South Downs Way 4: A27 near Lewes to Pyecombe
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The South Downs Way (SDW) has been in use for thousands of years. There is nothing 'new' in any of the routes posted; however, I hope that by presenting the walks in manageable sections it will encourage a few more people to explore if not all, at least parts of the SDW. The whole of the SDW is about 106 miles. There can be few places that are within reach of millions of people where it is possible (excluding a few well-used sections) to 'get away from it all' so quickly among such beautiful scenery. For much of the path travelling along the top of the downs there is an amazing feeling of space and of peace. Other than weekends it always surprises me how little the path is used (excluding the Eastbourne section and a few other short stretches).
The South Downs Way runs from Eastbourne to Winchester and is easily accessible, well-maintained and winds its way through some of the most beautiful scenery in Southern England.
On this section from the A27 crossing near Lewes to Pyecombe, you soon leave the bustle of the A27 and spend most of the walk in either open countryside or walking along the top of the downs. There is a short, steep climb at the start of the walk followed by a rapid descent, but for the most part it is an easy walk. Most of the walk is along the top of the downs with spectacular views both inland and towards the sea. You descend to Pyecombe Village at the end. I have finished this section of the SDW at The Plough pub a few hundred yards off the SDW path but with ample parking on the surrounding roads and a bus stop (Brighton service) nearby. There is a huge variety of plant- and wildlife.
The SDW is very well-maintained and clearly marked throughout. For the most part it is an easy walk, although there are a few steep hills to climb and descend!
Where possible I have given details of suggested car parking and public transport, as:
(NB: very limited public transport on this section).
Distances given in the directions are approximate, rounded to the nearest fifty yards (shorter sections) or quarter-mile (longer sections).
For those interested in more detail on the SDW I would suggest:
South Downs Way (National Trail Guides) by Paul Millmore; excellent, comprehensive guide, c160 pages;
http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/Southdowns/index.asp?PageId=1 South Downs Way National Trail website - http://www.visitsouthdowns.com/
England - South England - East Sussex - South Downs
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