4.2 of 5 (2 votes)

South Downs Way: Pyecombe to Upper Beeding

A moderate walk (low hills and fells (below 600m)) in national park South Downs starting and finishing in West Sussex, England, about 11.30km (7.02 mi) long with an estimated walking time of about 3:45h. It is suitable for families with children, but unsuitable for prams & pushchairs, wheelchairs.
Elevation Profile
Ascent 235m (770ft)
Descent 318m (1043ft)
Max. Elevation 210m (688ft)
Altitude Gain & Loss 553m (1813ft)
Upper Beeding
Distance 11.30km
Duration ~3:45h
3Created by John Walker on 06 Apr 2015
The South Downs Way is one of the official UK National Trails, running from Eastbourne to Winchester, follows old routes and droveways along the chalk escarpment and ridges of the South Downs National Park. This section is typical, staying remote from villages (except at the start and finish) and giving long views in all directions, to the Channel to the South and across the Weald to the North Downs in the other direction. The path is easy to follow, with some short steep climbs. To reach the start a fast train from Clapham Junction (for example) to Brighton takes only 45mins, then a 10 minute walk to the Old Steine bus stops where you can catch a #40 bus to Pyecombe on the A23 (taking only about 15 minutes).

Walk Functions


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Walk Map

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OS Grid TQ292123
1. At the Pyecombe bus stop walk back a few metres from the stop then turn right, with the Plough Inn ahead.
OS Grid TQ291126
2. Go up Church Lane to the right as far as a cross-roads with a small triangular village green with a bench which is the faintly beating heart of Pyecombe village.
About 0.27 km (~0.17 miles) from
OS Grid TQ291126
3. The South Downs Way heads off to the left past a pretty flint church, then downhill and left to cross the noisy A23 on a footbridge.
About 0.07 km (~0.04 miles) from
OS Grid TQ289124
4. The path takes a left turn here through a gateway then down a metalled private road parallel to the A23.
About 0.21 km (~0.13 miles) from
OS Grid TQ291123
5. A well signed right turn heads uphill past Haresdean Farm, housing a riding school. The path climbs past fields full of horses. Behind, the Clayton windmills appear over the brow of a hill. To the right on a clear day the North Downs is visible across the broad expanse of the Weald.
About 0.21 km (~0.13 miles) from
OS Grid TQ280117
6. From the top of West Hill, Brighton and a broad stretch of sea can be seen to the South.
About 1.26 km (~0.78 miles) from
OS Grid TQ275115
7. The path is joined by the Sussex Border Trail and they descend together into Saddlescombe, before the SDW’s next climb to Summer Down.
About 0.55 km (~0.34 miles) from
OS Grid TQ272115
8. Saddlescombe Farm is owned by National Trust and houses a lovely café with outdoor tables around a barnyard. There is also a backpacker’s hostel. We stopped for tea and cake and to admire the free range hens.
About 0.31 km (~0.19 miles) from
OS Grid TQ270115
9. Continue on the path to cross a road, go left briefly then fork right up a steep climb towards Summer Down, alongside Devil's Dyke, a deep chalk valley with bank and ditch fortifications and some tumuli strung out along the opposite flank. There are vast panoramas in all directions from here, but don’t miss the flower-flecked grassy verges with clover, knapweed, convolvulus and scabious in flower when we were there. Blackberries were also ripe on the bushes.
About 0.20 km (~0.12 miles) from
OS Grid TQ258107
10. The path crosses a B-road 200 m from a pub. After this the countryside changes to more open rolling downland, mainly grass meadows.
About 1.38 km (~0.86 miles) from
OS Grid TQ237107
11. The summit of Edburton Hill provides the next stunning viewpoint, then there is another dip and rise to Truleigh Hill, somewhat disfigured by a massive brick barn and several radio antennas.
About 2.09 km (~1.3 miles) from
OS Grid TQ227106
12. From the top of Truleigh Hill a stony path leads on past several houses, becoming a metalled road. The grouped villages of Upper Beeding, Bramber and Steyning come in to view to the North of the path.
About 1.03 km (~0.64 miles) from
OS Grid TQ208096
13. Where the road turns sharp left the South Downs Way goes straight on but instead we took a stony bridleway (a section of the Monarch’s Way), forking slightly to the right, downwards towards the village of Upper Beeding. The smoothed stones make for a slippery-surfaced track which finally brings you out onto the A2073 in Castle Town.
About 2.16 km (~1.34 miles) from
OS Grid TQ199101
14. When the track meets a road turn left and follow the pavement alongside the main road to a small roundabout and turn right into Upper Beeding itself. At the bus stop just beyond the Kings Arms pub you can catch a #2 bus to Shoreham train station and from there return to Clapham Junction (or anywhere else on the rail network).
About 1.00 km (~0.62 miles) from

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