Walking Routes in Sussex

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The Pier at Brighton

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 Sussex Walks
Route NamePicDistanceDescription
1066 Country Walk31 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
Brighton Way54 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.
Buchan Country Park4 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.
Centurion Way6 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.
Cuckoo Trail14 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 NCN 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.
Diamond Way60 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 Common Country Park2 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 Link36 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.
Forest Way11 miles (17 km)This cycling and walking route runs from East Grinstead to Groombridge following NCN 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.
Goodwood Country Park7 miles (12 km)Explore the Goodwood estate in Chichester, West Sussex on this circular walk.
Hastings Country Park3 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 Weald Landscape Trail94 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
  • St. Leonard's Forest - located at the western end of the Wealden Forest Ridge running from Horsham to Tonbridge, the forest is part of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
  • Borde Hill Garden - located near Hayward's Heath Borde Hill features over 200 acres of garden, park and woodlands accompanied by spectacular views across the Sussex High Weald
  • Wakehurst Place - owned by the National Trust Wakehurst Place is located near Ardingly. It comprises a late 16th century country house and a mainly 20th century garden, managed by the Royal Botanic Gardens
  • Stone Farm Rocks - located near East Grinstead you will find this series of sandstone crags which is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
  • Standen - National Trust owned Arts and Crafts family home with Morris & Co. interiors, set in a beautiful hillside garden
  • Harrison's Rocks - popular with rock climbers this sandstone crag is located approximately 1.5 km south of the village of Groombridge in the county of East Sussex.
  • Union Mill - Grade I listed smock mill in Cranbrook, Kent, England which has been restored to working order. It is the tallest smock mill in the United Kingdom.
  • Rye Castle - this 13th century castle houses a museum which includes locally-made medieval pottery, an embroidery depicting many aspects of Rye life and history, medieval artifacts, activities and town maps.

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.
Kent Coast207 miles (333 km)Walk the entirety of the beautiful Kent Coast on this long distance walk.
Midhurst Way19 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 Way615 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)
New Lipchis Way37 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 Gardens2 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.
Petworth Park3 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.
Royal Military Canal Path27 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.
Saxon Shore Way160 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 Trail64 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.
Seven Sisters Country Park3 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.
Sheffield Park3 miles (5 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 Park2 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.
Southwater Country Park2 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.
Stanmer Country Park3 miles (5.5 km)Enjoy beautiful woodland walks and extensive open lands in this country park in Brighton.
Sussex Border Path137 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.
Sussex Ouse Valley Way42 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 Garden 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 Park4 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 mountatin bikers too, while NCN route 20 also runs through the park.
Vanguard Way66 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 the Cuckmere River to enjoy.
Please click here for more information.
Wealdway82 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.
West Dean Estate4 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 Trail55 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 and Gardens. 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 Path36 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.
Please click here for more information
Worth Way7 miles (11 km)This 7 mail long bridleway and footpath runs along NCN 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.





 Sussex Walking Links
NameDescription
Arundel CastleInformation on this splendid attraction in West Sussex
East Sussex CouncilCycle and Walking guide pages for the area
High Weald AONBLovely site with walking and cycling routes information

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