3.3 of 5 (12 votes)

Alfriston to Southease

A moderate walk (low hills and fells (below 600m)) in national park South Downs starting and finishing in East Sussex, England, about 10.70km (6.65 mi) long with an estimated walking time of about 3:30h. It is suitable for families with children, but unsuitable for prams & pushchairs, wheelchairs.
Elevation Profile
Ascent 190m (623ft)
Descent 196m (643ft)
Max. Elevation 200m (656ft)
Altitude Gain & Loss 386m (1266ft)
Distance 10.70km
Duration ~3:30h
3Created by John Walker on 20 Dec 2014
This walk forms a short stage of the South Downs Way, running all the way from Winchester to Eastbourne. On this short section of a former droveway the path is on the springy turf of the chalk downs for almost its whole length. There are great views across to the Weald from Firle Beacon and the channel coast is visible from other places on the path. No refreshments can be bought on this stretch except at the start in Alfriston. To reach the starting point you can take a train to Polegate (from e.g. Clapham Junction) and then a #126 bus to Alfriston. The walk ends at Southease train station from where there are hourly trains to Lewes and then on to London in one hour.

Walk Functions


Nearby Walks

Alfriston to Eastbourne

★★★★★ ★★★★★
A moderate, linear walk (low hills and fells (below 600m)) starting in East Sussex, England, about 14.60km (9.07 mi) long, duration: ~4:45h.

Exploring the South Downs from Alfriston to Glynde

★★★★★ ★★★★★
A moderate, linear walk (countryside) starting in East Sussex, England, about 14.50km (9.01 mi) long, duration: ~4:45h.

The Seven Sisters from Berwick via Alfriston

★★★★★ ★★★★★
A strenuous, walk (countryside) starting in East Sussex, England, about 27.00km (16.78 mi) long, duration: ~8:15h.

Walk Map

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OS Grid TQ520031
1. From the bus stop in Alfriston the South Downs Way path goes west up Star Lane, alongside a pub (The Star) and opposite another (The George, highly recommended by Carfree Walks members). Straight ahead across a road it becomes Kings Ride, before heading steadily uphill on a chalky-flinty surface.
OS Grid TQ516030
2. This longish climb, beginning here, is the only serious effort on what is a rather easy stage.
About 0.43 km (~0.27 miles) from
OS Grid TQ511030
3. At the end of the stony path the SDW bears right out onto beautiful springy turf on chalk downland for the rest of the walk.
About 0.48 km (~0.3 miles) from
OS Grid TQ501043
4. As the track approaches the top of Bostal Hill you pass the first of many robbed and partly ploughed-out bronze age barrows beside the path which now runs close to the north-facing scarp slope of the downs. Looking back you are now high enough to see the sea beyond Cuckmere Haven.
About 1.67 km (~1.04 miles) from
OS Grid TQ493050
At the car park above the Bopeep disused quarry there are picnic benches but no refreshments unless you brought your own.
About 1.07 km (~0.66 miles) from
OS Grid TQ487057
Passing more barrows the path rises gently to Firle Beacon viewpoint. From here there are few signs of major developments down in the valley, just dotted villages half hidden by trees. You can see Charleston Farmhouse (former Bloomsbury Group hangout) at the foot of the hill but it’s only the glint of cars travelling along the A27 which gives away the presence of very many people living nearby.
About 0.94 km (~0.58 miles) from
OS Grid TQ454059
Just after the two radio masts on Beddingham Hill the path turns SW and begins a gradual descent. Lewes is discreet to the North West whilst Newhaven is now clearly visible to the South, dominated by a strange metallic sausage-shaped building.
About 3.25 km (~2.02 miles) from
OS Grid TQ438053
Finally the path sweeps down the steep hill towards the A26 in a huge loop.
About 1.67 km (~1.04 miles) from
OS Grid TQ433054
You cross the main road on a footbridge and then turn left at Itford Farm for a short walk to the railway station of Southease. An hourly service from here to Lewes takes only a few minutes. From Lewes it is only about 1 hour by train back to Clapham Junction, a good link for many destinations.
About 0.49 km (~0.3 miles) from
OS Grid TQ431055
An hourly service from here to Lewes takes only a few minutes. From Lewes it is only about 1 hour by train back to Clapham Junction.
About 0.30 km (~0.19 miles) from

2 comments... join the discussion!

28 May 2016
South Downs Way

I think this is a very nice section of the South Downs Way. Apart from the area immediately around the car park near Bo Peep quarry the path is usually quite tranquil. I hope the weather is good and you enjoy the walk. Best Wishes

Liz Pearson
23 May 2016
Thank You

I am walking this route with some friends next week so thank you for mapping this out. It will be very useful. Best wishes.

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