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"Don’t threaten me with love, baby. Let’s just go out walking in the rain."

Billie Holiday

BRIGHTON TO NEWHAVEN

This is a recent addition to our programme but, I have to say, a very pleasing and enjoyable one.

I have never been a fan of Peacehaven but, then again, I had only ever seen it from a bus – just passing through, you know. One morning, I walked the Undercliff Walk to Saltdean and, once there, felt that I had a little more in the tank. So I carried on – up and down towards Telscombe Tye and then picking up the Seahaven Coastal Trail from there. Thinking “well, let’s just see where this will end” I walked with ever increasing surprise at what I saw – quirky, quaint landmarks at the back of Peacehaven and the most fantastic views all the way to Newhaven.

There are beautiful, open and green spaces. The walk is close to the cliff edge and quite exhilarating as a result – rather scary in strong winds, actually, but still manageable with a bit of determination. Before too long, you will spot Seaford Head and the bay of Seaford – a birds’ eye view and one that is hard to beat from any direction.

The walk ends with a descent into Newhaven for the bus journey back to Brighton.

 

Eastbourne to East Dean

This is one the cliff top walks in our current programme and begins at Eastbourne Pier. We start with a gentle stroll along Eastbourne’s well presented seafront before reaching the starting point of the famous South Downs Way. From here, we climb up towards Beachy Head and the wonderful views and colours that can be seen from the cliff tops.

The best views of the Beachy Head lighthouse can be enjoyed on the way to the Belle Toute lighthouse, now a private residence. From here, the walk continues into Birling Gap with plenty of time to explore this fabulous area, spend some time on the beach and sit down for a little while before we start the final stretch into East Dean and the return journey to Brighton.

 

EXCEAT TO SEAFORD

This walk begins at Exceat just opposite the Cuckmere Haven nature reserve.

Stage 1 is a visit to the picturesque village of West Dean which has its origins in Saxon times. Alfred the Great had a palace here and possibly also a naval base from where he conducted the war with the invading Vikings.

The walk continues to the village of Litlington, reached via a beautiful section of Friston Forest. This provides a good view of the Litlington White Horse, cut out of the chalk in February 1924.

From Litlington, we continue on the banks of the Cuckmere river to reach historic Alfriston where you can enjoy some free time before we continue to Seaford via Hindover Hill. Known locally as the “high and over”, it offers spectacular views over the Cuckmere valley and the South Downs.

CHATTRI TO STANMER PARK

The word Chattri means ‘umbrella’ in Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu, symbolising the protection offered to the memory of the dead. During World War I (1914–18), Indian soldiers were hospitalised in the Royal Pavilion in Brighton. The Hindus and Sikhs who died were cremated on the Downs and in 1921 the Chattri memorial was built on the cremation site.

This walk, a firm favourite, begins in Patcham and gently ascends to the top of the South Downs offering lovely views over Brighton and the surrounding countryside. The Chattri is a very peaceful, spiritual place and I always love visiting and spending time there.

The walk continues through beautiful countryside into Stanmer Park with a visit to the village and Stanmer House, previously the stately home of the Pelham family. It is now a catering establishment and a lovely place to sit and enjoy a break before the final leg of our walk. This tour is lovely at any time of year and provides many different sights and experience en route.

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