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Sussex Hospices Trail Part 8: Alfriston to Eastbourne

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Sussex Hospices Trail Part 8: Alfriston to Eastbourne
Author: korman, Published: 12 Jun 2016 Walk rating : Rating:star0 Sussex Hospices Trail Part 8: Alfriston to Eastbournestar0 Sussex Hospices Trail Part 8: Alfriston to Eastbournestar0 Sussex Hospices Trail Part 8: Alfriston to Eastbournestar0 Sussex Hospices Trail Part 8: Alfriston to Eastbournestar0 Sussex Hospices Trail Part 8: Alfriston to Eastbourne
East Sussex, Alfriston
Walk Type: Long distance path
Sussex Hospices Trail Part 8: Alfriston to Eastbourne
Length: 10 miles,  Difficulty: boot Sussex Hospices Trail Part 8: Alfriston to Eastbourne boot Sussex Hospices Trail Part 8: Alfriston to Eastbourne
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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).

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Walk Sections

Start to Cuckmere River
Start to Cuckmere River

Start point: 50.8239 lat, 0.1624 long
End point: 50.8111 lat, 0.1643 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.

Continue just to the junction with a side road on the right, Lullington Road. Carefully cross North Street to turn right into Lullington Road and follow this crossing the Cuckmere River at Long Bridge. (NOTE: Walk carefully along the lane here as there is no pavement for 100 yards.)

Cuckmere River to Jevington
Cuckmere River to Jevington

Start point: 50.8111 lat, 0.1643 long
End point: 50.7904 lat, 0.2161 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.

Continue ahead to follow the chalky path of the South Downs Way up a gentle incline. (At the top on your left, but unseen from the path, you are right above the chalk outline hill figure of the Long Man of Wilmington. You may wish to detour to take a look.)

Follow the South Downs Way as it bears left then right to arc right around the dry valley of Deep Dean below. At the steel gate, go through this to enter the next field (NOTE: There may be livestock in this field). It can be very windy here. On clear days you might see Hastings and Dungeness beyond to the east and as far as Newhaven and Brighton in the west. You can see on your right the hill figure of the White Horse which was cut into the side of Hindover Hill in 1924.

At a fingerpost, bear left following the South Downs Way on the chalk path which eventually becomes a grass track, then a single dirt track. Here you will feel on top of the world.

At the top of the hill, go through the wooden gate (to the side of a farm gate). The path widens as it slopes down. Go through a single wooden gate at the trees. At the junction in the path take the left fork and go downhill. This rutted chalky path can be very slippery when wet. Bear right at the next fork and continue downhill, staying with the South Downs Way. You will see St Andrew’s Church in Jevington ahead. The church dates from about 900AD and had a defensive tower which is said to be the refuge from the Vikings when they came raiding the area. Jevington itself is a pretty village which has nestled in this narrow valley for a thousand years.

Follow the lane as it bears to your right until you meet Jevington Road where you will see The Hungry Monk Cottage straight ahead. This former restaurant, home of the Banoffee Pie, is now a holiday cottage. (You could take a detour from the main Trail here if you wish, turning left up the road to reach a great pub, The Eight Bells, ideal for mid-walk refreshments.)

Jevington to A259 Crossing
Jevington to A259 Crossing

Start point: 50.7904 lat, 0.2161 long
End point: 50.7654 lat, 0.2469 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.

At the four way crossroads (Butts Brow to your left and East Dean to your right) continue straight ahead. You are now on a downland ridge and on a clear day there are fantastic views of Eastbourne and beyond. Stay on the South Downs Way as it bears right and go through the wooden gate. When in sight of the golf course, continue straight ahead. As you reach the Golf Club, the chalk path becomes a gravel path. Continue through the small car park and bear right to the South Downs Way fingerpost. At the busy A259 (East Dean Road) listen and look very carefully before crossing. At the far side you will find the next fingerpost.

A259 Crossing to Descent from Downs
A259 Crossing to Descent from Downs

Start point: 50.7654 lat, 0.2469 long
End point: 50.75 lat, 0.2586 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
Descent from Downs to End

Start point: 50.75 lat, 0.2586 long
End point: 50.769 lat, 0.2818 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.

Continue past Eastbourne Bandstand. If you are continuing onto Trail Part 9, continue to the pier. Otherwise, stay ahead and then cross over the main road to take the third left turn after the Bandstand, Terminus Road. Follow Terminus Road with its lively shops and cafes. Cross four side roads and follow the road as it bears slightly to the left. You will come to Eastbourne Station, marking the end of this part of the Sussex Hospices Trail.

We hope you have enjoyed walking this stretch of the Sussex Hospices Trail. Its creation was possible thanks to the kind donation from Jeanette Swayne, dedicated to the memory of her husband Tim Swayne as they so enjoyed walking and enjoying the flora and fauna of this beautiful area together.

Hospices deliver their services for free but such care is not cheap and they largely depend on funds raised from their local communities. We would be very grateful if you would consider making a donation either to your local hospice, wherever that may be, or to the Friends of Sussex Hospices in order to support these invaluable services.

To donate £5 to the Friends of Sussex Hospices text SHTR16 £5 to 70070. Tap the Listen button below (App only) to hear Kathy Gore, Chair of Friends of Sussex Hospices, explaining why donations are so important.

Friends of Sussex Hospices, Registered Charity No. 1089306
http://www.friendsofsussexhospices.org.uk/how-you-can-help/donations

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network Sussex Hospices Trail Part 8: Alfriston to Eastbourne Original GPX source file

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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