South Downs Way: 2. Seven Sisters Country Park - Southease Station

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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 Way is approximately 106 miles long.

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 the path is used (excluding the Eastbourne section and a few other short stretches).

The South Downs Way from Eastbourne to Winchester is easily accessible and well-maintained and winds its way through some of the most beautiful scenery in Southern England.

On this section from the Seven Sisters Country Park at Exceat to Southease Station (near the A26), the walking is extremely varied. You start from the Country Park Visitors' Centre and walk for about 3½ miles in open countryside, woods and next to the Cuckmere River until you reach Alfriston Village, one of the most picturesque villages in Southern England. You then start to climb onto the top of the South Downs for seven miles or so until you descend to Southease Station, where there is a yha hostel and cafe.

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. 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 most grateful for Ian Runcie now taking care of this walk.

England - South England - East Sussex - South Downs


Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Flowers, Good for Kids, Great Views, Hills or Fells, National Trust, Nature Trail, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, River, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland
4/9/2015 - Frank Lee

One word. Fabulous! My wife and I parked in the layby opposite Itford farm and walked to Southease station to catch the train to Seaford and then the number 12 bus to Exceat to start the walk. 10 minutes before the train was due we checked the information point to find that it had been cancelled so decided to do the walk in reverse order. Very easy signage to follow meant that we didn't really need the notes until we got to Alfriston. We had a lovely picnic by the river before continuing to the bus stop by the visitor centre at Exceat where we caught the bus to Seaford library, (£2.10 single) and then the train to Southease (£2.60 single) and back to the car. We had a fantastic day with lovely sunshine and have decided to try and do the complete South Downs Way over this year. Whilst having a pint waiting for the train, I read the walk notes backwards and they were very clear and precise. Thank you so much for sharing this lovely walk with us.

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28.6 Miles