South Downs Way: 1.Eastbourne to Seven Sisters Country Park

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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 approximately 106 miles long. The complete route is covered in walk IDs 4610 - 4620.

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 amongst such beautiful scenery. For much of the path travelling along the top of the downs there is an amazing feeling of space and peace. Other than weekends, it always surprises me how little-used the path is (excluding the Eastbourne section and a few other short stretches).

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!

This section of the SDW is one of the most spectacular costal walks in Southern Britain. It is exhilarating, with superb views as you walk along the chalk clifftop of the Seven Sisters (seven chalk cliffs). Beware however – the 'sisters' require a little effort at times! Leaving aside the sea views, the other notable feature of the walk is that after leaving Eastbourne. Other than a little development around the hotel, cafe and toilets at Birling Gap, most of the time you are in open grassland with only a rare building in sight. There is a huge variety of plant- and wildlife. There are good public transport links between the start and finish.

Where possible I have given details of suggested car parking and public transport. I have also suggested ways of getting back to the beginning of the walk by public transport.

Distances given in the directions are approximate, rounded to the nearest fifty yards (shorter sections) or quarter-mile (longer sections).

This walk was originated by Martin O'Keeffe. Walkingworld is delighted to welcome Keith and Ing-Marie Beldam as the new contributors now taking care of Martin's walks from May 2014. Walkingworld, admin and members, would like to say a huge thank you to Martin for all his excellent contributions over the years.

England - South England - East Sussex - South Downs


Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Flowers, Good for Kids, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, River, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland

Walkingworld members near this walk

Distance away
24.9 Miles
Clubs/Walking Groups
Distance away
25.5 Miles