Manicured footpath

Not many footpaths have their own lawn and neatly clipped hedges Hassocks to Brighton

30-Aug-09 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 swcwalks walk50

In a wood

Ive discovered a new toy...the "fireworks" setting. Hassocks to Brighton

30-Aug-09 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 swcwalks walk50

Woodland Path

Hassocks to Brighton

30-Aug-09 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 swcwalks walk50

Tree in a wood

Hassocks to Brighton

30-Aug-09 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 swcwalks walk50

Gate out of the wood

Hassocks to Brighton

30-Aug-09 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 swcwalks walk50

Gate out of a wood...

....into a lime green sea, Hassocks to Brighton

30-Aug-09 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 swcwalks walk50


Hassocks to Brighton

30-Aug-09 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 swcwalks walk50

Hassocks to Brighton walk


This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Updated: Tue, 20-Oct-20

Date # Post
Wed, 30-Sep-20 2

Wednesday walk Hassocks to Brighton - up and over the South Downs to Stanmer Park, then on to Brighton via Falmer and Kemp Town racecourse

SWC 50 - Hassocks to Brighton

Length: 22.5 km (14 miles). If concluding the walk in Falmer, 12 km (7.5 miles)
Toughness: 7 out of 10 (6 out of 10 for short walk)

Car drivers: park up in Hassocks, close to the railway station.

For those comfortable using public transport in these Covid times, your recommended train is:

London Victoria: 10-15 hrs Southern service to Littlehampton CJ 10-22 hrs, EC 10-33 hrs
Arrive Hassocks: 11-12 hrs

Return: Brighton to Victoria: 09 and 39 mins past the hour
Brighton to Hassocks: direct trains at 25 and 55 mins past the hour
Falmer to Brighton: 6 trains an hour

Rail ticket: buy a day return to Brighton
See our Covid Rules on This Weeks page

This is a lovely walk with lots of variety and is different from walking the ridge of the South Downs (unless you take the alternative start) as the walk traverses north to south, up, over and down the Downs, exploring hidden valleys, woods, open access land and parkland. You have a choice of start: the main walk takes you through the pretty village of Ditchling before you head for the base of the South Downs, for a steep ascent to the top. The alternative start takes you past the two windmills - Jack and Jill - before a slightly less steep climb up to the ridge of the Downs, which you then follow, enjoying lovely panoramic views on either side, before you re-join the main route from Ditchling. You now descend to the village of Stanmer, where you can purchase a takeaway from the Stanmer Tea Rooms. Onwards through Stanmer Park and the extensive grounds of Sussex University towards the village of Falmer - cut in half by the ugly A27 road - where you find on its north side the suggested lunch pub, the homely, non-pretentious Swan Inn. Check to see if they have resumed serving food after their long lockdown.
After the Swan Inn, you continue your walk through the prettier southern section of Falmer, then you go past the Amex Football stadium (home of Brighton and Hove Albion FC). You can conclude your walk in Falmer by taking the train from the local station to Brighton. But the main walk continues on an undulating way over fields then down to the village of Bevenden. Climb up a path and you now walk through Kemp Town Racecourse, along the length of the course and past the grandstand. At the far end of the course you find a woodland path which drops down cleverly into Brighton, close to Brighton College. You now choose your route along the seafront into the centre of Town. You are spoilt for choice for a tea stop in town.
Walk Directions are here: L=swc.50

I only needed one hand to count everyone today. There were 2 Yes 2. (I don’t think I told anyone I was coming so it can’t be that). There was some discussion about whether we should separate into two groups, but in the end we decided to stick together, at least for the start. The day was overcast with occasional light showers In Ditchling, it was noted that the deli had gone. We had no official lunch break as such but, as we approached the formidable ridge ahead, I could hear my companion’s motor start to rev up. Then suddenly fshoom!! he was off full tilt up the hill. This was to try to get to the Swan for a late lunch cum early tea. Someone had to come second so I just plodded philosophically along with a cheery smile on my face and a kind word for everyone. When I got to the Swan, it still looked open (as did the Stanmer tearooms earlier) but I didn’t go in. I finished at Falmer and got a bus into Brighton. I let a few go by before I realised Old Steine was a street in Brighton. I think my companion would have finished at Falmer too because the weather was starting to deteriorate. For me, the stretches through the universities and past the stadium detract from the rest of the walk, which is OK.
Hi Ian, I waited outside the Stanmer Tea Room at a table with a parasol, which almost kept off the rain which was falling quite heavily and I waited....and waited.....and eventually I assumed you must have taken a different route. It was now too wet to continue with my book checking so, like you, I decided to conclude my walk in Falmer. Three quid for a single for the train to Brighton was excellent value in the circumstances and in Brighton I did not have to wait long for my connection for the London train. So, to quote the late and much missed rugby league commentator Eddie Waring, I was home in time for "an early bath".
It was windy on top of the Downs which looked lovely in the clear air with wonderful panoramic views. It was worth turning up for the walk today just for this leg up, over then down the Downs.
Thank you for your excellent company from walk start to the foot of the Downs beyond Ditchling, and I'm sorry I missed you at Stanmer.
Wed, 10-Jul-19 9

Wednesday walk Hassocks to Brighton - Up and Over the South Downs to drop down to Brighton

SWC 50 - Hassocks to Brighton

Length: 22.5 km (14 miles). Option to end walk after 12 km (7.5 miles)
Toughness: Main walk - 7 out of 10. Short walk - 6 out of 10

London Victoria: 09-55 hrs Brighton service CJ 10-02 hrs EC 10-11 hrs
Arrive Hassocks: 10-51 hrs

Return: Brighton to Victoria: 03 and 33 mins past the hour

Rail ticket: buy a day return to Brighton. Non-Senior Railcard users - use your travel card from Clapham Junction

This makes for a most pleasant summer outing up and over the South Downs. You have a choice of starts: the main route via Ditchling Village, or the "Jack and Jill" route if you want to spend more time on top of the Downs.

You have a choice of lunch stops, the first after 2.5 hrs of walking in Stanmer, at the Stanmer Country House. Forty minutes further on, having walked through the campus of Sussex University, you come to the The Swan Inn in Falmer, an unpretentious pub serving basic pub grub, a good pint and German Euro-Fizz. For other eating and picnicking options, please refer to the Directions.

In Falmer you can end your walk by taking the train to Brighton from the local station, close to Brighton & Hove Albion FC's impressive Amex Stadium.

Those continuing on the main walk you cross some large fields before you drop down to the village of Bevenden. Then you ascend a path to Brighton's Kemp Town Racecourse which you traverse (no racing today). At the end of the course you drop down some paths and - voila - and to your surprise - you find yourselves in Brighton by Brighton College. From there it a short(ish) walk through Kemp Town then along the sea front to the centre of Brighton with its choice of tea shops. The walk to the railway station is a bit of a drag, but you can take a bus if you have had enough walking by now.

At Brighton railway station, with more refreshment options, you should find two trains an hour to Victoria, and one or two to London Bridge. Do NOT take the Gatwick Express unless you are happy to pay a supplement for this marginally faster service back to Victoria.
Walk Directions are here L=swc.50

There is also a Blackfriars service at 9.39 which gets in at 10.38 to Hassocks. Worth considering given the Victoria disruption today, Tuesday, which may leak into Wednesday morning. Check departure boards early tomorrow, online.
9 on this pleasant walk into Brighton on a warm sun cloudy day. Picnickers stopped in Stanmer, with 4 of us pressing on to Falmer for lunch at the friendly Swann Inn. 1 returned from Falmer, 2 caught up at the pub & 6 of us walked on. 2 faint hearts got the bus at Bevenden to avoid tarmac. 3 of us walked the green corridor into Brighton, enjoyed a look at the sea with coffee & beer before the train back to London. Leaving 3 unaccounted for.
After picnicking at Stanmer, the missing three walked on to Brighton. They enjoyed a refreshing beer in a pub called THE CONSTANT SERVICE which has a nice bohemian atmosphere and small back garden.
The name refers to a nearby covered water reservoir.
Sat, 08-Dec-18 26

Saturday walk - Hassocks to Brighton

Length: 22.5km (14 miles), but this includes a walk along Brighton seafront and up to the station which can be done by bus. To "civilisation" in Brighton (the start of Kemp Town Racecourse, after which you could walk entirely on illuminated roads) is 18.4km (11.4 miles). A shorter ending at Falmer also possible after 12.5km (7.8 miles)

Toughness: 7 out of 10: a big hill climb or two, but actually mostly not that tough

9.25 train from Victoria (9.32 Clapham Junction, 9.41 East Croydon) to Hassocks, arriving 10.20. T=3.50

Buy a day return to Brighton.

For walk directions click here. For GPX click here.

I have had a special request for this walk, which we have done before at this time of year without problems. See above for a breakdown of the length, which is not as long as it looks. This is a breezy walk over the South Downs, first approaching them on the flat, then climbing up onto the escarpment and then crossing their middle to arrive unexpectedly in the very heart of Brighton via Kemp Town Racecourse.

Chalk downland paths can be a bit slippery if it has been wet: watch out for that.

The Swan Inn in Falmer makes a reasonable lunch stop. Earlier in Stamner Park there is a nice and popular cafe. Between you cross the Brighton University campus, a slightly surreal experience after the wilds of the downs. In Brighton tea options are everywhere, but Google the location of the Mock Turtle Tea Shop for a special treat.

Trains back from Brighton: oodles of them: you can just turn up and go. Trains from Falmer to Brighton go every ten minutes and take ten minutes.
Then there's the Evening Star (a Darkstar brewery pub) close to Brighton Station...
26 on this walk. The weather was windy and wet. Not continuous rain but it started about an hour a half into the walk and was on and off thereafter. The afternoon crossing of the downs was fairly bleak or refreshing, depending on your point of view. It was a good Atlantic wind, at least, fresh clean ocean air.

One or two may have stopped for lunch in the Stanmer tea room but most of us went to The Swan. This pub is a real 1970s timewarp but I think we enjoyed our sausage and chips, toasted sandwiches and baked potatoes (OK, perhaps baked potatoes are not that 1970s). I calculate that 11 got the train from Falmer and 15 (nine pub lunchers and six sandwichers in two separate groups) carried on to Brighton.

I hear two had a paddle there in the stormy sea and that the waves at the pier end were magnificent. Three of us went to the Mock Turtle Tea Room, which has rather discordant new furniture but the same fabulous selection of cakes. Then we trekked uphill to a very nice party given by a walker, with fine food kindly cooked by his lodger. A fine and friendly day out with plenty of what the Danes call “hygge”.
Three of us who took the train from Falmer also had tea at The Mock Turtle. I am afraid this old institution has not kept up with time. It is a bit dated. Walking along The Lane, there are no shortage of nice tea rooms, so worth trying one next time.

The Swan Inn is a very basic pub the most dissapointing item is Fish and Chips with Fish straight from the freezer. Pity, given it is so close to the seaside. One would thought this is the one dish they should be a master to cook....
Wed, 22-Aug-18 4

Wednesday Walk - Hassocks to Brighton - over the South Downs to the Seaside

SWC 50 - Hassocks to Brighton

Length: 22-5 km (14 miles). Short walk ending in Falmer: 12 km (7.5 miles)
Toughness: 7 out of 10

London Victoria: 09-55 hrs Brighton service CJ 10-02 hrs EC 10-11 hrs
Arrive Hassocks: 10-51 hrs

Return: Brighton to Victoria: (non-Gatwick Express service) 03 and 33 mins past the hour

Rail ticket: buy a day return to Brighton

Leaving Hassocks you have a choice of routes to the South Downs. For shade you should take the route through Ditchling Village. If it is a nice day and not horribly hot then you might like to take the route via Clayton, to enjoy the lovely views from the South Downs Way ridge path.

Having climbed up onto the Downs you now drop down to the village of Stanmer, where you can stop for lunch at its Tea Rooms or at Stanmer House. Otherwise, you continue through the extensive grounds of the House then up and through the campus of Sussex University, to Falmer Village, for lunch at the non-pretentious, artisan Swan pub, which serves good old fashioned pub grub, good English ale and German Eurofizz. If you wish you can end your walk in Falmer - the railway station is below the Amex Stadium (home of Brighton and Hove Albion FC). There are three trains an hour to Brighton.

Continuing with the main walk you head for the village of Bevenden then up to Kemp Town Racecourse. You now walk the length of the racecourse, passing the grandstand on your right. You then take a path downhill through light woodland and before you have time to say "Robert is your father's brother" you find yourself close to the centre of Brighton. The walk through Brighton up to its railway station is a bit tedious (when you have done it many times before) but it becomes more bearable if you stop en route for tea at one of the cafes in the famous Bohemian Lanes.
Walk directions here: L=swc.50
Whoops apocalypse I've just noticed from the sports pages of my newspaper that Brighton (horse)races were on this afternoon you probably had to take a different route avoiding Kemp Town racecourse. Sorry about that I thought I had posted today's walk on a day when there was no race meeting but I slipped up. I hope whatever diversion(s) you were forced to take did not spoil your enjoyment of the walk.
4 of us arrived at Hassocks and elected to take the direct route to Clayton and the Jack and Jill windmills, arriving, under high cloud and a light breeze, on the (surprisingly busy)South Downs Way. Directions thereafter a bit vague in places, but one walker had the GPS map on his phone, enabling us to head south at the right place. One elected to carry on east on the SDW, leaving three of us to enjoy an al fresco lunch on the green before Starmer House (and use its toilets)before heading to Falmer station where I dropped out, taking the train to Brighton, leaving the other two to carry on on foot.
4 overcast with pleasantly cool breeze. Only a few minutes delay crossing the racecourse road, with the added pleasure of seeing No.4 win the 4.30 race. The directions on the direct route at Falmer, avoiding the pub, were skimpy to put it kindly!
After the racecourse, we hopped on a station bound bus, but would have been quicker walking, due to it’s circuitous route and rush hour traffic. Just made the 5.33 for London. It was the fifth consecutive day’s walking for my companion on the final leg.
Tue, 09-May-17 9

Tuesday Walk - Up and Over the South Downs - and a novel route into the centre of Brighton

SWC 50 - Hassocks to Brighton

Length: 22.5 km (14 miles). Hassocks to Falmer: 12.5 km (7.8 miles)
Toughness: 7 out of 10 (one steep ascent up onto the Downs, but otherwise 4 out of 10)

London Victoria: 10-20 hrs Brighton service. CJ 10-26 hrs, EC 10-36 hrs
Arrive Hassocks: 11-07 hrs

Return: Brighton to Victoria: Direct trains at 16-18, 16-48, 17-28, 17-50, 17-58, 18-18, and 18-28 hrs

Falmer to Brighton: 05, 20, 35 and 51 mins past the hour - journey length 9 mins.

Rail ticket: buy a day return to Brighton

Walk Directions: a complete re-write will be ready and up on the website by mid-afternoon, Monday 08 May. I will be on the earlier 09-21 train on Tuesday to update the alternative Jack and Jill start to this walk.

Setting out from Hassocks you head for the village of Ditchling, then cross fields and walk through woods before you arrive at the foot of the South Downs. Then it's a steady but steep climb up to the top, which you cross, to descend in a southerly direction as you head for High Park Wood, with its lovely bluebells. You now proceed across fields and through woodland to the village of Stanmer, with its cafe (an early lunch option) before you pass Stanmer House and walk through the extensive grounds of the University of Sussex. You now head uphill to the village of Falmer, chopped in two by the A27 road, and your suggested lunch stop, the Swan Inn. Last orders are at 2-30 pm and you should make the pub with time to spare. Don't expect gourmet cuisine - but the filling pub grub on offer is served with a smile, and the draught beer is good.
After lunch you cross a footbridge over the A27 to the other part of Falmer. You can terminate your walk here by heading for the nearby Falmer railway station for its frequent service to Brighton. Otherwise, you pass a farm shop - open for fresh food and snacks - and then you pass the impressive, new Amex Stadium, home of Brighton & Hove Albion FC. It's now across fields with views to the village of Bevenden, which you walk through then head up to Brighton Racecourse. You traverse the length of the course and then take a path which, to everyones surprise, comes out near the centre of Brighton, by Brighton College. You then walk through the centre of town to the railway station. There are plenty of tea options in the Lanes of Brighton or the surrounding streets.
Your walk directions are here: L=swc.50

Looks like we'll have to go some to get to the pub for 2pm. Would there be any mileage in getting an earlier train? PS Can I propose a walk for my birthday (17th June)?

Mike, Yes we have to walk briskly to get to the lunch pub in time but I have managed it before. Unfortunately, train times are not helpful today. Services from London Bridge and Blackfriars do not get you to Hassocks much before the posted service unless you leave London before 09 30 hrs when senior railcards come into play. The best earlier service is from London Victoria at 09 21 hrs, but this will require an anytime single to East Croydon before your senior railcard can be used.
Your Birthday falls on a Saturday this year and I am sure the walk posters for 17 June will oblige by posting your choice of walk provided you give them plenty of advanced notice.
What's a senior railcard? Mine's a 16 to 25!
Wrong Mike: the SWC one I know is 50 years too old for your whippersnapper pass.
Not necessarily, Marcus. Bona fide mature students are also eligible for a 16 25 Railcard. A friend of mine studying at college for a new career in later years was able to move smoothly from a 16 25 to a Senior Railcard when he finished his course.
Marcus, is there no wed. walk this week?
Yes both a daytime walk (Bekesbourne Circular) and an evening walk (Queensway to the Thames)
I may take an earlier train from East Croydon and start to walk earlier at a steady plod.

8 walkers on the scheduled train, and I was one hour ahead, booking checking, so that's 9 on a mild to warm day that started overcast but sunny after lunch. The "mature student" with the student's pass zoomed ahead of the group and caught me up just before Stanmer Village. The rest joined me at the Swan Inn, Falmer North, having enjoyed their morning's walk and the stunning bluebells in Highpark Wood, above Stanmer. A few of us partook of the pub grub at the Swan and supped some good draught beer, before I said farewell to my colleagues and headed for Falmer Station, leaving them to wend their way over more downs and Kemp Town Racecourse in sunshine to Brighton.
With the bluebell season now coming to an end, today's walk was the last in the schedule of additional mid week walks in our Spring programme. If numbers on Wednesday walks become unmanageable again in the coming weeks, the additional mid week walks will resume at the start of our Summer programme, which starts in July.
Sat, 02-Jul-16 3

Saturday 1st Walk - Hassocks to Brighton

SWC Walk 50
12 miles/19.5km to Brighton
7.5 miles/12km to Falmer

This walk passes through the pretty village of Ditchling before heading up and over the Downs via Ditchling Beacon to Stanmer Park and through the University of Sussex grounds to Falmer. From here you can take a train to Brighton, or climb once more for sea views before a final descent into Brighton.

Trains: take the 9:10 Brighton train from London St Pancras (9:22 Blackfriars, 9:49 East Croydon), arriving at Hassocks at 10:28. Return trains from Brighton at xx02/32 to London Bridge, xx05/35 to Blackfriars/St Pancras (slower service). There are also frequent trains to London Victoria, but you will need a more expensive ticket to use these. Either way, you will need a day return to Brighton, £7.00 with Network Card for a Thameslink only ticket.

Lunch: The Swan, Falmer (Tel: 01273 681 842). Food served until 2:30. An earlier option is the Stanmer Park Tearooms.

I have done this walk a couple of times. But the last time I did it about a year ago. Somebody slipped on a bit of chalk. And hurt his hand. So this Young woman Jessica called for a Ambulance. Because she's a Qualified first Aid.
Just 3 for this walk. Weather was sunny with some showers Nobody stopped at the pub for lunch. Quite a tough walk in places, several steep climbs. Directions a bit sparse in places (we were perplexed occasionally but never went adrift). Except me near the end coming down “diagonally” from the TV mast. The Falmer to Brighton ending does not flow seamlessly from the previous section. Requires a bit of backwards paragraph hopping. But we got there (at least, I guess we did. Lost sight of the other two near the TV mast).
Sun, 14-Sep-14 3 Hassocks to Brighton
Sat, 30-Nov-13 35 Hassocks to Brighton
Sat, 30-Nov-13 Hassocks to Falmer
Sat, 29-Jun-13 25 Hassocks to Brighton
Wed, 18-Apr-12 Hassocks to Brighton
Sun, 20-Feb-11 Hassocks to Brighton
Sat, 06-Mar-10 Hassocks to Brighton
Sun, 30-Aug-09 Hassocks to Brighton
Sat, 28-Feb-09 Hassocks to Brighton
Sun, 23-Nov-08 Hassocks to Falmer
Sat, 20-Sep-08 Hassocks to Brighton