Seafront near Rottingdean

13-Jan-12 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

banner walkicon swcwalk65 swcwalks brighton13112

First section (anticlockwise)

Lewes Circular walk

06-Jun-15 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

swcwalk65 swcwalks swcwalk47 walkicon

Approaching Rottingdean

Lewes to Brighton via Rottingdean walk

19-Jul-15 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

swcwalk65 swcwalks swcwalk134 walkicon

Saturday Walkers Club Extra Walk 134: Lewes to Brighton via Rottingdean

Rottingdean and Roedean by the sea

01-Jun-10 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

book3 swcwalks saturdaywalkersclubwalkfromlewestobrighton walk134

Saturday Walkers Club walk from Lewes to Brighton via Rottingdean, East Sussex

'...towards the direction of the V-shaped paths ahead on the Downs,'

01-Jun-10 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

book3 swcwalks saturdaywalkersclubwalkfromlewestobrighton walk134

Ovingdean

13-Jan-12 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

swcwalk134 swcwalk65 swcwalks brighton13112

Brighton pier

15-Jan-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk134

Southease to Rottingdean or Brighton walk

The flat, open Ouse valley to Rodmell and Kingston, then an open chalk ridge to Rottingdean and Brighton.

History

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, 23-Sep-17 25

Southease to Rottingdean - Along the Ouse, then across the downs to the sea

SWC walk 65 - Southease to Rottingdean (or Southease Circular)
Length: 15.5km (9.6 miles), with extensions of up to 24.3km (15.1 miles)
Toughness: 4 out of 10 - one steep climb, basically

9.17 train from Victoria (9.23 Clapham Junction, 9.33 East Croydon) to Lewes, arriving 10.24, changing there (be quick) for the 10.28 to Southease, arriving 10.35.

Buy a day return to Southease. This is valid for return from Brighton.

For walk directions click here. For GPS file click here.

Autumn is officially here, but you can cock a snook at it it with this summery walk, which ends up at the sea. The route starts at remote Southease station and goes along the lovely banks of the River Ouse to Rodmell, then from there across fields to Kingston, near Lewes, where the Juggs is a popular pub but one that we usually manage to squeeze into.

Don't overdo it on the desserts, though, because almost immediately after lunch you have the only real exertion of the day, a steep but glorious climb up onto the downs. You then cross the heart of them to Rottingdean, where there are so many tea options you will be sorry you only have one stomach.

In theory a sea swim is then possible, but the sea seems to have got cold early this year....

To finish the walk at Rottingdean (the 15.5km/9.6 mile version of the walk), you take one of many buses into Brighton. Trains back from Brighton are too frequent to need listing.

An ALTERNATIVE ENDING (about the same length as the main walk - 14.5km/9 miles) splits off from the main route after the post-lunch climb up onto the downs and takes you down the South Downs Way to Southease to make a circular walk. Tea options here are the Abergavenny Arms in Rodmell and the YHA Cafe at Southease (but the latter closes at 4pm). Trains back from Southease are at 36 past till 19.36, then 20.39 (last train), changing at Lewes.

LONGER OPTIONS include:

- Walking along the seafront promenade into Brighton, a pretty walk under cliffs for at least half the way, then through the marina, adding 7.5km (4.7 miles) if you walk all the way to Brighton station, though you can shorten this at almost any point by taking the bus. This makes a total walk of 23km (14.3 miles).

- Walk back to Southease over the downs after tea. As far as I know this 24.3km (15.1 mile) version of the walk has never been done, so you could be the first. Allow a couple of hours to cover the 8.8km (5.5 miles) from Rottingdean to Southease (ie leave by 5.30pm at the latest because it will be dark at 7.30pm). See Alternative Ending above for trains back from Southease. T=3.65

It is always a gamble picking a walk to post. The afternoon of this one can be bleak on a grey day, crossing featureless downs. But when the sun shines (as it did today) it is a glorious promenade across the heights, with the sun glittering off the sea ahead and sharp views to Newhaven, Seaford, Cuckmere Haven and yes even Belle Tout lighthouse as a speck on the horizon.

The day started less auspiciously. I left my Network Card at home and so had to pay full fare, and the 9.17 train was delayed for 45 minutes between Gatwick and Hayward’s Heath by a signal failure (I always love the unintended dual meaning in that phrase) at Balcombe. So we got to Southease an hour late. But had the posted train been the 10.17, Lord knows when we would have got there, as we left a chaos of cancelled trains in our wake.

Because of the delays, the 18 walkers at the start swelled to 25 or so as others who had eg come from Brighton materialised. We still got to the lunch pub at a reasonable time and it was not over busy. There were the usual warnings about meals maybe taking a while to cook but they nearly all arrived quickly. As we ate high cloud cleared to sun.

Some SWC types complain about “too many options” but on this walk all were appreciated. Two did the short walk to Southease to have time to visit Virginia Woolf’s house. The rest of the group went to Rottingdean but a good number five or more? then elected to do the long circuit back to Southease (I would love to know how they got on). Among those that remained there was some talk of sea swimming, but instead we tarried in the garden tea room of the library, enjoying the sun, and by the time we got to the beach the sun was low and the heat (and the moment) had gone. We had a nice walk along the cliff bottom promenade instead, two catching a bus just before the marina, three of us going to Kemp Town for tapas. Two of us the finished the walk to Brighton station for the 9.28 train, so all posted options got done.

All in all a lovely summer day out except it is now autumn. Boo hoo.
4 plus one well behaved dog did the long Southease circular walk and met the 2 who had visited Virginia Woolf's house at Southease station in time to catch the 18.36 train. The walk through Telscombe and on the South Downs Way was glorious in the evening sunshine. We passed fields of corn, ripening pumpkins and yet more apples for the taking. The walk directions were clear apart from point 7 where the faintness of the grassy path caused one walker to delay enabling another to catch up.
Sadly the cafe in Lewes station was closed but a machine taking only old pound coins provided some necessary refreshment.
A great day out in good company.

Sat, 15-Aug-15 15

Saturday Second Walk - Riverside, downland, seaside (swim?)

T=3.65 SWC Walk 65 - Southease to Rottingdean
Length: 14.5km (9 miles) - with longer options: see ** below
Toughness: 4 out of 10: one steep climb, basically

9.16 train from Victoria (9.22 Clapham Junction, 9.32 East Croydon), changing at Lewes (be quick! arrive 10.28, depart 10.34), for Southease, arriving 10.34.

Buy a day return to Southease, which will be valid for return from Brighton.

For walk directions click here.

This walk combines familiar elements - the lovely start along the River Ouse at Southease, a walk over the downs to Rottingdean - but combines them with a gentle walk across fields late morning and lunch at the very pleasant Juggs Inn in Kingston (pleasant and also popular, which is why I have chosen an earlier train). Don't overdo the puddings at lunch, however, because just after it you have the only real exertion of the day - a steep, but very exhilarating and scenic, climb up onto the crest of the South Downs. There is then a relatively easy walk across the lonely heart of the downs to the sea at Rottingdean, which has oodles of tea options.

Rottingdean also provides a reliable low tide sea swimming spot, which is another reason for picking this walk today, as low tide is at 6.45pm. The central beach at Rottingdean (the one with the strange jetty-like structure sticking out on its right-hand side) is the only one on this stretch of coast that has decent depths of water in such conditions. (If you do swim out, look out for an underwater reef about 100 metres out on which one can stand in mid ocean - an odd feeling).

Regular coastal buses (every few mins) go from Rottingdean to Brighton pier and station. If you decide to get off at the pier, note that there are directions from there to the station on the penultimate page of the walk directions. The beach by the pier is another possible swimming spot, but watch your bags here.

Trains back from Brighton are very frequent. The fast Victoria service is at 19 and 49 till 22.19 and there are direct London Bridge services at 28 and 56 past to 18.56: outside these times you can connect at East Croydon. Thameslink services (30 and 57 past) are slow stopping services.

** For a longer walk:

- Walk some or all of the cliff bottom path from Rottingdean into Brighton. Ovingdean, about 1km along, is one possible target: it has a very nice tea kiosk (china mugs and home made cakes) and then steps up to the road. Or stay on the promenade another 1.5km to the start of Brighton Marina and then take the ramp up the cliffs there. In both cases there is a handy bus stop once you get on the cliff. Walking all the way from Rottingdean to Brighton station adds 7.2km (4.5 miles) to the walk.

- Walk back to Southease after tea in Rottingdean. Ignore the Southease Circular directions in the text here, but instead see the Alternative ending at Southease directions on the last page of this document. This takes you back over the downs (the afternoon of the Lewes to Saltdean walk in reverse) and adds 8.9km (5.5 miles) to the walk length, making a total walk of 23.4km (14.5 miles). Trains from Southease are at 36 past, with the last train at 19.36, so make sure you time this walk correctly. If you arrive a bit early for the train, the reception of the YHA just beyond the station might serve you a cup of tea. Only very fast walkers will have time to divert to the Abergavenny Arms for a drink.



15 on this walk, sun and cloud then grey and windy. There were signal problems on the way down so we missed our connection at Lewes. Most of us decided to walk south along the river to connect up with the specified walk route: one waited 50 minutes for the next Southease train and still got to lunch not much later than us, one noted fast walker took a short cut to lunch….

A lovely sunny morning out on the flatlands, a pleasant lunch at the Juggs, and then the steep but very scenic climb up onto the downs (one of the best downs ascents we do, in my opinion). After that the clouds built up and it was really rather windy and autumnal. Despite this, four brave souls still plunged into grey seas with metre high waves for a sea swim at Rottingdean while a well muffled lifeguard looked impassively on, and pronounced themselves well satisfied.

Two of us carried on along the promenade into Brighton and were rewarded with clearing skies, the wind dropping, and a very nice sunset swim near the pier
Wed, 03-Sep-14 Southease to Rottingdean
Sat, 05-Apr-14 15 Southease to Rottingdean
Sat, 30-Jun-12 Southease to Brighton
Sun, 15-Jan-12 Southease to Rottingdean
Sat, 05-Feb-11 Southease to Rottingdean
Sun, 06-Dec-09 Southease Circular (short)
Wed, 02-Sep-09 Southease to Rottingdean or Brighton
Sun, 21-Jun-09 Southease to Rottingdean or Brighton
Sat, 16-May-09 Southease to Rottingdean or Brighton