Lewes to Saltdean walk

South Downs Way along a chalk ridge in the morning, remote Rodmell for lunch, then back up and over the downs to the coast. Undercliff path, or bus to Brighton


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  • Lewes via Rodmell Circular. 8/9/23.
    amib, Sep-23

    An update of a walk last done in January 2011. This one being a 9.8 mile circular of Lewes via the village of Rodmell, and then Northease Manor. It was a sultry afternoon, with little breeze, which was useful for filming from the ridge.

    Setting out from the historic town of Lewes, the walker is soon on the South Downs Way and crossing over the A27. The ridge for the walk into Rodmell soon comes into view, and, once ascended, provides great views all round.

    Lunch is had at St Peter's church, Rodmell, which is next door to Virginia Woolf's former home. There is a pub option close by.

    Thereafter (and not as indicated on commentary, in 2011, the return to Lewes was via the banks of the Sussex Ouse), a different route was taken back to Lewes via Iford. This was low level and mainly field crossings, with good views of the earlier part of the walk..

    A decent downland walk, albeit a path was blocked at the Cockshut Stream Restoration project (due to reopen Autumn 2023!) towards the end. It is now also possible to avoid walking alongside a busy road.

    (N.B. Not walk '26', as mentioned on commentary).

  • Lewes to Brighton South Downs National Park | Drone 4K | Day Saturday | 🇬🇧 Hiking UK | England
    Hiking In London, Jun-22

    South Downs Way along a chalk ridge in the morning, remote Rodmell for lunch, then back up and over the downs to the coast. Undercliff path to Brighton


    15.5km (9.6 miles)


    Lewes Castle (tel 01273 486 290) and the Barbican House Museum nearby are open to visitors until 5.30pm daily (last entrance 5pm). The castle, which is visible for much of this walk, was built around 1070 by William de Warenne who fought alongside William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings. In the 1264 Battle of Lewes the rebel Earl of Leicester, Simon de Montfort, with an army of Londoners and 5,000 barons, defeated Henry III leading to England's first parliamentary meeting at Westminster in 1265.

    Lewes Priory Only the ruins of the priory remain as the church, which was as large as Westminster cathedral, was demolished during Henry VIII's dissolution of monasteries. The Priory of St. Pancras was also founded by William de Warenne.

    Anne of Cleves House, Lewes (tel 01273 474610) is a 16th century timber framed Wealden house given by Henry VIII to Anne of Cleves as part of their divorce settlement, but she never lived there. The house now contains the museum of Lewes charting the town's history from the 16th Century to the present day. It is open to visitors from 10am to 5pm,Tuesday to Saturday and 11am to 5pm on Monday and Sunday. Admission is £2.80.

    Southover Grange House and Gardens, Lewes An Elizabethan house built in 1572 by William Newton, using Caen stones from the ruins of Southover Priory. John Evelyn the diarist lived here while attending grammar school.

    Monk's House, Rodmell (tel 01892 890651)was the home of Virginia and Leonard Woolf who lived here from 1919 until Virginia's suicide in March 1941 (when she filled her pockets with stones and drowned herself in the river). Her ashes are buried in the garden. Leonard remained here until his death in 1969. Visitors to the house during the years they spent here included Vita Sackville-West, Lytton Strachey, E. M. Forster, Maynard Keynes, T. S. Eliot and Roger Fry. The house is open to visitors on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons, April to the end of October 2pm to 5.30pm. Admission is £2.60.

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  • Lewes via Rodmell Circular. 9.1.11.
    amib, Jan-11

    A lovely 9.5 mile walk around the East Sussex town of Lewes. Leaving the town and its castle behind, the walker is soon admiring terrific views from the ridge of the South Downs Way. Lunch can be had at a pub in Rodmell (where the novelist Virginia Woolf had a house) before the return journey along the banks of the River Ouse.

    (The unknown bird in this film is a Common Sandpiper).