Lewes to Seaford via West Firle walk

Glorious ramble over the South Downs to the sea covering areas less frequently walked


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 # Post
Sat, 17-Feb-18

Saturday Walk - South Downs: Lewes to Seaford or Bishopstone (via West Firle)

Length: 23.3 km (14.5 mi) or 21.4 km to Bishopstone [shorter walks possible, see below]
Ascent/Descent: 500 m
Net Walking Time: ca. 5 ½ hours
Toughness: 8 out of 10

Take the 09.17 Eastbourne train from Victoria (09.23 CJ, 09.33 EC), arriving Lewes at 10.24.
Return trains from Seaford: xx.25 (92 mins), xx.57 (90 mins), change at Lewes. [departure from Bishopstone is 2 minutes later]. Buy a Seaford return.

This walk, along with the shorter options below, is mainly along ridges and offers superb downland views throughout with an excellent lunch-time pub. The beauty of this walk is that you can see the way ahead so direction finding is fairly easy. In detail: The route crosses the River Ouse in Lewes’s centre and then climbs a lane to a golf club car-park. You then take a signposted path following a circular ridge route, with glorious views throughout followed by a long descent into Glynde. From Glynde pass the (now closed) Trevor Arms , go through the village to cross over the busy A 24 and then take a route passing Preston Court Farm. You go through the entrance to Firle Park, cross a field and enter the village of West Firle for lunch at the Ram Inn. From the pub you take the road through the village to start a long climb up to a spot near Firle Beacon. Follow a ridge top path heading for two large radio masts and then find a gently descending path which eventually brings you to Bishopstone and then along the coast to Seaford.

Two Shortcuts are possible:
A – cut out West Firle (cut 4.3 Km, --> picnic lunch);
B – start at Glynde station (cut 6.1 km) --> 10.50 train from Victoria, chg. Brighton, arr. 12.14

For summary, walk directions, map, height profile and gpx/kml files click here.
Lunch: The Ram Inn, West Firle (9.0 km/5.6 mi, food to 15.00, bar menu all day).
Tea: Plenty of choice in Seaford, the walk author recommends Salts Café. T=swc.181
Sun, 24-Apr-16

Free walk 181 - a vigorous South Downs ramble

Download walk 181. Lewes to Seaford via West Firle
Length 22.9km (14.3m); toughness 8/10 – 2, possibly 3 major climbs depending on a choice of routes early in the walk..
Trains 9.47 London Victoria (Clapham Junction 09.53, East Croydon 10.04) arrive Lewes 10.55
Return trains from Seaford at xx.57 to Lewes for connecting trains to London Victoria or alternatively catch a xx.27 to Brighton for connecting trains back to London Bridge. Buy a day return to Seaford.
This vigorous and glorious South Downs workout may be attractive for those going on the Scottish adventure but cannot make the Saturday Tisbury excursion. There are some long climbs and overall a total of 544m of ascent and descent.
An early lunch may be taken at the Trevor Arms in Glynde but the later recommended stop is the Ram Inn in West Firle. Both pubs are run by the same people and serve excellent meals.
Salts café in Seaford is your best bet for tea and cakes.
There are options for shortening the walk and these can be found here along with outline walk instructions.
This walk is in open countryside and is best done with a map or GPS coupled with the outline walk guidelines. However if you want to use more detailed written instructions see the beginning of the outline walk instructions for what to bring with you.

Weather watch: the BBC long-term forecast for the area is for it to be dry but cold but at 150 -200m on the top of the Downs where you will be mainly walking it could be bleak so wrap up and check on the forecast
Sun, 06-Dec-15 3

An invigorating day on the South Downs

Book 2 walk 25 and download walk 181 variation: Lewes to Southease via Glynde
Length 11.4km (7.1m); toughness 6/10, three climbs.
Trains 09.47 London Victoria (Clapham Junction 09.53, East Croydon 10.07) arrive Lewes 10.53.
Return trains from Southease at xx:09. Change at Lewes for connecting trains to London. Buy a day return to Southease
I’m taking a bit of a punt with this walk also! The South Downs is normally summer walking territory but this short but vigorous walk -3 longish climbs- I think will make a fine winter outing and get the blood pumping!
The walk is in 3 short sections:
(1) Lewes to Glynde – see Book 2 Walk 25 for directions (5km, 3.1m)
(2) After lunch in Glynde continue on through the village, cross the busy main road at the T junction and go along the tarmac lane ahead.In 300m do not turn left down the driveway signposted Preston Park but continue ahead on the lane/track which gradually gets steeper until, after about 1km you get to the top of the hill. Note the radio masts away to your left.(3km, 1.9m)
(3) At the top of the hill turn right along the South Downs Way for an invigorating ridge walk ending with a long descent into Southease and tea.(3.4km, 2.1m)
Shortening the walk
You can end the walk in Glynde and have a long “relaxed” lunch at the Trevor Arms before catching a train from Glynde to Lewes (trains at xx:45) for connecting trains back to London.
Lengthening the walk
For faster walkers you can extend the walk by taking a circular ridge route to Glynde and then from there continue to West Firle to have lunch at the Ram Inn before ascending the Downs and turning right at the end of the climb for a longer ridge walk back to Southease (See Book 1 walk 31 for the Glynde to West Firle route). This adds about 5km (3.1m) to the overall walk.
If you have the legs and the speed you could do the Lewes to Seaford walk (18.6km , 11.6m 7/10 toughness). See Walk 181 variation. (Here you do not turn right at point (3) above but continue ahead on a direct route to Seaford.
An earlier train at 08.47 might be best for these longer options.
**Whatever walk variation you choose you are advised to print off the OS map for free walk 181. See here
Refreshments (and timings)
Lunch is at the superb Trevor Arms (01273 858208) in Glynde. You should get here about 12.15-12.30. Ring ahead as it gets busy.
After lunch you have 6.4km (4m) to do so you need to leave the pub at about 1.30pm in order to get to Southease around 3.30pm for refreshments at the Courtyard café at the South Downs YHA. The café closes at 4pm and then you have a 3 mins walk to Southease station to catch the 4.09pm train to Lewes.

Enjoy your walk!
This is in fact SWC walk 47, clockwise direction: complete directions for whole walk in one document, plus details of all lunch and tea options, can be found on pages 1 4 of this pdf

http://www.walkingclub.org.uk/book 3/walk 47/SWC Walk 47 Lewes Circular via Glynde and Southease.pdf
It is the CHRISTMAS PARTY on Thursday don't forget!! See listing below
Am aiming to get the early train and do Lewes to Seaford walk.
Just 3 on the short walk with the weather windy some driving rain but very mild. After the climb out of Lewes we took the long ridge route rather than the valley and hill path as I know from experience the later can be very muddy from cattle churn near a field gate. Our reward was some driving wind and rain and we were glad to reach the Trevor Arms, which impresses me more each time I visit, for an excellent nut and a traditional roast which was served very quickly by friendly and chatty staff.

The weather looked to be closing in again so we did not linger in the pub but set off for Southease which we reached around 2.30pm to enjoy tea, coffee and delicious cakes at the Courtyard cafe. (Just £3 each so terrific value.) We dried out and caught the 15.09 train from Southease.

Winter walks on the South Downs are a bit of an "acquired taste" but I love the bleakness of the area in winter so I found it an exhilirating day. Other plus points were no mud, no stiles and my boots were far cleaner at the end of the walk than at the outset! Result.

Sun, 21-Jul-13 5 Lewes to Seaford, via Glynde and West Firle