Lewes to Brighton - Countryside and Coast
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A scenic walk from Lewes to Brighton, across Downland, with an afternoon tea stop in the village of Rottingdean and a coastal walk to Brighton, via Roedean.
Our route out of Lewes takes us through the grounds of Lewes Priory and then down to the River Ouse. After a short walk along the river bank we turn towards the village of Rodmell. We then have our main climb of the day, up on to Kingston Ridge on the South Downs. After a break for lunch, with views across the Sussex Weald, we will follow the South Downs Way westwards as far as Castle Hill. We then descend through The Castle Hill National Nature Reserve towards Rottingdean on the coast. We can stop in the village of Rottingdean for afternoon tea, drinks or ice-cream.
The final part of the walk takes us along the coast to Brighton. We will initally walk across Beacon Hill, past Rottingdean windmill, as far as Roedean and then go through the underpass to walk on the footpath below the white cliffs, towards Brighton Marina, or if time allows, a more rural route through Ovingdean to East Brighton Park and down to the marina. The final mile of the walk will be alongside the Volks Railway on Brighton seafront, before finishing the walk close to Brighton Pier.
Please note that this is a linear walk, but there is plenty of public transport to return you to the starting point, or if you are returning to London, you can travel direct to London without returning to Lewes.
What to bring
For your comfort and safety please be prepared for the anticipated weather and the terrain of the walk - keep in mind the following:
Boots: Hiking boots that are both waterproof and breathable, and provide good ankle support, are important as soon as you encounter any mud. Cross trainers may suffice in good weather and flat routes.
Socks: Proper walking socks keep your feet dry, and help prevent blisters.
Walking Trousers: (ideally water resistant) will be more comfortable than Jeans which are heavy and cold when wet. From April to October shorts are usually a better bet.
Waterproof Over-Trousers: essential in any significant rainfall. Breathable ones are best.
Layered clothing: allows you to quickly adapt to changes in the weather as well as body temperature. E.g. a base layer or a cotton T-Shirt; a mid layer like a micro fleece, or a rugby type thick shirt, and in cooler weather an outer layer consisting of a windproof jacket or a thick fleece.
Waterproof Jacket: essential when hiking in all but the calmest of weather. You get what you pay for with these. Breathable fabrics are advisable.
Hat: essential both in mid winter to preserve heat and in summer to prevent sunburn and heatstroke.
Small Rucksack: One that is comfortable to wear is essential so that you can use your arms freely. Place valuables in water proof bags inside.
Sunglasses: comfortable sunglasses enhance your pleasure and keep insects out of the eyes.
Water: even in winter one can loose a litre or more of fluid by perspiration. If you fail to make this up you'll get dehydrated which can lead to headaches and other problems. A hydration bladder is easier to use than bottled water, but higher maintenance.
Food: a packed lunch will be required unless otherwise stated. In addition carry energy bars or similar to counter 'sugar lows'.
Medicines: If you have allergies, are diabetic, or have minor ailments don't forget the medication.
Food & drink
Please bring a packed lunch and plenty of water. There are plenty of places to buy food in Lewes, including a small sandwich shop and a mini-market opposite the station. Please arrive early if you want to buy lunch before we set off. There will be places to stop for drinks, snacks and ice-cream towards the end of the walk.