Start of the Valley Ending

Start of the Valley Ending

Hassocks to Upper Beeding walk

12-Aug-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Downs view towards the end

Downs view towards the end

Hassocks to Upper Beeding walk

12-Aug-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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View from Wolstonbury Hill

View from Wolstonbury Hill

11-Jun-05 • Peter Conway on Flickr

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View from Wolstonbury Hill 2

View from Wolstonbury Hill 2

11-Jun-05 • Peter Conway on Flickr

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Truleigh Hill from Wolstonbury Hill

Truleigh Hill from Wolstonbury Hill

11-Jun-05 • Peter Conway on Flickr

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Devils Dyke

Devils Dyke

11-Jun-05 • Peter Conway on Flickr

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On Devils Dyke

On Devils Dyke

11-Jun-05 • Peter Conway on Flickr

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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)

Group Walk Posts

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.

Like our walks, these posts are copyrighted. You may re-use them for non-commercial events only.

Date # Post
Sat, 17-Jun-17

Hassocks to Upper Beeding with Optional Extension to Shoreham

t=2.23

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.

Sat, 24-Sep-16 14

Saturday First Walk - South Downs and Devil's Dyke

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

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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......
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).
Wed, 06-Jul-16 10

Midweek Day Walk - Hassocks to Upper Beeding

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

Map

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
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.
Unfortunately, it looks as if Southern trains will be affected by a strike on 18 May.
B****r!!!
Thanks for the update Mark,
I've amended the Post accordingly
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.
That's exactly the point I was making.
Now I might do the walk on Wednesday. But I can't Guarantee I will.
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.
anyone else doing this walk? intend to go if the showers hold off..
9.40 from St Pancras now confirmed as running for tomorrow. Ticket was £13 something.
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.
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.
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
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.....
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
anyone doing this walk
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.
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.

Sun, 23-Aug-15

Sunday Walk 1 – A flying display over the South Downs

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
This looks very interesting. Thank you. Is there an air show I was thinking of the title?
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.
Apologies, Sean. My reading stamina needs to improve. Your exposition was not nerdish it was comprehensive.
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.
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.
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.
Sat, 07-Feb-15 15 Hassocks to Upper Beeding
Sat, 28-Jun-14 15 Hassocks to Upper Beeding
Mon, 26-May-14 Hassocks to Upper Beeding
Sat, 04-May-13 14 Hassocks to Upper Beeding
Wed, 17-Apr-13 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 Hassocks to Upper Beeding, with alternative ending
Sun, 23-Jan-11 Hassocks to Upper Beeding
Sun, 27-Jun-10 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 Hassocks to Shoreham
Sat, 14-Mar-09 Hassocks to Upper Beeding
Sun, 24-Aug-08 Hassocks to Devil's Dyke
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