Hassocks to Upper Beeding walk

3 steep hills with fine views before lunch at Devil's Dyke. A gentle ridge walk in the afternoon to Upper Beeding (short bus ride to Shoreham station)


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.

Date Option Post # Weather
Sun, 26-Nov-23 Sunday Walk - Short hilly walk with longer options: Hassocks to Upper Beeding or the coast 2 dry start then a little spittle pm then rain
Sat, 01-Jul-23 From the South Downs to the Sea (Hassocks to Upper Beeding) 7 warm sunny day
Sat, 28-May-22 Hassocks to Upper Beeding or Shoreham-by-Sea 8
Sat, 29-Aug-20 From the South Downs to the Sea 22 grey skies with a chilly stiff breeze
Sat, 09-Mar-19 Saturday walk - Hassocks to Upper Beeding - a classic South Downs walk 21 Windy
Sat, 25-Aug-18 Saturday walk: Hassocks to Upper Beeding 17 mostly sunny weather with an occasional suprisingly cold breeze
Sat, 17-Jun-17 Hassocks to Upper Beeding with Optional Extension to Shoreham
Sat, 24-Sep-16 Saturday First Walk - South Downs and Devil's Dyke 14 A fine sunny day
Wed, 06-Jul-16 Midweek Day Walk - Hassocks to Upper Beeding 10 the classic Simpsons fluffy cumulus
Sun, 23-Aug-15 b Sunday Walk 1 – A flying display over the South Downs
Sat, 07-Feb-15 Hassocks to Upper Beeding 15
Sat, 28-Jun-14 Hassocks to Upper Beeding 15
Mon, 26-May-14 Hassocks to Upper Beeding
Sat, 04-May-13 Hassocks to Upper Beeding 14
Wed, 17-Apr-13 a Hassocks to Upper Beeding, with alternative ending
Sat, 22-Dec-12 Hassocks to Upper Beeding
Wed, 21-Sep-11 Hassocks to Upper Beeding
Sun, 22-May-11 a Hassocks to Upper Beeding, with alternative ending
Sun, 23-Jan-11 Hassocks to Upper Beeding
Sun, 27-Jun-10 c Hassocks to Devil's Dyke
Sun, 04-Apr-10 Hassocks to Upper Beeding
Sat, 01-Aug-09 Hassocks to Upper Beeding
Sun, 26-Jul-09 c Hassocks to Upper Beeding
Sat, 14-Mar-09 Hassocks to Upper Beeding
Sun, 24-Aug-08 d Hassocks to Upper Beeding
Sat, 12-Jul-08 Hassocks to Upper Beeding
Sun, 02-Mar-08 Hassocks to Upper Beeding
Sat, 08-Dec-07 Hassocks to Upper Beeding
Sat, 07-Apr-07 Hassocks to Upper Beeding
Stargazer is away
Length: 16.3 km (10.1 mi) [longer walk possible and recommended, see below]
Ascent/Descent: 465/514m
Net Walking Time: 4 ¼ hours
Toughness: 5/10
Take the 09.39 Brighton train from London Bridge (East Croydon 09.53), arrives Hassocks 10.35.
From Victoria, take the 09.32 Brighton train (Clapham J 09.38, East Croydon 09.49), arrives Hassocks 10.28, and wait.
Return buses from Upper Beeding (Line 2 to Shoreham-by-Sea Station with 15 mins journey time) are on xx.27 to 17.27, then 18.36.
Return trains from Shoreham are on xx.44 (direct to Victoria, 77 mins journey time) and at xx.05 (via Brighton, 101 minutes journey time).
Buy a Shoreham-by-Sea return.
Longer Walk:
· Valley Ending to Upper Beeding (adds 2.5 km, may be waterlogged);
· Finish in Shoreham or at Fishersgate Station, closer to London (add up to 5 km).
The longer finishes in Shoreham or Fishersgate avoid the dependence on the hourly bus with a tight connection to the train. There will be light for walking until 16.30.
Lunch: The Wildflour Cafe (7 km, open 10.00-16.00) or The Devil’s Dyke Pub (9 km, food all day), both in Poynings.
Tea: Kings Head, Upper Beeding or two hotels/restaurants in Bramber nearby. Plenty of choice in Shoreham. Check the webpage or the pdf.
For summary, walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files click here. T=2.23
  • 26-Nov-23

    2 on this walk, with a dry start then a little spittle pm then rain .

    We passed another walker outside the station but he was in fact looking for a Ramblers group (which apparently had assembled the other side of the station, according to someone else). Once up the first hill, there was the eerie sight of all northern valleys still being filled with morning mist, a bit like a cloud inversion really. Wonderful!

    On via some somewhat slippery paths and through some amalgamated fields with a very large cattle herd (very docile though they were). The consensus was to aim for the Devil's Dyke pub, bypassing the couple of farm cafes en route, so on we went. Some spittle started on the last few hundred metres before reaching the pub, but once we had gotten organised and ordered our food and sat down, very dark clouds were indeed passing, so much so that the trig point across the road was invisible and any later arrival in the pub was dripping wet.

    A main course and a coffee later, the situation had reverted to the earlier 'grey skies but dry' scenario and it largely stayed that way until close to Shoreham, as that is where we went, walking the extended version of the route. Latent spittle turned to drizzle which turned to rain for the last half hour or so, before we reached Shoreham High Street at 16.15.

    That left just enough time for a drink at the first pub on the left before the on-time 16.44 train.


From the South Downs to the Sea

Book 2: Walk 23: Hassocks to Upper Beeding (or Shoreham-by-Sea) T=2.23

Distance: 10 Miles (16.3 km) to Upper Beeding or roughly 14 Miles (22.5 km) to Shoreham-by-Sea

Difficulty: 7 out of 10

Train: Take the 9:35 AM Thameslink train from London Bridge to Hassocks, arriving 10:32. For those ending the walk in Upper Beeding, you will need to take a bus No. 2 from outside the Rising Sun to Shoreham-by-Sea (running hourly about 45 mins past the hour). Return trains from Shoreham-by-Sea are at 13 and 43 past the hour. Buy a day return to Shoreham-by-Sea.

This is a classic South Downs walk with the option to end at the sea. It first goes up, up and up to the South Downs which you follow for a spell with grand views before descending into Upper Beeding from where you can catch a bus to Shoreham or continue the walk into Shoreham-by-Sea where those who wish can take a refreshing dip…. Information and instructions can be found here.

In addition to loads of picnic places, lunch could be had at the Wildflour Café or Devil’s Dyke Pub with afternoon drinks at the Rising Sun in Upper Beeding or various places in Shoreham-by-Sea.

Enjoy the walk!

  • 02-Jul-23

    7 on this walk on a warm sunny day with some welcome cloud cover. The walk took us through woods and many fields and up high on the downs overlooking lovely valleys. Lots of butterflies and orchids. Four people stopped for lunch in the Saddlecombe café (positive feedback on the food) whilst three of us picknicked outside or on the hill near Devil’s Dyke. We all met up again in the Castle hotel in Upper Beeding for much needed refreshments, and then walked on along the river to Shoreham by Sea. If you are desparate for a swim, this final section can seem a tad tedious. At the beach two of us attempted to swim but were thrown violently around in the crashing waves so beat a retreat to the icecream shop. Four others went to the Crown and Anchor Shoreham for a different type of refreshment. Three caught the 19.13 train to Haywards Heath and London.

    Note on route: Shortly after the youth hostel, the route goes off the road to follow the line of a wood. We all missed the correct path at this point due to overgrown undergrowth, and found ourselves on the wrong side of the fence. Some of us doubled back a bit to climb over a fence to get onto the correct path, whilst the reckless in the group scrambled over a barbed wire fence.

    Thank you Stargazer for posting this walk.

10 - 13 miles / 16.3 - 21 km
A classic South Downs walk with many fine views along the way. You can finish in Upper Beeding (a bus is needed from here to reach the railway) or walk on to the coast at Shoreham.
Trains: 09:35 London Bridge, 10:31 Hassocks. Or 09:45 London Victoria, 10:42 Hassocks. Return trains from Shoreham-by-Sea to London Victoria at xx:12/xx:42.
Buses from Upper Beeding (Rising Sun): No 2 to Shoreham-by-Sea, takes 23 mins, 16:41, 17:41, 18:41, 19:34, then hourly til late. No 100 to Burgess Hill, takes 42 mins, 16:18, 17:18, 18:22.
If taking the bus to Burgess Hill, only a return to Hassocks is needed, otherwise buy a return to Shoreham-by-Sea.
Lunch/Refreshments: Wildflour Cafe, Saddlescombe Farm, 4 miles.
Devil's Dyke Pub, 5.5 miles, large and popular pub.
YHA Hostel, Truleigh Hill - cafe open to the public, possible mid-afternoon stop.
Upper Beeding has a couple of pubs - The Rising Sun, The Kings Head.
Bramber has the Castle Inn, buses also stop here.
Shoreham-by-Sea has plenty of places to eat and drink.

  • 27-May-22

    Another ticket option for this walk might be a Brighton return with a PLUSBUS ticket.

    As far as I can see, the Brighton & Hove PLUSBUS zone appears to cover the area from Upper Beeding to Shoreham-By-Sea and Brighton. The zone maps are at https://www.plusbus.info/prestonprk

    It's ~39 mins on the bus from Shoreham-By-Sea to Brighton but, if finishing in Upper Beeding, the ~1 hour bus journey from Upper Beeding to Brighton would probably not appeal.

  • 29-May-22

    8 aprox at station with delayed trains. Two more joined for lunch at the farm and then a beverage at the pub stop...wonderful views over the Downs..and down to Shoreham by Sea where the men went to the pub to watch the football...well done to HollyB for posting..

  • 29-May-22

    The men had a drink outside the Tap House Shoreham (recommended), one getting the 1812,the other the 1842. No football involved!

Sat, 29-Aug-20 : From the South Downs to the Sea 22
Book 2 Walk 23: Hassocks to Upper Beeding (or Shoreham-by-Sea) T=2.23

Distance: 10 Miles (16.3 km) to Upper Beeding or roughly 14 Miles (22.5 km) to Shoreham-by-Sea (depending on route taken -- 2 GPX options available)

Difficulty: 7 out of 10

Train: Take the 9:34 AM Thameslink train from London Bridge to Hassocks, arriving 10:31. For those ending the walk in Upper Beeding, you will need to take a bus No. 2 from outside the Rising Sun to Shoreham-by-Sea (15:27, 16:27, 15:27, 18:36 and 19:36). Return trains from Shoreham-by-Sea are at 26 and 56 past the hour. Buy a day return to Shoreham-by-Sea.

Being a bank holiday weekend, a walk to the coast seems in order….This walk first goes up, up and up to the South Downs which you follow for a spell with grand views before descending into Upper Beeding from where you can catch a bus to Shoreham or continue the walk into Shoreham-by-Sea where those who wish can take a refreshing dip….More information and the walk instructions can be found here,

In addition to loads of picnic places, lunch could be had at the Wildflour Café or Devil’s Dyke Pub with afternoon drinks at the Rising Sun in Upper Beeding or various places in Shoreham-by-Sea.

Enjoy the walk!
  • 28-Aug-20

    I have this afternoon tweaked the higher, ridge option into Shoreham to reflect a new route I have discovered over recent years. This takes you along the usually very quiet ridge top road for a kilometre, down through a farm, and then across the interesting Mill Hill Nature Reserve (where you might just see some rare Adonis Blue butterflies at this time of year), and then down after the A27 to join the Adur riverside path. It is 13 miles from Hassocks to Shoreham station by this route. I uploaded the GPX for this only on Friday afternoon, so if you are interested in trying this route, re-load the GPX after reading this

  • 28-Aug-20

    The new route mentioned above seems to appear on the map of this walk if you view it using Chrome, but not if you view it using Safari. I don't know the reason for this or if it affects the availability of the GPX: I have put in a request to our webmaster to check this

  • 28-Aug-20

    Oh, OK, now it is showing on Safari too

  • 31-Aug-20

    About 22 assembled on the platform at Hassocks for the usual formalities, including a number of less familiar faces...under grey skies with a chilly stiff breeze ....I ended up with the rearguard, somewhat due to a few of us unintentionally exploring extra parts of the downs....Many seemed to have a bite to eat at the Wildflower café, giving it a definite thumbs up; others picnicked on the escarpment by the Devil's Dike pub...I do not think anyone actually visited the pub...as it was fully booked...

    The trailing group stopped for afternoon drinks in the front garden of the licensed Truleigh Hill YHA before descending to Shoreham along the new ridge route....In Shoreham, we decided the weather did not bode well for a pleasant swim, so 5 of us opted for an alfresco dinner at the pub in the pedestrian area instead...A very pleasant and relaxed day.....

Length: 16.3km (10.1 miles) or 18.6km (11.5 miles) (Walkers have also been known to extend this walk along the River Adur to Shoreham, adding about four miles)
Toughness: 7 out of 10: three big climbs in the morning: largely flat or downhill

Catch the 9.25 train from Victoria, (9.32 Clapham Junction, 9.41 East Croydon), arriving Hassocks at 10.20

A group of Metropolitan Walkers will be on the same train, and will also be on the platform at Hassocks on arrival, so don't join the wrong group... They will be going another route from us, however.

Buy a day return to Shoreham-by-Sea unless you definitely plan to get the 100 bus at the end - see below - in which case a day return to Hassocks would be sufficient. You could get the 9.20 Thameslink train from St Pancras or 9.35 London Bridge on the outward journey, arriving Hassocks at 10.33, and then walk quickly to catch the group up. If you do this and and return from Burgess Hill on a Thameslink train, cheaper Thameslink-only tickets may be available.

For walk directions click here, for GPX click here, and for the walk home page click here. T=2.23

This is a classic South Downs walk, with wonderful escarpment views almost the entire day. There are three big ascents but these are all in the morning: in the afternoon the terrain is only gently undulating or downhill.

The only lunch pub is the large, busy, but efficient Devil's Dyke pub. It can be very busy on fine Saturdays but we usually manage to squeeze in. An alternative, 1.1 miles earlier, is the Wildflour Cafe, a farmyard pop-up that does nice vegetarian food but has open air seating.

Towards the end of the route you have a choice between the standard ending and the slightly longer valley ending (the 11.5 mile version of the walk), which has a dramatic descent down the escarpment with eye-popping views, and then crosses water meadows. Given the dry winter we have had I am guessing the latter will not be waterlogged, but if they are you will be able to see that from near the start of the option.

Some walkers have in the past extended the walk from Upper Beeding along the River Adur to Shoreham-by-Sea, which I calculate by rule of thumb (literally!) adds about four miles.

Otherwise from Upper Beeding you have to get one of two buses at the end of the walk:

- The number 100 goes to Burgess Hill at 18 past the hour to 17.18, then at 18.22 (last bus). It takes 42 minutes and gives you a fine view of the escarpment you have just walked across. Burgess Hill railway station is the penultimate stop. If you get this bus, your train ticket need only be a day return to Hassocks. The bus connects fairly comfortably with a 08 past the hour Thameslink train from. Burgess Hill to London Bridge (55 minutes) and St Pancras or a 15 past train to Victoria (50 minutes).

- The number 2 bus goes to Shoreham-by-Sea at 15.47, 16.49, 17.43, 18.44, 19.36, 20.36, 21.36 and takes 21 minutes to Shoreham railway station (with earlier stops in Shoreham's town centre, where there are some nice cafes in the pedestrianised area near the church). Trains from Shoreham to Victoria go at 12 and 43 past the hour and take 1 hour 17 minutes.

  • 09-Mar-19

    Windy would be a succinct description of the weather. It was mainly sunny in the morning, cloudy after lunch, but the westerly gale was in our face most of the day, the exception being in the dips between hills in the morning, when it sometimes felt quite warm. Otherwise it was at times like Scott of the Antarctic, straining into the wind. Conversation was sometimes difficult.

    This apart, it was a grand day to be on the Downs, with clear views. In valleys and on some of the slopes there was a lot of gloopy mud (especially where a farmer had unwisely let a herd of bullocks churn up a whole hillside), but on the tops the ground was reasonably dry. Lots of larks were singing, but you needed sensitive ears to hear them above the sound of the wind.

    21 got off the Victoria train at Hassocks. If any got the later-arriving Thameslink service I would be interested to hear their report. I would to know too what happened to most of the group, in fact, since we got split up. Many, I know, stopped for lunch at the Wildflour cafe, but six or seven of us pushed on to the Devils Dyke pub, which had plenty of free tables. Five of us then improvised a route to Shoreham at the end of the walk, staying on the road on top of the ridge, then passing through the Mill Hill Reserve and ending up on the river. At least four followed the river all the way from Upper Beeding.

    In Shoreham the line of cafes in the pedestrian street by the church were all busy closing when we arrived at 4.45. Credit, then, to the bakery on the corner (whose name I forgot to note), which stayed open until 5.30pm and had interesting and tasty cakes and tea in big cups. Some talked of walking after this down to the beach, but six of us got the 5.43 train instead. Lacking a Stargazer, no one could be persuaded to go to the pub.

10 miles / 16.1 km
Toughness: 7 out of 10

A classic downland walk via Devil's Dyke with many fine views, finishing at the riverside village of Upper Beeding. From here there is a short bus journey to Shoreham-by-Sea railway station.

A slightly longer version of this walk has a different route into Upper Beeding (see the Valley Route in the directions, this adds an extra 1.4 miles / 2.3 km). Or a few extra miles further will take you into Shoreham.

Trains: Take the Brighton train from London Victoria at 9:25 (East Croydon 9:41), arriving at Hassocks at 10:20. Return trains from Shoreham are at xx:12/xx:43. Buy a return to Shoreham-by-Sea.
Buses: The no 2 bus stops opposite the Rising Sun in Upper Beeding. The journey takes about 15 mins. Bus times: 15:37, 16:49, 17:43, 18:44, 19:36, 20:36 (and later).

Lunch: The Devil's Dyke pub (01273 857256), large and popular pub in a very scenic spot.

Tea: The Kings Head or the Rising Sun in Upper Beeding, further options in Shoreham.

  • Anonymous

    I think 17 emerged from the train, having mastered the confusion of the train starting from East Croydon. Apologies if I've left out anyone who followed later. We soon spread out across the rolling hills in mostly sunny weather with an occasional suprisingly cold breeze . Most people seemed to stop for an early lunch at the Wildflour cafe, which got good reviews. Six or seven of us carried on fto have lunch watching the paragliders by the Devil's Dyke. Most of this sub-group then walked on to Shoreham via the river Adur. We thought this seemed preferable to the lane in the directions if you follow the river, not the Downs Link path which is dominated by cyclists. It adds about 6 km to the Upper Beeding finish. Others got the bus and a large proportion of the starters regrouped in Shoreham, either for a highly satisfactory tea (huge cake portions) at Teddy's cafe or at the station in time for the 1712 train.

  • 26-Aug-18

    4 lingered in Shoreham, with 2 enjoying an evening swim despite the clouds and cool breeze (warmer in the water than out),followed by drinks overlooking the estuary and fish and chips for the train home.


Length: 16km (10m) or 22km (14m)
Toughness: 7 / 10
Transport: Take the 9:20 train from London Victoria arriving in Hassocks at 10:07. To return from Upper Beeding take bus number 2 to Shoreham-by-Sea. Trains from Shoreham are frequent, some are direct others involve a change in Brighton.

From the description:
It is a matter of opinion which is the finest view in South East England, but the amazing panorama from Devil's Dyke on the South Downs escarpment must surely be a strong contender. Such beauty comes at a price, however, and the area immediately around the viewpoint can be exceedingly busy on a fine weekend. However, the South Downs also afford numerous other less frequented viewpoints, and this walk introduces you to several of them, including tranquil Wolstonbury Hill and Edburton Hill. The morning in particular is a delightful series of climbs and descents on slopes covered by rare chalk grassland. In the afternoon - which is somewhat easier on the leg muscles, though still with a couple of short uphill sections - you follow the South Downs Way for a while across Fulking Escarpment, before descending into the riverside village of Upper Beeding for tea.

I can recommend having tea in Bramber just beyond Upper Beeding in either the Castle Inn or the Old Tollgate Inn after visiting Bramber Castle. Afterwards there is the option to stroll along the Adur to Shoreham-by-Sea for fish-and-chips which adds about 6km to the walk.

Hassocks to Upper Beeding: Book 2 Walk 23
10 miles / 16.1 km
Toughness: 7 out of 10

A classic downland walk via Devil's Dyke with many fine views, finishing at the riverside village of Upper Beeding.

The usual return route is by bus to Shoreham-by-Sea and by train back to London, but there are also longer variations of this walk that finish at either Fishersgate station or Shoreham-by-Sea (both are an extra 1.7 miles/2.7km). This option is not included in the main walk directions - see links below.

Trains: Take the Brighton train from St Pancras 9:10, Blackfriars 9:22, East Croydon 9:49, arriving at Hassocks at 10:28.
There are two return routes from Upper Beeding:
a) Bus 2 from Upper Beeding to Shoreham-by-Sea station, via Shoreham High Street, journey time 14 mins. From Shoreham-by-Sea there are direct trains to London Bridge (not Victoria today due to engineering works). The same bus also continues to Brighton.
b) Bus 100 from Upper Beeding to Burgess Hill station on the London-Brighton line. Journey time about 45 mins.
Train times from Shoreham-by-Sea: xx17/xx42 (except 19:13 not 19:17), last direct train 21:42
Bus times from Upper Beeding (stop opp King's Head):
No 2: 16:45, 17:35, 18:41, 19:35, 20:35, 21:35
No 100: 16:16, 17:16, 18:20
A return to Shoreham-by-Sea covers the whole train journey. A cheaper alternative is a Thameslink only Brighton return, which will get you back from either Brighton or Burgess Hill.

Lunch: The Devil's Dyke pub (5 miles) - large and popular pub, food served all day. Just before Devil's Dyke is The Hiker's Rest at Saddlescombe Farm - a kiosk serving tea/cakes and some hot food.

The King's Head or the Rising Sun at Upper Beeding sound like good places to wait for the bus. Shoreham-by-Sea has further refreshments, fish and chips etc.

Regular walk directions (pdf)
Alternative endings at Fishersgate/Shoreham

  • 20-Sep-16

    Please note: if doing the valley ending on this walk an electricity cable was laid across the route earlier this year and the area where the work was done - a long linear gash across the downs - is fenced off. This does not affect the route as described at all but it may confuse you (it confused me for a while and I wrote the walk!). Basically not long after the start of the valley ending the directions say you emerge from between fences onto open downland.....except that due to the works at this very point you come to a fence with a gate in, with another fence and gate beyond. Pretend these are not there. Turn right BEFORE them. The new fence (now to your left) actually provides a useful guide over what was previously open downland. The directions now work fine.

    I researched an update to the directions to this effect and made other very minor updates to the valley ending a month or two back, but alas I have not yet had a chance to put an updated document on the site. It was first on my To Do list for NEXT week......

  • 24-Sep-16

    14 on this walk. A fine sunny day made this perfect for a walk in the downs. I am biased (because I created this walk) but to me it has always been the perfect downland outing. A few of us ate at the Hiker's Rest, savouring the opportunity to sit outside in the sun. Others bought cakes to takeaway and headed off mysteriously into the hills with them.

    One or two did the harder original route up Devil's Dyke, some ate in the always busy pub there. After lunch it was a cloudier and on Truleigh Hill we ran into a London to Brighton off-road cycle event whose (mostly male) participants clogged the route all the way into Upper Beeding, apart from a central section on grassy paths where we escaped from them.

    After a quick drink at the King's Head webthen dashed for the 4.47 bus, some to go home, two to walk the last bit along the River Adur into Shoreham, and four to go to the beach where two of us planned a last summer sea swim. But alas for one of the two - me - the waves looked a bit too big. My more intrepid companion went in regardless and bobbed up and down alarmingly, but emerged satisfied. We then had wine on the beach and watched the sunset (see photo on the SWC Facebook page).

Mike A

Hassocks to Upper Beeding - a South Downs spectacular including a brush with the Devil's Dyke

Three steep hills with fine views before lunch at Devil's Dyke. A gentle ridge walk in the afternoon to Upper Beeding (short bus ride to Shoreham station)

Book 2 Walk 23

Length : 16 km or 10 miles

Toughness : 7 out of 10

Getting there : Catch the 10:20 am Brighton train from London Victoria to Hassocks.
Calling Stations:

  • Clapham Junction: departs 10:26 am
  • East Croydon: departs 10:36 am
  • Gatwick Airport: departs 10:51 am
If this train is cancelled catch the 10:23 East Grinstead train and change at East Croydon (attow, platform 6 to platform 3) and catch the 10:49 Thameslink service to Brighton and alight at Hassocks
Meeting point : Hassocks Station at 11:07 am (11:28 am if delayed)

Tickets : Buy a cheap day return to Shoreham-by-Sea

Brief Description

I'm going to take a chance with Southern Railways on this outing and put it off no longer.
This is a great walk along part of the South Downs Way with stunning views and energetic climbs.

The Hikers rest canteen, a little before Devils Dyke is closed on Wednesdays :-(
However Devil's Dyke provides a great location for a picnic or a pub lunch :-)

The no. 77 bus to and from Brighton to the lunch venue also doesn't run today. However, if your are walking with friends, you might like to consider sharing a cab to Brighton if you wish to leave the walk after lunch.

Full details of this walk may be found here

Suggested Lunch stop

Devil's Dyke Pub t: 01273 857256

Suggested Tea stops

The Rising Sun in Upper Beeding t: 01903 814424

There is also the Kings Head in Upper Beeding t: 01903 812196


OS Explorer : OL11

Return train times

Buses travel from Upper Beeding (Opposite the Rising Sun) to Shoreham-by-Sea station at 3:45pm, 4:47pm, 5:42pm, 6:02pm and 6:42pm. Journey time is about 15 minutes and the full timetable is here

Direct trains return from Shoreham-by-Sea to London Victoria at the following times 15:43 | 16:17 | 16:42 | 17:18 | 17:42 | 18:18 | 18:42
Trains return changing at Brighton at 15:52 | 17:34 | 18:04 | 19:05
  • 12-May-16

    Now the last time I did this Walk. Somebody slipped on some chalk part of the Public Footpath. And a Girl named Jessica called for a Ambulance as he hurt his hand that day. Then we eventually walked until we got to the Ambulance. We had to stop for a Hour that day. It was such a shame really.

  • Mark S

    Unfortunately, it looks as if Southern trains will be affected by a strike on 18 May.

  • Anonymous


  • 14-May-16

    Thanks for the update Mark,

    I've amended the Post accordingly

  • Anonymous

    the guy broke his wrist, so be careful on the chalky bits if it has rained. Hopefully he has made a full recovery and has reviewed his mobile contract.

  • 01-Jul-16

    That's exactly the point I was making.

  • 03-Jul-16

    Now I might do the walk on Wednesday. But I can't Guarantee I will.

  • Anonymous

    Will take 9.40 from St Pancras, though it costs more, stops everywhere, and takes longer than the recommended train it is much easier for me. I arrive nine minutes ahead of the official train and I will start up the first hill. You will catch up with me before I reach the top. Look forward to this walk.

  • Anonymous

    anyone else doing this walk? intend to go if the showers hold off..

  • Anonymous

    9.40 from St Pancras now confirmed as running for tomorrow. Ticket was £13 something.

  • 05-Jul-16

    Just to confirm, the walk ends at Upper Beeding with a bus journey to Shoreham-by-Sea Station.

    If you are not using the trains/tickets advised in the Post, please ensure that any tickets you buy will get you back from Shoreham-by-Sea.

    SWC Train monitors may wish to add to this.

  • 05-Jul-16

    A cheap way of doing this walk (especially if travelling on Thameslink services) would be to buy a return to Brighton with PlusBus. On the way back, take the bus all the way from Upper Beeding to Brighton. The Brighton PlusBus area extends all the way from Steyning in the west to Seaford in the east. Sit on the top deck and enjoy the views for an hour, and hop on and off other services if you feel like it.

  • Anonymous

    There is also - or was last time I looked - a bus (the 100?) direct from Upper Beeding to Burgess Hill. See the walk directions for details. If this still operates you only need to buy a day return to Hassocks

  • 05-Jul-16

    There is - or was last time I looked a 100 bus from Upper Beeding to Burgess Hill, with a last bus at 6pm: see walk directions for details. If this is still operating, all you need is a return to Hassocks and Thameslink only tickets may be valid. Check all this before relying on it.

    Taking the Shoreham bus all the way into Brighton takes quite a long time. I did it years ago when researching this walk and recall it taking various diversions around housing estates etc. I have not wanted to repeat the experience since.....

  • 05-Jul-16

    Walkers suggestion seems to be still valid. The Bus timetable for the Upper Beeding to Burgess Hill journey (100 route) may be found here (Last updated 24th April 2016)

    Buses depart Upper Beeding at 16:18 | 17:18 | 18:22 and the journey time to Burgess Hill is about 45 minutes

  • Anonymous

    anyone doing this walk

  • Anonymous

    Yes - I know of at least 3 who will go.

    Also weather is good (no rain and not too hot)

    Will go from Victoria Station.

  • Anonymous

    10 on this walk, 5 Southerners from Victoria and five ThamesLinkers from St. Pancras.

    The trains arrived about 15 minutes apart and everyone joined up just past the Natural Death Centre. The weather was the classic Simpsons fluffy cumulus as we started with more sun than forecast. Idyllic South Downs scenery apart from a brief encounter with the A23 on the footbridge across from Pyecombe.

    The Hikers Rest was in fact open and five stopped for lunch there with the remaining five pushing on to the Devil's Dyke.

    Lunch was excellent at the Hikers Rest, all home cooked and very healthy. The five set off after lunch and did the full Devil's Dyke route (not the tempting path which skirts it). This was quite enough for one who dropped out at the Pub, while another of the forward five rejoined. The cumulus cloud was replaced by wispy cirrus adding more atmosphere to the already stunning scenery.

    The approach to Upper Beeding was a little tricky where EON had carved a new tract to bury cables carrying electricity from the new offshore Rampion wind farm. This will be all be returned to nature when the project is completed in about two years.

    A great day out with weather far better than was forecast.

Book 2 Walk 23 (variation) – Hassocks to Fishersgate
Length: 18.8 km (11.7 miles); shorter if ending at Mile Oak (see below). Toughness: 7/10

09:22 Brighton train from Blackfriars (East Croydon 09:56), arriving Hassocks at 10:37.

This is the direct Thameslink train (the one which lets you do this walk very cheaply: see Tickets), but in the time it takes to crawl through south London you might wish you'd taken the 09:27 (stopping) Brighton train from Victoria, which gets to Hassocks 5 minutes earlier, or the 09:34 Horsham train from London Bridge, with a 6 minute connection at East Croydon for the Thameslink train.

Tickets: A standard off-peak day return to Fishersgate (or Shoreham-by-Sea) is £18.10 with a railcard. However, if you travel out and back on Thameslink trains you can get a super off-peak return from London stations to Brighton for just £6.95. If you walk all the way to Fishersgate station a single to Brighton would be an extra £1.70, but as the walk notes give a very downbeat description of the last 2-3 km I'd be tempted to veer left at Southwick Hill into the suburb of Mile Oak, where 1/1A buses run every 10-15 minutes (even on Sundays) into the centre of Brighton. The £2.40 fare is about the same as a PlusBus add-on to your rail ticket, although PlusBus would let you hop on and off other buses if you wanted.

If you do make it to Fishersgate there's a half-hourly service for the 12-minute leg to Brighton at 08 & 38 minutes past (with the odd one a few minutes later). They don't connect well with the London trains – the fast ones to Victoria are at 10 & 35 minutes past, a few minutes before the slower Thameslink ones at 14 & 44 past – but that would give you time to grab some refreshment for the journey.

I won't confuse you by giving the bus and train times for the standard Upper Beeding / Shoreham ending for this walk: look these up yourself if you want to do this.

My comprehensive Walks database doesn't record a single posting of the “Ending at Fishersgate or Shoreham Option” for this Book 2 walk. That seems a shame, since the notes describe the first 2.8 km of this option as “a place of sweeping hillsides and fine panoramic views of the sea”. From the map it looks like Thundersbarrow Hill will provide a great place to see some of the afternoon flying display at the Shoreham Air Show, which continues until 5pm.

Most of you will be familiar with the first part of the walk, with its three steep hills before you reach the large and busy lunch pub on the top of Devil's Dyke. The turning for the Fishersgate ending is after an hour's walking in the afternoon, just past the radio masts on Truleigh Hill. You'll need to print those directions from this page (they're not in the latest edition of Vol 2); the instructions for the main walk can be found in this pdf document.T=2.23.b
  • Anonymous

    This looks very interesting. Thank you. Is there an air show - I was thinking of the title?

  • 20-Aug-15

    Those hardy readers who made it to the penultimate paragraph would have found the answer to your question (and a link), Anonymous. Your eyes must have glazed over at the nerdish exposition of train tickets and bus routes.

  • Anonymous

    Apologies, Sean. My reading stamina needs to improve. Your exposition was not nerdish - it was comprehensive.

  • 23-Aug-15

    Potentially beautiful walk but the 8 of us had a later start, by about 45 mins, as the train due to arrive at Hassocks at 10.37 was cancelled. By then it was pouring with rain, so very different from yesterday.

    On the descent from Wolstonbury hill one of our group fell on a slippery muddy part and seriously injured his wrist. The emergency services were called and three of the group went on to Pyecombe to meet the ambulance and guide the paramedic up to the injured walker and the remaining 4 stayed with him. Spirits were kept high by animated discussions regarding phone contracts, the merits of 12, 18 and 24 months. The injured walker went to the Royal Sussex hospital and we all wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him on walks in the very near future.

    One walker had left the group earlier and two went with the injured walker to the hospital.

    That left four, I only went as far as Devil's Dyke but by then the weather had cheered up so was able to enjoy the amazing views.

  • 23-Aug-15

    Paul went to hospital and quickly had x ray and was put in plaster as his wrist was indeed broken. Further x ray showed he may need more treatment later in the week in London but we left hospital after 5pm and got train home to London from Brighton at 5.44pm. He got a free cheese sandwich and coffee on the NHS and is seriously reviewing his phone contract! Thanks for help from all the other walkers. Joe.

  • 24-Aug-15

    Sorry to read Paul's wrist was broken. Best wishes for a speedy recovery. I took a bus back to Brighton from Devil's Dyke and have noted the potential hazards of walking on chalk when it's raining.