Ditchling Beacon Walk
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.
PostcodeBN6 8XE - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations
Ditchling Beacon Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Ditchling Beacon Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Ditchling Beacon OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Ditchling Beacon Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
Back in Ditchling village there's a number of good options for refreshments. The Bull is a good choice with a particularly noteworthy outdoor area. Here you'll find a lovely place to relax in with fruit trees, a kitchen garden and an outdoor kitchen where you can watch your food being cooked. If it's a nice sunny day it's the perfect place to enjoy a meal in pleasant surroundings. There's plenty of space with 25 tables with views over the South Downs to enjoy too. You can easily locate the pub on the High Street with a postcode of BN6 8TA for your sat navs.
Pictured above left, the Bull pub. Built around 1563 the inn saw its heyday in the late 18th century when the main London-Brighton coach route ran through the village. Coaches would regularly change their horses before ascending nearby Ditchling Beacon. Located at the crossroads in the centre of the village which still boasts three pubs within staggering distance of each other. On the right is St Margaret's church which is also worth a visit. Located near the pub the church dates from the 12th century.
The beacon is a popular spot for dog walking and the Bull Inn mentioned above is also dog friendly.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
The route passes the pretty Stoneywish Nature Reserve which is a nice place for a stroll if you have time. The lovely reserve covers 50 acres and includes meadows, wetlands and woodland full of native flowers and home to a wealth of wildlife, in addition to their own resident farm animals. Look out for herons, woodpeckers, little owls, foxes, and deer as you make your way through the reserve. You can find the reserve on the eastern side of the village on Spatham Lane at a postcode of BN6 8XH. You can visit the reserve and the Beacon from the nearby town of Burgess Hill on the Burgess Hill Walk. The walk follows the Sussex Border Path to Ditchling Common Country Park before heading to the beacon.
Head west from the reserve and you can visit Wolstonbury Hill. This area of chalk grassland is covered in lovely wildflowers during the summer months. There also fine views over the Grade II listed Clayton Windmills from here.
Pictured above geese and the car park at the Stoneywish Park and Nature Reserve on the route.
The Plumpton Walk visits the beacon from the nearby village. The long circular route also visits the 16th century Plumpton Place and Ditchling village. It runs close to Plumpton rail station providing and opportunity to visit the site by public transport.
The circular Brighton and Hove Five Peaks Walk starts from Hove Park in Brighton and visits the beacon and 4 of the other prominent peaks in the area.
The Hassocks Walk visits the beacon starting from the train station in the nearby village. It's a nice option if you'd like to visit the site by public transport.
For more walking ideas in the area see the South Downs Walks page.