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 surfaces. No shingle. Wear trainers.|
|OS Maps||OS Explorer OL11 (was 122) (Brighton)|
This coastal walks has a varied mix - a Victorian Fort and harbour arm, quiet White Cliffs, an undercliff path, Brighton's marina, busy promenades and board walks passing Brighton's pier, shops, cafes, and, on sunny days thousands of day trippers. Then its quieter promenade and beach huts, before ending in Portslade. The whole walk has nice sea views, and there are many places to swim.
It starts with a short walk down to the sea passing a Victorian Fort to Newhavan's harbour arm. Then a rural section along a gently undulating cliff top path, with sea views. You can then continue the cliff top path past seafront houses of Peacehaven, then Telescombe, but still great views out to sea, or the undercliff path below. There are 3 pubs en-route, 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).
Then its another gentle cliff top path section to Saltdean where you join the main undercliff path at the base of the white chalk cliffs, passing Rottingdean (cliff top pub and beach level cafe) on the way to the marina.
Here, the walk changes character, its suddenly very busy. You pass Brighton's yacht marina (the mooring fees are eye-watering) and a line of restaurants until you reach The West Quay pub (Wetherspoons) with nice views over the yachty basin. Then its the start of Brighton's long town beach backed by a promenade. Pass the 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.
You can finish the walk in Brighton with its Pavilion (an ornate fantasy palace, recommended), the Old Lane (antiques), New Lanes (independent shops with trendy bric-a-brac), shops and cafes.
Optionally, you can continue along Brighton's seafront, and finish at Hove. If you continue on further still to Portslade, it quickly becomes quite again as you leave the town centre (and main stations) behind. There's a wide seafront promenade, perfect for a stroll, and many beach huts.
There is regular sea front bus service to return to your car, or if you which to drop out early.
There are 2 trains an hour from London Victoria to Newhaven Town (change at Lewes). Returning, there are many trains from Brighton, and 2 trains per hour from both Portslade and Hove. Buy a return to Newhaven which is accepted from Brighton, and should be from Hove and Portslade.
Regular (every 10 mins) but expensive buses run along the sea front road between Newhaven and all the seafront town mentioned to 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. All of Brighton's seafront, as far as Portslade, is now controlled parking (CPZ). Return to you car by the regular coast road bus
After the walk, we would love to get your feedback
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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The directions for this walk are also in a PDF (link above) which you can download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.
Newhaven Town to Brighton
- 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.
- Optionally, head down to the breakwater, and then head west, rejoining the cliff top path.
- Head west for some miles on a gently undulating cliff top path, rural at first, with great views out to sea.
- You have the choice of following either the cliff top path, or the undercliff path in this section. There are 3 access points. The first is before the houses. The second is a car wide path with a wide area at the bottom. You need to rejoin the cliff top path at the 3rd one, just inside the western hemisphere, by the Peacehaven pub (not visible from the bottom) as undercliff path ends a little further on.
- Pass the Smuggler's Rest pubs. Just after is a beach access point, but its a dead end. You have to walk along the road from about 50m at this point (around a road down to the beach and some houses) before rejoinging the cliff top path.
- Eventually the cliff top 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 walk backwards along the undercliff path here, but its a dead end - theres a gap between this point and the Smugglers' Rest access point.
- Follow the concrete undercliff path for 3.4km past Rottingdean which has a nice prommenade cafe in a sheltered spot (Molly's at the Beach). There is a cliff top pub a little further, then its a long stetch to the marina. (You can continue along the cliff top path, but its a bit close to the noisy coast road).
- At the 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 and a line of restaurants until you reach The West Quay pub (Wetherspoons) .
- Continue through the Marina (in front of a car park, past McDonalds and Adsa) to the harbour wall.
- This is the start of Brighton's beach. 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. The pier (free entry) is worth a stroll. Starlings swarm around it at sunset.
- Turn inland by the pier for Brighton Pavilion, the Lanes, shops and cafes.
- For Brighton station, turn inland just after the pier, through an underpass, and continue straight on, uphill.
Brighton to Hove and Portslade
- To continue on to Hove (+2.5km), keep going, choosing between the beach level board-walk (passing cafes, pubs and shops), or less busy road level promenade.
- Pass the i360 tower by the remains of the west pier. Leave the crowds behind as the 2 paths merge to from a wide promenade with a long row of beach huts.
- Turn inland by a sea front apartment block for Hove station. Head north (inland) along Fourth Avenue (wide, with parking in the middle)s for 500m. Turn left (west) on Church Road (cafes, shops)s for 400. Turn right (north) on Rutland. In 1km, come to the station
- To continue on to Porstlade (+ another 2.5km), continue in front of the seafront buildings to join another promendade, leaving the crowds of daytrippers completely behind.
- Continue to the end, with a small lake (Hove Lagoon) and cafe (no sea view).
- At the end, just before the "white sea front houses" that block your way ahead, head inland, and up some stairs by a pub to the main road. Cross the road, and head inland along a residential road (north, on either Roman Road or Saxon Road). At the main road, turn left (west, along New Church Road) to Portslade's centre (Tesco, Asda), then right (north, along Station Road)) 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 sea front 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 very 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 far end of the shingle beach, there is a cafe (no sea views), and a pedestrian bridge over the harbour to Southwick station.