12.0 miles ( 19.4 km) with 850 ft (250 meters) of ascent.
14.8 miles ( 23.8 km) if you continue to Portslade. You can also save a km by skipping Newhaven's break water.
|Toughness||3 out of 10. Easy going on hard paths. No shingle. Wear trainers.|
|OS Maps||OS Explorer OL11 (was 122) (Brighton)|
This coastal walks has a varied mix - a Victorian Fort, White Cliffs, an under-cliff path, Brighton's marina, busy promenades and board walks passing Brighton's pier, shops, cafes, and, on sunny days thousands of day trippers. Then it quieter promenade and beach huts, before ending in Portslade.
The walk starts at Newhaven Town station. Cross the river, and walk down to the coast, with an easy climb over castle hill to the walls of the Victorian Newhaven Fort (a pleasant WW1 themed tourist attraction), for the view along the coast. Head down to the breakwater, and then head west, rejoining the cliff path
Head west for some miles on a gently undulating cliff top path, rural at first, then passing seafront houses of Peacehaven, then Telescombe, but still great views out to sea. You pass 2 places with access down to the sea shore (and under-cliff path), and 3 pubs, 2 of which have sea view from the patio - The Peacehaven (very cheap), the Telescombe Tavern (good, sea view from "garden"), and the Smuggler's Rest (on the cliff edge). Eventually the path comes close to a busy coastal road as you descend to Saltdean and its Lido. Here you join the under-cliff path (hard surface) and escape the noise of the coast road. (You can continue along the cliff top path, but its a bit close to the noisy coast road)
Its 3.4km to Brighton Marina. Cross the lock gates - its nicer, and the path shown on the OS map behind the marina is usually closed due to rock falls. Continue past the yachts (even the mooring fees are eye-watering), until you reach The West Quay pub (Wetherspoons) with nice views over the yachty basin.
Continue through the Marina (in front of a car park, past McDonalds and Adsa), and continue along Marina Drive (at the foot of a low cliff), with a shingle beach to your left. Pass Brighton's slightly tacky nudist beach, and eventually, on sunny summer days, you'll start to see thousands on people clustered either side of the pier. The pier (free entry) is worth a stroll. Starlings swarm around it at sunset.
Turn inland by the pier for Brighton Pavilion, the New (antiques) and Old (independent shops with trendy bric-a-brac) Lanes, shops and cafes.
To continue to Portslade, keep going, choosing between the beach level board-walk (passing cafes, pubs and shops), or less busy road level promenade. Leave the crowds behind as the 2 paths merge, passing the remains of the West pier and a long row of beach huts.
Passing a sea front apartment block, you leave the crowds behind. Continue to the end - a small lake (Hove Lagoon) to your right. Its cafe (no sea view) had recently changed hands at time of writing.
Just before the white seafront houses, head inland along a road, then up some stairs by a pub. Cross the main road, and head inland (north). At the main road, turn left (west) to Portslade's centre (Tescos). Then right (north) for its station, and station pub. London trains from here don't stop at Brighton, so shouldn't be too crowded, even in summer.
Do not try going further along the path (past the "White Houses", and marked "Monarch's Way" on the OS Map) along Portslade's shingle beach (towards the tall chimney - a power station). Its a port area, the road is separated from the beach by a high wall (there are occasional gaps) so there is no view. You can walk along the beach side of the walk - but it is shingle with no path - not even at low tide - very, very hard going. There is a naturist beach at the start (just after the white houses on the beach) used by locals, not at all like the main naturist beach. At the end of the beach, there is a cafe (no sea views), and a pedestrian bridge over the harbour to Southwick station
There are 2 trains an hour from London Victoria to both Newhaven Town and Portslade. Buy a return to Newhaven which should be accepted at both Portslade and Brighton.
Regular (every 10 mins) but expensive buses run along the sea front road between Newhaven and Brighton. If you think you might need them, say if you which to do the walk in 2 parts, ask for 'plus bus' added to your rail ticket, which includes all buses in this area
Free parking, even near the coast, on the western part of the walk. Return to you car by the regular coast road bus
|Lunch and Tea||
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Out: (not a train station)
Back: (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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