Book 1, Walk 29: Hassocks to Lewes
Length: 18 km (11.2 miles)
Toughness: 5 out of 10 Either
: 09-52 hrs Brighton service from Bedford. East Croydon 10-19 hrs
: 10-58 hrs Or
: 09-54 hrs East Grinstead service
Arrive East Croydon
: 10-10 hrs
Leave East Croydon: 10-19 hrs Brighton service from Bedford (as above)
: 10-58 hrs
: 16-14, 16-54, 17-14, 17-52, 18-16 and 18-50 hrs, plus 07 and 22 mins past hour via Brighton
Rail ticket: buy a day return to Lewes. Younger walkers- head for East Croydon and use your railcards from there.
This lovely walk starts on the flat from Hassocks, going past Butchers Wood. On reaching Clayton, you should visit the Saxon church of St John the Baptist, before beginning your ascent of the South Downs - nothing too demanding. You pass the two Clayton Windmills
on your way up - Jack
- and once on the ridge of the Downs you are on the South Downs Way, from which you have wonderful 360 degree views as you pass Keymer Post then Ditchling Beacon. Further along the ridge, it's decision time: if you want a pub lunch, you drop down off the ridge and head for the pub - the Half Moon
. Sandwich eaters who do not want a drink at the pub can stay on the ridge, and save themselves the climb back onto the Downs.
Down in Plumpton you can shorten the walk by heading north to Plumpton railway station via Plumpton racecourse, some 3 km from the half Moon pub. Otherwise, you have another not-too-demanding ascent back onto the ridge of the Downs to continue along the South Downs Way on pleasant grassy ways. Eventually, you leave the ridge and drop down to the village of Offham, from where you start your homeward leg by walking beside the River Ouse all the way into Lewes
for tea in the town or at the railway station's excellent cafe, the Runaway.
If you enjoy ridge walks you should enjoy today's walk.
Walk Directions here: L=1.29