuckmere Haven walk which also starts from Alfriston.
|Marley Common||1 miles (2 km)||This large green space in Haslemere is great for a peaceful stroll in lovely surroundings. The common has miles of good footpaths taking you to heathland, woodland and meadows. Look out for the pretty purple heather in the summer months and the yellow flowering gorse all year round. It's great for wildlife too with woodlarks, warblers and various reptiles. You can park at the car park off Marley Lane and pick up the trails from there.|
It's easy to extend your walk as two long distance paths pass through the common. You can follow the Sussex Border Path and the Serpent Trail east and visit the wonderful Black Down. It's the highest point on the South Downs and commands fabulous views over the Weald. Heading west will take you towards Liphook and Stanley Common.
Also of interest are two more National Trust commons just to the north west of Marley Common. Ludshott Common and Bramshott Common have miles of good walking trails and the attractive Waggoners Wells ponds to enjoy.
|Midhurst Way||19 miles (31 km)||Starting at the striking Arundel Castle, head north through some beautiful Sussex countryside to Midhurst.
The path passes Houghton Forest, Westburton Hill, Bignor, Chingford, Petworth and Lodsworth with fabulous views of the South Downs as you go.
There are several attractions on the route including the splendid Arundel Castle, near the start of the walk. The castle dates from the 11th century and boasts exquisite, stately rooms and magnificent grounds overlooking the River Arun.
The path also passes very near to Petworth House and Petworth Park which holds the 'National Trust's finest art collection displayed in a magnificent 17th century mansion within a beautiful 700-acre park'. The walk also offers fine views of the Rivers Rother and Arundel while also passing the ruins of the fascinating Cowdray House near Midhurst.
This route is quite accessible beginning at Arundel train station while finishing at the bus station at Midhurst.
|Monarch's Way||615 miles (990 km)||This incredible 615-mile walk approximates the escape route taken by King Charles II in 1651 after being defeated in the Battle of Worcester. |
The Monarch's Way starts at Worcester then travels north to Boscobel and then south to Stratford upon Avon. It then continues south through the Cotswolds to Stow on the Wold before turning south west towards Bristol via Cirencester. The route then heads south through the Mendip Hills to Wells and then on through Somerset towards Yeovil and then south west to Charmouth. You then follow the Dorset coast before turning north again to Yeovil, before heading east across the Downs to Brighton and then onto the finish point at Shoreham-by-Sea.
The walk also takes you through two World Heritage Sites, one National Park and six Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. For those interested in the history of the walk there is ample opportunity to learn and discover more with a series of museums and historical sites dotted throughout the route.
The walk is waymarked with a picture of the ship The Surprise, the Prince of Wales crown and the Royal Oak tree at Boscobel House.
The route has been split into two separate gpx files. The first includes the section from Worcester to Bridport via the Midlands and Somerset. The second runs from Sandford Orcas to the finish point at Shoreham-By-Sea.
Monarch's Way GPS 1 (right click save as)
Monarch's Way GPS 2 (right click save as)
|Mount Caburn||4 miles (7 km)||This walk visits the delightful Mount Caburn Nature Reserve in the South Downs. You can reach the reserve by following a footpath from the centre of Lewes. It's just over 2 miles to the reserve from the town with the route crossing the River Ouse before passing Malling Down Nature Reserve, Ranscombe Camp hill, Oxteddle Bottom and Caburn Bottom. |
The reserve consists of managed chalk downland and a Bronze Age hill fort. There is also a wide variety of flora and fauna to look out for. This includes the largest British population of burnt-tip orchid and pyramidal orchids. There are also many different types of wildflowers such as Sweet briar, Marjoram and the bright yellow horseshoe vetch. These attract various butterflies including Adonis, chalkhill blue butterfly and silver-spotted skippers. It's also great for bird watching with Skylarks, meadow pipits, yellowhammers, corn bunting, kestrels, peregrine falcon and buzzards to look out for.
The summit of Mount Caburn stands at 480-feet (146m) and consists of an Iron Age Hill Fort. There are wonderful views of Lewes, Glynde, Firle and the South Downs to enjoy.
After climbing the hill you could visit the delightful Little Cottage Tea Rooms and enjoy a cream tea. The tea rooms are located just to the south of the reserve on Ranscombe Lane.
A shorter, alternative route to the reserve is to start from Glynde Bridge. There is a train station and parking area about a mile from the hill.
If you would like to extend your walking in the area then you could head to the nearby Firle Beacon. It is located just a few miles to the south east and offers great views over the Weald towards the south coast.
|New Lipchis Way||37 miles (60 km)||This is an exceptionally lovely walking trail that runs from Liphook, in Hampshire, to East Head at the entrance to Chichester Harbour. The path takes you through some of the loveliest parts of West Sussex including greensand ridges,
Wealden river valleys, heathlands, high chalk downland and then finally the coastal plain at Chichester.|
The first section of the walk runs from Liphook to Midhurst, passing through Woolbeding Common before a waterside section along the River Rother takes you to Midhurst.
From Midhurst you continue south through countryside and woodland to Singleton where you will find the fascinating Weald & Downland Open Air Museum. The museum covers 50 acres, with around 50 historic buildings dating from the thirteenth to nineteenth centuries, along with gardens, farm animals, walks and a lake.
The next section then takes you to Chichester, and includes a climb to the top of St Roche's hill where you can enjoy splendid views of the South Downs. Soon after you join a short easy section along a dismantled railway line through Lavant and onto the beautiful cathedral city of Chichester.
The final section then takes you along the Chichester Ship Canal and the Chichester Channel to West Wittering with splendid views of Chichester Harbour as you go.
|Nymans Gardens||2 miles (4 km)||Explore the gardens of this delightful estate on this short walk in Handcross, near Haywards Heath. You'll pass through meadows filled with wild flowers and the rock garden planted with alpines. There are also peaceful woodland walks with pools, streams and a Arboretum to enjoy. Access to the woodland walks is free and located behind the car park.|
The house is also fascinating - it was partially destroyed by fire in 1947, but the ruins of the gothic mansion remain.
|Parham House||2 miles (4 km)||Explore the parkland and gardens surrounding this Elizabethan House near Storrington. The gardens include a four-acre Walled Garden, herbaceous borders, a glasshouse, vegetable garden, orchard and a 1920s Wendy House. You can also enjoy a stroll in the extensive pleasure grounds which include a lake, a 19th century summer house, a maze, specimen trees and wild orchids.|
Head into the 875 acre estate on the public footpath and you will find peaceful woodland and a deer park with a herd of 350 fallow deer. There is also an 18th century dovecote and ice house.
Inside the house there is a Great Hall and Long Gallery with fine furniture and paintings.
|Petworth Park||3 miles (5 km)||A walk around the beautiful Petworth Park in Sussex. With over 700 acres of parks and gardens there's plenty to see. There are over 900 resident deer and several ancient trees to look out for on this circular tour of the 'Capability' Brown landscaped grounds.|
The 17th-century mansion contains galleries, fine furniture and sculptures.
|River Adur and Bramber Castle||4 miles (6 km)||Follow a waterside path along the River Adur to Bramber Castle on this walk in West Sussex.|
|Royal Military Canal Path||27 miles (43 km)||This walking route runs from Pett Level to Seabrook along the Royal Military Canal. Constructed in the early 19th century as a defence against a possible invasion by Napoleon, the canal-side path now makes for a nice easy walk.|
The route starts off on the coast at Pett Level and heads inland towards Winchelsea and then onto Rye. The path then heads to Hythe via Appledore before finishing at Seabrook just outside Hythe.
Highlights on the route include the lovely Rye Harbour Nature Reserve near Rye. The reserve includes saltmarsh, lagoons, grazing marsh, shingle and reedbeds. You can also visit the ruins of Henry VIII's Camber Castle. The Device Fort was built to protect the Sussex coast against French attack in the 16th century.
|Rye Harbour||2 miles (4 km)||This lovely walk takes you around Rye Harbour Nature Reserve on the Sussex coast. There's great scenery with a wide range of habitats including saltmarsh, lagoons, grazing marsh, shingle and reedbeds. You can follow miles of footpaths through the reserve while looking out for a huge variety of wildlife. Birds you might see include ringed plover, avocet, oystercatcher, redshank, lapwing, and sandwich terns. There's also lots of colourful plants and flowers in the summer months. Look out for 456 species of flowering plants including yellow horned-poppy, sea pea and sea campion.|
The reserve also includes Henry VIII's Camber Castle. You can visit the interesting ruins of this 16th century Device Fort, built to protect the Sussex coast against French attack.
The Saxon Shore Way long distance footpath runs through the reserve so you could pick this up to extend your walk. You could visit nearby Winchelsea and then follow the waterside path along the Royal Military Canal. Also nearby is the beautiful Camber Sands.
At Camber Sands you can pick up the England Coast Path and head east to the splendid Dungeness RSPB Nature Reserve. Here you will find lakes, lagoons and an expansive section of shingle beach with a wide variety of wildlife.
|Saxon Shore Way||160 miles (257 km)||Explore Kent's ancient coastline as you visit Iron Age hill forts, cathedrals, Martello towers, historic ports and castles on this incredible 160 mile walk.|
The route passes through two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, numerous Sites of Special Scientific Interest and several Nature Reserves.
The walk begins on the Thames at Gravesend and heads through Faversham, Deal, Dover and Rye to the finish point at Hastings.
|Serpent Trail||64 miles (103 km)||This walk runs from Haslemere to Petersfield through the beautiful Sussex greensand hills. The path takes its name both from its serpentine shape and from passing through the habitat of all three British species of snake.|
The route crosses many heathland areas and heads along the greensand ridges in the western Weald, visiting Liphook, Milland, Fernhurst, Petworth, Fittleworth, Duncton, Heyshott, Midhurst, Stedham and Nyewood before reaching the serpent's tail at Petersfield in Hampshire.
The trail is waymarked with white plastic discs showing a snake in the approximate shape of the route on a purple triangle.
Route highlights include a climb to the highest point on the South Downs at Black Down in West Sussex. You'll also visit the pretty Iping and Stedham Commons near Midhurst.
|Seven Sisters Country Park||3 miles (5.5 km)||Explore nearly 700 acres of parkland and coast on this delightful route through the South Downs. The Country Park is named after the famous Seven Sisters chalk cliffs on the Sussex Heritage Coast. On the route you will enjoy fabulous views of the Cuckmere river before heading towards the beautiful coastline.|
There are a number of footpaths and trails in the Park - further information and trail maps can be found in the Visitor Centre. Cycling is permitted on the valley floor and there is a concrete track which offers access to the beach.
If you'd like to continue your walking in the area then you could pick up the Cuckmere River footpath and head towards Alfriston and climb up to the Long Man of Wilmington.
|Sheffield Park||1 miles (2 km)||Explore the beautiful Sheffield Park and Gardens on this circular walk near Haywards Heath in Sussex. The gardens were laid out in the 18th century by 'Capability' Brown with four delightful lakes as the centrepiece. There are also a number of peaceful woodland paths and South Park - 265 acres of wide open spaces.|
|Shinewater Country Park||2 miles (3 km)||Shinewater Park is located near Eastbourne. It has two large lakes and well surfaced cycling and walking paths. There's plenty of wildlife to see with moorhen, coot, reed bunting and great crested grebe near the lakes. Hampden Park rail station is a good access point, located less than a mile from the park.|
|Slindon Estate||7 miles (10.5 km)||The Slindon Estate is a fantastic place for walkers and cyclists with miles of footpaths and bridleways to follow through the 1400 hectare estate. It is made up of a variety of habitats including woodland, downland, farmland, and parkland. All the while there are wonderful views over the Weald, the South Downs and the coast with the Isle of Wight beyond.|
This circular walk starts at the village of Slindon on Butt Lane and climbs towards Bignor Hill and Gumber Corner. Here you pick up the Stane Street Roman Road and the Monarch's Way which leads you into a long woodland section through Nore Wood. It's a lovely section with bluebells, wild flowers and other woodland plants to enjoy. The final section takes you back to Slindon passing the eye-catching Nore Hill Folly.
If you would like to continue your walking in the area then you could head a few miles to the east and enjoy a walk around Arundel Castle and Arundel Park with a riverside stretch along the River Arun.
The Slindon Estate is located close to Chichester, Arundel and Bognor Regis.
|Southwater Country Park||2 miles (3 km)||Enjoy peaceful lakeside walking at this pretty country park in Horsham. As well as the delightful lakes the park also includes a beautiful wildlife area which supports wildlife such as lizards, Kingfishers, Nightingales and various butterflies and dragonflies. There are also excellent facilities with a Visitor Centre, Cafe, an adventure-style play area, an orienteering course and tuition in canoeing and sailing.|
|St Leonard's Forest||2 miles (4 km)||This large area of woodland is located just to the east of Horsham. There are miles of cycling and walking trails to explore with attractive pine woodland, a series of pretty streams and the Whitevane Pond at the north western end of the forest. There are good wide tracks ideal for a mountain bike or hybrid. There's some steep climbs to try with fun descents. For walkers there are miles of easy flat tracks to enjoy. Look out for wildlife including peacocks and wood warblers.
The forest can be easily reached by following the High Weald Landscape Trail from the centre of Horsham.
|Standen House||1 miles (2 km)||Explore the gardens, parkland and woodland surrounding this 19th century National Trust house. The Standen Estate covers 100 acres with good footpaths taking you around the grounds and into the adjacent Rockingshill Wood. In the woods you'll find a number of ponds and pretty bluebells in the spring. There's a beautiful hillside garden and a kitchen garden. Flora includes rhododendrons, camellias, azaleas and herbaceous borders. There's also nice views across the Sussex countryside and the Philip Webb designed house which has a superb collection of Arts and Crafts interiors, with Morris & Co designs. |
The High Weald Landscape Trail passes the estate so you can pick this up to extend your walk. If you head south you'll soon come to Weir Wood Reservoir. There's a splendid footpath running around the perimeter of the reservoir with great views across the water and a nature reserve at the western end.
If you head west along the High Weald Landscape Trail you can explore Minepit Wood with its nice woodland trails and pretty lake.
If you head east you can pick up the Forest Way. The cycling and walking route runs from East Grinstead to Groombridge along a disused railway line.
|Stanmer Country Park||3 miles (5.5 km)||Enjoy beautiful woodland walks and extensive open lands in this country park in Brighton.|
|Sussex Border Path||137 miles (220 km)||A fabulous long distance walk following the Sussex county border from Thorney Island in West Sussex to Rye in East Sussex. |
You begin on Thorney Island with a lovely section along the coast from Emsworth. The route then heads through the South Downs to South Harting and Liphook before continuing to Gospel Green, Rudgwick, Gatwick Airport, Horley and East Grinstead. You then head through the beautiful High Weald, passing Groombridge, Bewl Water and Northiam before finishing in Rye. The walk is well waymarked throughout.
Route highlights include a climb to the highest point on the South Downs at Black Down in West Sussex. You'll also visit the lovely Weir Wood Reservoir and the interesting Bodiam Castle.
|Sussex Ouse Valley Way||42 miles (68 km)||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. Owned by the National Trust it includes the ruins of a Gothic Mansion surrounded by delightful gardens, a lake and woodland.
The walk also passes Sheffield Park Station which now plays host to a shop, model railway, museum and the Bessemer Arms pub. Located at Fletching on the banks of the Ouse it is a must see for railway enthusiasts
For wildlife lovers the delightful Offham Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest will be a major attraction. Its biological interest comes from its habitat of alluvial marshland, which supports large numbers of amphibians.
The walk also passes near the interesting county town of Lewes, while the final section along the seafront at Seaford is also particularly lovely.
|Tilgate Country Park||4 miles (6 km)||Tilgate Country Park is a popular large park and forest area in Crawley, Sussex. Here you'll find stunning lakes, lawns, gardens and miles of woodland and bridleways. There are also very good facilties with a Nature Centre, cafe and a delightful Walled Garden with a maze and picnic area. |
There are many walking trails but Tilgate is popular with mountain bikers too, while National Cycle route 20 also runs through the park.
|Truleigh Hill||3 miles (5 km)||This hill in West Sussex has a set of distinctive radio masts on the summit. You can park at a small parking area to the west of the hill and follow the South Downs Way past Beeding Hill to the top of Truleigh Hill. There's great views of the surrounding hills and countryside from the high points. You can turn it into a circular walk by following tracks across Bushy Bottom and then the Monarch's Way back to the car park.|
You could also start the walk from nearby Upper Beeding or Bramley Castle if you prefer.
To extend your walk you can continue east along the South Downs Way to Edbarton Hill and then on to Devils Dyke. The beautiful V-Shaped Valley is a great place for walking and mountain biking.
You can use the google street view link below to follow this part of the trail.
|Undercliff Walk Brighton||3 miles (5 km)||Follow the Undercliff Walk from Brighton Marina to Saltdean on this exhilarating coastal walk or cycle. The path runs for about 3 miles along the sea wall with the wonderful white cliffs on one side and the shingle beach and sea on the other. It can be a very exciting walk when the waves are crashing against the sea wall but do take care on particularly windy days as the water can come right over onto the path.|
The route passes along National Cycle Network route 2 so it's open to cyclists as well. Please note that pedestrians have priority so please keep to a reasonable speed on your ride. The path is flat and well surfaced so it's a nice easy ride for beginners or families to try.
The path starts from the marina about a mile east from the town centre. You pass Roedean and Rottingdean before finishing at the village of Saltdean. Here you will find the Grade II Listed Saltdean Lido built in 1937-38 to designs by the architect Richard Jones.
There's plenty of nice cafes along the way where you can stop for refreshments before starting the return leg. You could return via Ovingdean and the East Brighton Golf course on more elevated paths as an alternative.
If you felt like extending your walk you can continue to Newhaven along the wonderful Brighton to Newhaven clifftop path.
|Vanguard Way||66 miles (106 km)||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. The path also passes through the beautiful Cuckmere Valley with splendid views of Cuckmere River and Cuckmere Haven to enjoy.
Please click here for more information.
|Wakehurst Place||2 miles (3.5 km)||Located in Haywards Heath, Wakehurst is the country estate of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. There are 465 acres to explore on a series of delightful footpaths. The walk will take you to beautiful botanic gardens, woodland, lakes, formal gardens, an Elizabethan house and the Kew Millennium Seed Bank - the largest seed conservation project in the world. The aim of the Millennium Seed Bank is to collect seeds from all of the UK's native flora and conserve seeds from 25% of the world's flora by 2020, in the hope that this will save species from extinction in the wild.|
Wakehurst was the National Trust's most visited property in 2008-2009 (for which admission was charged), with 439,627 visitors. A visit will soon show you why with so many attractions. Highlights include the Southern Hemisphere Garden with 16 beds exhibiting plants from South America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. The delightful Water Garden is another major attraction with ponds, streams and a variety of water-based garden features.
There are many super options if you wish to continue your walk. The High Weald Landscape Trail runs past the edge of the estate so can picked up quite easily. Ardingly Reservoir is right next to Wakehurst and has a lovely waterside walking path to follow.
|Wealdway||82 miles (132 km)||Follow the Wealdway from the River Thames at Gravesend to Eastbourne on the Sussex coast. The route crosses the chalk ridges of the North and South Downs and passes through the lovely Weald AONB. After starting at Gravesend the walk heads through Tonbridge, Royal Tunbridge Wells with its famous Pantiles, Uckfield before finishing at Eastbourne with its splendid views from Beachy Head.|
|Weir Wood Reservoir||5 miles (8.5 km)||This 280 acre reservoir has a super waterside walking path running around its perimeter. The western end of the reservoir is a protected nature reserve and bird sanctuary designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Habitats include strips of open grassland, scrub and woodland. Low lying meadows also form part of the reserve. Look out for kingfisher, tern, osprey, teal swifts, swallows and whitethroat.|
The reservoir is located just to the west of Forest Row and about 7 miles north east of Haywards Heath.
The Forest Way and the Sussex Border Path both run past the reservoir so you could easily pick up either of these trails if you'd like to continue your walk.
If you head north you'll soon come to the National Trust owned Standen House. The Standen Estate has 100 acres of parkland, gardens and woodland to explore and is well worth a visit.
|West Dean Estate||4 miles (6 km)||This walk takes you around the beautiful gardens, woodland and arboretums in the West Dean Estate near Chichester. The gardens are particularly lovely with a Walled Kitchen Garden, a spectacular 300 foot-long Edwardian Pergola, a Spring Garden and a beautiful parkland walk with views over the South Downs. There are also views of the River Lavant and the wonderful West Dean College building.|
|West Sussex Literary Trail||55 miles (89 km)||This walk runs from Horsham to Chichester with many literary connections along the way. The walk begins at Horsham, near Percy Bysshe Shelley's millennium fountain, and heads through the South Downs to Chichester with its connections to William Blake and John Keats.|
You will pass through a series of interesting and picturesque towns and villages including Sinfield, Storrington, Amberley and Duncton before finishing near the iconic cathedral in Chichester.
There are many fascinating landmarks and points of interest on the way but of particular note are some of the musuems on the route. First on the path is the Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre. Set in a 36 acre site it details the industrial heritage of the South East with a a narrow-gauge railway and nostalgic bus service to experience.
Also on the route is the delightful Parham House. Located near Storrington, this Elizabethan House boasts a Great Hall and Long Gallery, while the Gardens consist of seven acres of Pleasure Grounds.
Finally, there is the fascinating Weald and Downland Open Air Museum near Chichester. The museum boasts '45 historic houses and agricultural buildings dating from the 13th century to victorian times rebuilt in a magnificent parkland setting'.
Other walk highlights include waterside stretches along the River Arun and around Burton Mill Pond and several wooded sections at various points along the walk.
|Wey South Path||36 miles (58 km)||Follow the Wey River and the Wey and Arun Canal on this wonderful waterside walk through Surrey and Sussex. The route starts off in Guildford and heads south to Rowly and then onto Billinghurst with a section through Sidney Wood on the way. The walk continues towards Pulborough before passing through the delightful Amberley Wild Brooks wetland with its variety of interesting wildlife. The route then comes to an end near Amberley in Sussex. |
Much of the walk follows canal side towpaths with footpaths and minor roads making up the remaining sections.
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|Woolbeding Common||2 miles (3 km)||Explore woodland, heathland and ponds on this walk on Woolbeding Common near Chichester in West Sussex. The area is managed by the National Trust so there are good footpaths and a car park off Older Hill Lane. There's miles of good tracks to follow with the area also including Oakham Common, Pound Common, Stedham Marsh and the hamlet of Titty Hill.|
If you follow the trails south from the common you will soon come to the beautiful River Rother Valley. Here you can enjoy a stroll along the river and visit Iping Common and Stedham Common.
Two long distance footpaths also pass through the common. You can pick up either the Serpent Trail or the New Lipchis Way to extend your walk. Heading north will take you towards Older Hill, Stanley Common and Liphook.
Woolbeding Common is located a few miles north west of Midhurst.
|Worth Way||7 miles (11 km)||This 7 mail long bridleway and footpath runs along National Cycle route 21 from Crawley to East Grinstead via the village of Crawley Down. The tree lined path follows the trackbed of a disused railway line making for a nice flat easy walk or cycle ride. The path and surrounding area are also blessed with a variety of wildlife - look out for Roe Deer, foxes and Kingfishers.|