SWC 90 - Berwick to Seaford
Length: 18.4 km (11.4 miles) Stopping at Exceat: 12.2 km (7.6 miles). Berwick Circular: 13.3 km (8.3 miles).
Other options, extensions, routes available
Toughness: Main walk and to Exceat: 7 out of 10. Circular walk: 5 out of 10
: 09-16 hrs Littlehampton and Eastbourne service (splits at Haywards Heath). CJ 09-23, EC 09-33
: 10-23 hrs. Change trains, crossing over bridge
: 10-47 hrs. Hastings service from Brighton
: 10-56 hrs Return
changing at Lewes or Brighton (not much in it): 52 mins past the hour Seaford
, changing at Lewes: 25 and 53 mins past the hour Rail ticket
: if doing the Berwick Circular, it's obvious. If going to Seaford, your best option is a day return to Seaford, and sweet talk the ticket inspector on the leg Lewes to Berwick. Either that or buy a Berwick return and deploy your sweet talking skills at Seaford
The early(ish) start is due to the new timetable being "unfriendly" today - sorry, not much I can do about that.
The version of the walk which I suggest you take today - with the alternative start from Berwick, and taking in the churches in Alciston and Alfriston - was walked by mid-week SWC walkers on 14 March of this year, and when including the route "High and Over" in the afternoon, many of them agreed with me - that this walk is one of the very best in the entire SWC repertoire. Lots of variety, hills to keep a walker honest, proper water features, and not too long. So do give it a go - on this Whit Bank Holiday. The mid-weekers had the bonus of seeing this year's new born lambs in the fields below Seaford Head. Said lambs will be approaching full growth now, but the bonus for you will be the muddy, slippery paths which mid-weekers had to negotiate should be drying out by now and should be much firmer under foot.
Today you can mix and match the routes and options and do your own thing to your heart's content. Your choice just might be dictated by the weather. If it is horribly hot, the Book 1 route on the Glynde to Seaford walk offers a lot more shade in the afternoon. If you want to add to your sun tan, the route with stunning views up and over "High and Over Hill
" should do the trick for you. If storms are a-threatening, again the Book 1 route might be safer.
You choose. Lunch
: The three walker friendly pubs in Alfriston
are all likely to be very busy. If there are a number of would-be diners, best you spread out over all three. In addition to the pubs there is at least one cafe and a tea room and a very good deli for picnic provisions. Or you could continue the morning walk to Litlington, where there is another good pub.
If you don't want to climb a big hill in the afternoon, or go through woodland, then up two steep flights of steps, the relaxed route to Exceat
is to stay beside the Cuckmere River
and just meander with it to Exceat. There you can conclude your walk, by taking the bus to Seaford (a regular service). If you continue with the walk, your final leg, after a stretch steadily uphill on the Vanguard Way to Cuckmere Haven
, is a delightful, undulating, cliff-top walk all the way to Seaford
, with lovely views behind you of the Seven Sisters
: pubs, cafes, bars - and Trawlers
Fish and chip restaurant await your custom at walk-end. Those on the Berwick Circular (I haven't mentioned much about this pleasant option) there is a pub close to the station for a walk-end tincture.
For those who like shade in the afternoon, you will need to refer to the Book 1 walk, Glynde to Seaford here
Otherwise, the Directions for the main and circular walks are here