Ups and Downs from Kingston to Telscombe, Rodmell and Iford
20 people attending
10 places left
Telscombe is a tiny hamlet tucked away in the Downs behind, but inaccessible by vehicle from, Saltdean on the Sussex coast between Brighton and Newhaven. Much of Telscombe belongs to a trust set up by the owner of a Grand National winner over a hundred years ago, which aimed to preserve the hamlet in its undeveloped state. This has been more or less achieved, as photographs taken in 1902 and 2002 show. There are less than 50 inhabitants and the only access road comes from the inland side of the Downs near Southease.
For the walk today we will pass Anne of Cleves' house on Southover Street and then take the Juggs road high over the A27, which gives the vertigo-prone walk leader the creeps, to Kingston. From there it is a steep climb up onto the South Downs Way but that is the only real climb. Normally one would follow the SD Way from here down to cross the River Ouse at Southease. However, we need to go further south than normal so from Swanborough Hill we will take an alternative route which goes along the next south ridge. This is, partly, directly above the coastal settlements so we should get good views of them and of the sea.
We approach Telscombe via Telscombe Tye which is common land surrounding the village. Effectively, we circumnavigate the hamlet to approach it from the south, taking the access road which comes to an abrupt end on the hill. Following it back, we pass through the hamlet and then stay on this very quiet road, leaving the buildings and progressing downhill gradually until we cross the main Lewes to Newhaven Road to pass into the village of Rodmell.
From there we will walk along the mainly flat valley, past another very tiny hamlet, that of Iford, then eventually across the Lewes Brooks to pass back under the A27 and visit the remains of Lewes Priory and home.
What to bring
At this time of the year the weather is very unpredictable and while it may be nice and sunny in the valley it can be completely different on the windswept exposed hills so be prepared for anything. Walking boots, not trainers.
Food & drink
Please bring a packed lunch and water to keep you going all day. There are no shops on the hill!