Lewes, Firle Beacon and the Sussex Ouse
11 people attending
9 places left
The walk takes in Mount Caburn, Glynde, Firle Estate, Firle Beacon, the South Downs Way, Southease and the Sussex River Ouse.
We start our day walk at Lewes station, initially walking through the narrow streets of Lewes town centre and then climb to the east of the town to Mount Caburn. We descend to the village of Glynde, before turning south towards Firle and Firle Estate. The steepest and longest climb of the day then follows as we climb to Firle Beacon on the South Downs Way.
After a lunch stop, hopefully with great views across the Downs, we will follow the South Downs Way in a westerly direction, descending to the village of Southease. After reaching Southease we will turn to the north, following the banks of the Sussex Ouse back to Lewes.
Lewes: the county town of East Sussex (and historically of the whole of Sussex). A popular market town, with many antique shops and pubs. The town was the site of the Battle of Lewes in 1264, and landmarks include Lewes Castle, Lewes Priory and Anne of Cleves House.
Mount Caburn: a 146m hill, one of the highest landmarks in East Sussex, about a mile east of Lewes overlooking the village of Glynde. It is an isolated part of the South Downs, separated by Glynde Reach, a tributary of the River Ouse. It commands magnificent views over the surrounding countryside and is a popular launching point for hang-gliders.
Firle Estate: Firle derives from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘Fierol’ meaning ‘oak covered land’. The Estate sits on ancient downland chalk landscapes, spread across four villages at the foot of The Firle Beacon. The main house and Estate are owned by the Gage family.
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.
Gloves: essential in frosty weather.
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.
Sunglassses: April- Sept: comfortable sunglasses enhance your pleasure and keep insects out of the eye
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 these!
Food & drink
Please bring a packed lunch and plenty of water. There are shops at the start of the walk and plenty of pubs, cafes and restaurants back in Lewes at the end of the walk. We may be able to stop at the YHA cafe in Southease for an afternon cuppa, if it is open, which is weather dependant.