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|Sussex Hospices Trail Part 8: Alfriston to Eastbourne|
|Author: FSH Team, Published: 12 Jun 2016||Walk rating : Rating:|
|East Sussex, Alfriston|
|A 10 mile linear walk from Alfriston village to Eastbourne rail station in East Sussex, forming the 8th stretch of the Sussex Hospices Trail. For almost every step of the way, this stretch accompanies the South Downs Way. You will see lovely Sussex villages, the best of the South Downs National Park and the bustling seaside town of Eastbourne. |
The hospices of Sussex are dedicated to providing specialist end-of-life care. Friends of Sussex Hospices has worked with partners and supporters to create the Sussex Hospices Trail, a 200 mile long-distance path to support and raise awareness of the twelve hospice care providers that serve the adults and children of Sussex.
The route is clear and well signposted and there will usually be other walkers, cyclists or runners on your route. Please note that even on the warmest day it can be windy on the ridge above Eastbourne. The route is quite steep in parts although the way is clear and the paths are well-walked. The chalk paths and tracks can become very muddy and slippery after wet weather. You will need to negotiate a number of gates and road crossings but there are no stiles on route. You will be sharing some of the paths with livestock so take particular care with dogs. The return leg can be completed with a bus journey of about 35 minutes. Allow 5 hours.
The walk starts at the bus stop in the market square in the centre of Alfriston (called Alfriston Market Square or West Street Waterloo Square on bus timetables) and ends at Eastbourne rail station. We recommend arriving in Eastbourne (by car or train) and then catching the bus from Eastbourne to Alfriston to begin your walk. The route is served by the Cuckmere Bus 126. You can usually catch a bus from Stop M Terminus Rd Eastbourne, but check daily timetables to ensure you can make the bus journey on the day and time of your choice. (There are fairly regular trains from Eastbourne to Berwick, but unfortunately the road from Berwick to the start of this walk has no pavement and so is not recommended).
|Start to Cuckmere River|
Start point: 50.8239 lat, 0.1624 long
Standing on the raised paved island in the centre of Alfriston Market Square (with the market cross behind you and the lamppost ahead), join the road at about 1 o'clock, North Street. At the fork keep right, staying with North Street and passing Rose Cottage on your left. Stay with this raised left-hand pavement along North Street for 0.3 miles as it leads you out of the village.
|Cuckmere River to Jevington|
Start point: 50.8111 lat, 0.1643 long
At the crossroads junction (with a grass triangle and white fingerpost for Milton Street), go straight ahead to join the South Downs Way. Continue up the track. It soon becomes a fairly steep, rutted lane which is overhung with lovely greenery in late spring and summer. The route bears slightly left near a small car park (on your right) and then crosses over a lane (called The Street) into the more open hilly chalk downland which is typical of the South Downs.
|Jevington to A259 Crossing|
Start point: 50.7904 lat, 0.2161 long
Cross Jevington Road carefully, turn right then take an immediate left into Willingdon Lane (which is signposted for the South Downs Way). The lane becomes a rutted farm track rising gently. As you leave the trees the path is bounded on two sides by a fence and, on clear days, there are lovely views to the left and right. The hill ahead is a tamer version of the one you have just climbed from Alfriston.
|A259 Crossing to Descent from Downs|
Start point: 50.7654 lat, 0.2469 long
Follow the grassy trodden path of the South Downs Way slightly uphill then continue along. There are multiple paths here in this well-trodden area but your way is clear - just stay on the South Downs Way and keep the line of trees to your left. Carefully cross Beachy Head Rd and continue on the South Downs Way. Continue along the grassy path then, at a crossroads in the paths, take a sharp left turn to descend down a steeper path and emerge at a road side on the edge of Eastbourne. In the summer season there is a small cafe where you meet the road.
|Descent from Downs to End|
Start point: 50.75 lat, 0.2586 long
Cross the road, Foyles Way, and go straight ahead to join Dukes Drive, using the right-hand pavement and heading into Eastbourne. Continue past Helen Garden on your right and then take the next right turn (signposted for the South Downs Way) which joins the Promenade. In good weather this whole area will be increasingly busy with visitors and locals enjoying the sea air as you walk towards the Pier. Eastbourne’s distinctive wooden groynes partition the beach on your right and there are well kept public gardens to your left. After Western Lawns, pass Wish Tower which is one of 103 gun towers built on the south and east coasts of England to defend against a potential invasion by Napoleon in the early 1800s. Along with the Redoubt Fortress (which you pass in Part 9 of the Sussex Hospices Trail) this is probably Eastbourne seafront’s oldest surviving building.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2016 by the author korman and may not be reproduced without permission.
The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.
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Even on a cold windy day with it trying to snow this was still an excellent walk. We managed it with our 2 children of 5 yrs and one in a all terain pram (a defo no no with a normal pram). Will be doing this one again in the summer.
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