GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Friston Forest Walking and Cycling

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.
Our South Downs Circular Walk also passes through the forest. It will take you on a tour of the surrounding area, visiting Seven Sisters Country Park and Birling Gap.


BN25 4AD - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations

Friston Forest OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Friston Forest Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking


The Saltmarsh Cafe & Rooms is located on the western fringes of the forest at Exceat. The delightful cafe is set in a 16th Century farmhouse and includes a pretty courtyard where you can relax on warmer days.  The rustic café, kitchen and bar serves a delicious menu with a focus on fresh Sussex produce. Dishes make good use of foraged and seasonal ingredients for a rich and distinctive flavour. Saltmarsh also does high quality accommodation if you'd like to stay in the area. You can find the cafe near the start of the walk in Exceat, on the East Dean Road at postcode BN25 4AD.
At the eastern end of the forest there's the village of Friston and the noteworthy Tiger Inn. It's a quintessentially English pub, with its open fire, low-slung oak beams, real ales and hearty food. Dating from the 16th century the pub has been serving surrounding residents, farmers, soldiers, walkers, and smugglers for hundreds of years. There's a nice large outdoor area looking onto the pretty village green. It's a great spot to rest your legs and enjoy a drink before continuing the walk. You can find the pub in the centre of the village at a postcode of BN20 0BY.

Dog Walking

The woods are a popular place for dog walking with lots of nice wide tracks to explore. Dogs are also welcome in the outdoor courtyard of the Saltmarsh cafe and in the bar area of the Tiger Inn mentioned above.


Entrance to Friston Forest - - 670388

Entrance to Friston Forest

Dewpond, Friston Forest - - 132039

Dewpond, Friston Forest

Friston Forest - - 1272307

Friston Forest. Viewed from the northern side of Charleston Bottom. The forest is an early 20th century plantation on former open downland currently owned by Southern Water who lease it to the Forestry Commission. All tracks within the forest are open access for walkers though cyclists and horse riders have to stick to specifically marked ones.

Friston Forest - - 1272316

View from the southern side of Snap Hill. The forest has been planted on former open downland and stretches from Lullington Heath in the north to the A259 in the south, Litlington Road to the west and Jevington Road to the east. The ridge in the distance marks the southern border.

Bridleway, Friston Forest - - 2631720

Bridleway in early autumn.

Cottages, Friston Forest - - 3755148

Cottages, Friston Forest

Surfaced Track, Friston Track - - 1272302

Surfaced Track. Heading down towards a junction with another. All tracks are open access to walkers though cyclists and horse riders have to keep to specifically marked ones.

Charleston Bottom meets Friston Forest - - 131923

Charleston Bottom meets Friston Forest. Looking north east from the bridleway that climbs the slope and joins with another that links Westdean and Jevington. Friston is not an ancient forest but was planted during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.


GPS Files

GPX File

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

Memory Map Route

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