GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Firle Beacon

4 miles (6 km)

This circular walk takes you to the splendid Firle Beacon in the South Downs. The popular 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 wasfirst 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 Escarpmentis also aSite 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.

Postcode

BN8 6LP - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations

Firle Beacon OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Firle Beacon Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking

Pubs/Cafes

Head into nearby Firle village and you could enjoy some post walk rest and refreshment at The Ram Inn. The inn includes a popular outdoor area known as Firle Beach at the front of the pub. It's a historic place dating back hundreds of years with many early features including the tiled floor around the bar area, bench seating and bay windows from the 1930s. You can find them at postcode BN8 6NS for your sat navs.

Dog Walking

The country trails make for a fine walk for fit dogs. The Ram Inn mentioned above is also dog friendly.

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

Just a couple of miles to the south of Lewes you'll find the interesting village of Iford. The historic settlement includes 18 listed buildings, a 12th century church and a sundial marking the Greenwich meridian which runs through the village. From here you can enjoy a walk up to the viewpoint at Iford Hill on a particularly lovely section of the South Downs. On the Iford walk there's also Rodmell where you can visit the National Trust's Monk's House. The 16th-century weatherboarded cottagewas once the home of author Virginia Woolfe and her husband.
Just to the east there's Charleston Farmhouse to visit. The property is associated with the Bloomsbury group of English writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists from the early part of the 20th century. It is now open to the public through the National Trust. You can explore the house and learn about the visits from authors such as Virginia Woolf,John Maynard Keynes andE. M. Forster.

Cycle Routes and Walking Routes Nearby

Photos

Firle Beacon - geograph.org.uk - 961577

The distinctive peak along this range of the Downs. Much of the north escarpment is open access land and a track can just be made out running around the lower part of the hill from its start point in front of the photographer. Firle Tower can be seen in the distance.

Trig Pillar, Firle Beacon - geograph.org.uk - 961539

Photo of the Trig Pillar, Firle Beacon, on a mist shrouded morning. The pillar is set amongst a number of tumuli.

Looking towards Firle Beacon - geograph.org.uk - 29384

Looking towards Firle Beacon, with two cyclists ahead on the path

Trig Point on Firle Beacon - geograph.org.uk - 24622

Top of the beacon and site of Iron Age settlement. Looking North over the Sussex Weald

Round Hill, rising to Firle Beacon seen from the North - geograph.org.uk - 137239

Round Hill, rising to Firle Beacon seen from the North

Charleston Farmhouse - geograph.org.uk - 2742143

Charleston Farmhouse. A short walk from the beacon this historic house makes a nice extension to the walk. The house has strong literary associations and features year round exhibitions and talks.

Firle Tower from the Old Coach Road - geograph.org.uk - 962535

Firle Tower from the Old Coach Road. Built in 1822 by the Gage family, owners of the Firle Estate for their gamekeeper. In the field in the foreground are four goats munching their way through the choicest foliage.

Firle Stores and Post Office - geograph.org.uk - 2105075

Firle Stores and Post Office. The village is located just north west of the beacon. It's name comes from the old Anglo-Saxonword'fierol'meaning overgrown withoak.

Elevation Profile

Video

GPS Files

GPX File

Firle Beacon.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Download Linked File)

Memory Map Route

Firle Beacon.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Download Linked File)