Berwick - Alciston - Firle - Glynde - Lewes

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From Berwick Railway Station a network of field and wooded paths lead south across the Sussex Weald to Alciston, a Saxon Domesday Book village with 14th Century dovecote, huge tithe barn and ancient church (originally built from chalk) surrounded by flint walls, fish-ponds and a monastic farm.

Ancient bostal (sunken) chalk paths lead up the steep northern slopes of the downs to join the South Downs Way, which is clearly routed with its distinctive acorn sign. Now heading west, the route heads out over the summit of Firle Beacon with its barrow cemetery, grassy top and extensive views to the Channel coast and Newhaven Harbour. Wild Exmoor ponies brought in to graze the north escarpments of the downs are now a familiar sight in winter.

Thence another bostal path provides the descent path to Firle Village and St Peter's Church in the grounds of Firle Place, given to Sir John Gage by Henry VIII five centuries ago and still the family seat. Continuing to head north, after passing rows of terraced flint cottages in Glynde Village, there is a second steep ascent up the flanks of Mount Caburn. Unusual pink-faced Southdown sheep, carefully bred in the 1700s, are usually grazing the downs in this area.

An airy ridge path first contours north-east and then west, high above Oxendale Bottom, before commencing the steep descent to Lewes Cliffe High Street with its bohemian atmosphere and character shops. Lewes Railway Station is near the centre of town and easily located.

England - South England - East Sussex - South Downs


Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Castle, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Gift Shop, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Museum, National Trust, Pub, Public Transport, River, Stately Home, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland
10/4/2019 - Pamela Franklin-Lester

This is an amazing walk with some spectacular views and some thigh burning hills to climb !! instructions were easy to follow. you'll walk through some incredibly pretty countryside passing some lovely old houses. As someone else mentioned you do cross the A27 twice, but that wouldn't put me off doing this walk again.

9/22/2015 - Philippa Grand

Excellent instructions for a really diverse walk, including great views over sea and land, two very pretty churches and a great pub in Firle called 'The Ram Inn' where I highly recommend the ploughmans lunch. The only drawback is having to cross the A27 twice.

6/6/2015 - tracy Evans

Fabulous walk :) instructions absolutely perfect. I used it to lead a Ramblers walk for BAHR- hope you don't mind! It was enjoyed by many.

8/25/2011 - Walkingworld Administrator

Our thanks to Graham Hooker for his full update for this walk. August 2011. Adrian (Admin)

7/27/2011 - Judy Brua

Great walk, near perfect instructions, thanks Graham. A couple of minor points - Waymark 6 - the plank bridge is now totally overgrown and invisible - but just focus on the picture of the gate and don't bother looking for the plank bridge. Waymark 18 - the stile has been replaced with a gate. Just to be pedantic, I think the views are of Glynde Place and not the opera house .... but I could be wrong.

9/5/2010 - Robin Philpott

I did this walk on 5/9/10 and it is superb. Very lovely and varied countryside, wide sweeping views and lovely villages with lots of interest. Definitely recommended. I measured it at 18.7 km/11.6 miles.

10/27/2008 - Walkingworld Administrator

This walk was updated October 2008 by the contributor.

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26.7 Miles