Beautiful out-and-back walk starting in Cuckmere Haven car park, taking in riverside, coastal path, village and forest
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D/A) Start in the car park of Cuckmere Inn, which is easily accessible by bus. Cross bridge eastwards, over the Cuckmere
(1) Follow signs for South Downs Way heading towards the sea. On arrival at the farm, follow signs for Foxhole camping centre. Bear right uphill and follow the steep path to the top. This is no longer the South Down Way, though this path will soon rejoin it on the clifftops.
(2) Head left and follow poorly defined paths. After one rise and dip and rise again, bear right towards the main clifftop path. Continue towards Birling Gap, plenty of up and down.
(3) Shortly before arrival, turn left on a path that skirts the shrubland and heads inland. Continue up towards the lone building in the field, bear left, and then, bear right until you see the clearly defined path.
(4) Take the path down on your right into East Dean. When facing the pub, turn left, and head up the path across the road (steepish) to Friston Church.
(5) Cross the road to the right and you will see a path in the trees. Turn right and head down until you come to a steep stile and cross two fields. Follow the path left, and bear left around the track in a few hundred yards. Follow this path until you see a clearly defined path on your right, signposted to Westdean.
(6) Turn right to the hamlet of Westdean, staying straight despite the many paths left and right. When you reach the tarmac road bear left and you will soon find a signpost to the South Downs Way again, to your left, up steep steps. At the top, you will see you are back above Cuckmere Haven and can see the car park.(D/A)
D/A : km 0 - alt. 5m - Depart
1 : km 0.78 - alt. 13m - South Downs Way
2 : km 2.35 - alt. 42m
3 : km 6.19 - alt. 38m - Turn inland shortly before Birling Gap
4 : km 7.38 - alt. 88m - Village of East Dean
5 : km 8.56 - alt. 114m - Friston
6 : km 9.71 - alt. 45m - Signpost to Westdean
D/A : km 13.48 - alt. 5m - Arrive back at start point
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
(4) Take a look around the village - famous pub The Tiger, a blue plaque on a house for Sherlock Holmes (possibly the only blue plaque for a fictional character), nice coffee shop and cafe, and a craft market some mornings.
This linear walk from East Dean to Eastbourne includes many of the highlights along the East Sussex coast in this area. A frequent bus serrvice can be used to return to the start.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.