Deep Dean, near Windover Hill

SWC Walk 25 - South Downs Way 8 : Southease to Eastbourne

17-Oct-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Eastbourne Pier (II)

SWC Walk 25 - South Downs Way 8 : Southease to Eastbourne

17-Oct-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Groynes and Cliffs

SWC Walk 25 - South Downs Way 8 : Southease to Eastbourne

17-Oct-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Bedddingham Hill, from Windover Hill

SWC Walk 25 - South Downs Way 8 : Southease to Eastbourne

17-Oct-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Sheep in an orderly line

SWC Walk 25 - South Downs Way 8 : Southease to Eastbourne

17-Oct-15 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Sheep at trig. point next to dried out pond on South Downs Way

above Ouse Valley

06-Apr-15 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

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Walkers, footpaths, hang-glider.

On the South Downs Way near Firle Beacon

06-Apr-15 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

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South Downs Way 8 : Southease to Eastbourne walk

2 Long Ridge walks over open downs, beautiful Alfriston for lunch, and Eastbourne pier and prom. to finish.

Length 27.3 km/17.0 mi
Toughness 8 out of 10
Maps OS Explorer OL25 Eastbourne and Beachy Head
Features

This walk along the South Downs Way (SDW) consists of spectacular ridge walks with three steep ascents and a picturesque village in the middle for lunch and another one for tea, and with Beachy Head, Eastbourne promenade, beach and pier at the finish. It's a long but very rewarding walk. The route is well waymarked, the paths are easy walking, and the route is easy to follow. The South Downs are treeless and open, so there are good views throughout (weather permitting).

The walk starts at Southease Station, right on the SDW, and climbs the first ridge straight away, up to Itford Hill and then along the ridge to Firle Beacon, the highest point of the walk. There is an alternative start in Glynde in case the trains to Southease don't connect well.

At the end of the ridge you descend into Alfriston, a pretty village in the scenic Cuckmere Valley, with a village green dominated by a large church. Several good pubs and tea rooms and a village shop vie for your lunch business.

After lunch, follow the northern leg of the SDW up and over Windover Hill and down to Jevington (tea room and pub) before a final climb to head south along another ridge towards the coast.

There is an inland shortcut into Eastbourne if you're tierd, but the suggested route is to continue along the ridge to the coast, to join up with the SDW's Coastal Route near Beachy Head. From here, head downhill into Eastbourne, where you follow the promenade along the beach into town towards the pier.

Walk Options
  • Start in Glynde (station) - similar distance - better if you have a car as there is free parking, and it's a direct train back from Eastbourne.
  • From Alfriston, follow the southern (coastal) leg of the SDW down to Cuckmere Haven, then over the 7 Sisters cliffs
    • 33.3 km/20.5 mi
    • Toughness: 10/10 (longer, and more hilly in the afternoon)
  • Reverse the walk. Start in Eastbourne, and finish at Glynde (more trains than Southease). Check the times of the last train!
  • Shortcut into Eastbourne. Descend earlier into Eastbourne and follow roads to the station rather than the seaside promenade (cut 2.5 km)
  • Break the walk in Alfriston using Berwick Station: from Alfriston, there is a waymarked valley route to Berwick Station, so you could walk the route over two days, i.e.:
    • The first part: Southease to Alfriston (then, on to Berwick)
    • (Berwick to Alfriston), then, then second part: Alfriston to Eastbourne
Transport

Eastbourne : 2 trains an hour (1 Sunday evening), about 1 hr 30 from Victoria

Glynde : 1 train an hour (change at Lewes) from Victoria, also about 1 hr 30

Southease : 1 train an hour (change at Lewes) from Victoria, also about 1 hr 30.

By Car: Park at Glynde Station (free), direct train back from Eastbourne.

Saturday Walkers' Club: Take the train closest to 9:15 from Victoria.

Lunch

Southease: YHA tea room - closes early.

Glynde: small village shop (the pub has closed).

Alfriston (lunch): excellent pubs, tea rooms, village shop, large green by the church for a picnic

Jevington (afternoon tea) : pub, tea room.

Eastbourne (the end) : many places.

South Downs Way

This walk is one of 9 stages of the South Downs Way - a 109 mile national long distance path - that traverses the South Downs National Park in South East England.

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By Train

Out (not a train station)

Back (not a train station)

By Car

Start BN8 6JS Map Directions Return to the start:

Finish BN21 3QJ Map Directions Travel to the start:

Map Walk This walk requires an OS map and a compass or GPS for navigation. You can print out OS maps using the link above.
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Help

National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234

Version

Aug-19

Copyright © Saturday Walkers Club. All Rights Reserved. No commercial use. No copying. No derivatives. Free with attribution for one time non-commercial use only. www.walkingclub.org.uk/site/license.shtml

Walk Directions  

The directions for this walk are also in a PDF (link above) which you can download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.

  1. Start at Southease Station
    • SDW: Head east - cross the road (using the bridge), and climb Itford Hill.
    • SDW: Follow the ridge past the radio station on Beddingham Hill to Firle Beacon, the highest point of the walk.
  2. Start at Glynde Station
    • Head south along the small road, cross the busy A27 (there's a median), and continue south up the car wide track.
    • SDW: On the ridge, head east along the SDW towards Firle Beacon
  3. SDW: Follow the waymarked path along the ridge over Bostal Hill and past Long Burgh Long Barrow, before descending into Alfriston village.
  4. There are pubs, a tea room, and a village shop in the village. Visit the church on its picturesque green.
  5. SDW: Cross the Cuckmere River, and tackle the northerly SDW route up to Windover Hill (there is a shortcut route through a field on the initial part of the ascent)
  6. SDW: Take the path over the summit of Windover Hill.
  7. There are 2 other short options here around the summit, rather than over it, a southerly bridleway (for bikes), and a northerly footpath passing the top of The Long Man of Wilmington (a chalk figure, side-on views only!).
  8. SDW: Follow the SDW down into Jevington (tea room and pub)
  9. SDW: Head a few metres south along the lane, and climb back up to Bourne Hill along a shaded track
  10. SDW: Turn south along the ridge, with views of Eastbourne and the sea
  11. Cross the A 259 and in another 400 metres a left fork is a waymarked shortcut along the NDW to the station (at GR TV 5878 9824). Map required once in Eastbourne.
  12. Stay on the ridge (but leaving the SDW), cross the B 2103 and in another 700 metres, by a signpost on the right (at GR TV 5940 9691), turn down left off the ridge towards town.
  13. Near the bottom of the drop you meet up with the southerly (coastal) branch of the SDW, and head east through Eastbourne, initially along a busy road.
  14. After 330m of road walking, fork down to the right along a tarmac path above the Italian Gardens to the seafront.
  15. Follow the seafront promenade towards the pier
  16. Pass the Wish Tower (a Martello Tower).
  17. For a direct route to the station, turn left on Devonshire Place (by a large bandstand, i.e. before the pier)
  18. Continue to the pier.
  19. For the station, from the pier's road junction, go inland on Elms Avenue, then Elms Road. At the end, then right and immeadiately left through the pedestrianised shopping street (Susan's Road) to the station.
© Saturday Walkers Club. All Rights Reserved. No commercial use. No copying. No derivatives. Free with attribution for one time non-commercial use only. www.walkingclub.org.uk/site/license.shtml