South Downs & Ditchling Beacon

circular pond on south downs walk

If you’re lucky enough to have weather as good as we had on this South Downs walk, your climb will be rewarded with views for miles! This is another 17km walk but there are different paths all over the place with plenty of options for you to make up your own route. It’s definitely a climb and took us about 4 hours so make sure to bring plenty of water, snacks and maybe a road sandwich with you!

On the path back there is an excellent panoramic view of the walk you have just completed so stop and take a moment to appreciate how far you have just walked!

As always there are different routes you can take so feel free to make this as long or as short as you like!

If you enjoyed this South Downs walk please leave a comment and a rating!






4 -5 hours



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238 m

Download Directions

Get a PDF with step by step instructions.

Start this South Downs walk in the car park at Hassocks train station head down some steps towards Keymer Road. There is a public footpath on the right-hand side of Keymer road that runs alongside the train line – head up the footpath for approximately 850 meters.

When you reach a bridge that goes over the train line, cross the bridge and keep to the path. This will take you past Clayton Wood Burial Ground and out onto Brighton Road.

Cross over Brighton Road to the public footpath and keep to the path until you reach a style on your left. Hop over and follow the footpath through the woods. There will be another style on your right this time that leads into some fields, hop over that too.

Follow the path through the fields until you reach New Way Lane, turn left onto the lane and keep walking until you reach the end.

Once you have reached the end of the lane there is a public footpath on the right, follow this path to the end. At the end there is a t-junction, turn left onto the path that takes you into the woods and keep right.

There will be a style on this woodland path, hop over and follow the path around Wolstonbury Hill (this will be your first peek at some great views!)

This is a really long path so stick to it and enjoy the climb and the views, maybe stop somewhere along the way for a picnic!

When you start coming back down you’ll come to a crossroads, turn left to keep going down.
At the bottom, you can either turn right onto Clayton Hill or there is a little footpath just before you reach the road on the right.

Along Clayton Hill is the entrance to Pyecombe Golf Club, go through the entrance and the car park and make your way through the golf course. This path is gorgeous!

Once you’ve enjoyed Pyecombe Golf Club and the views turn left onto Mill Lane and head through the farm.

Here you can either head around the Jack & Jill Windmills by turning left or head straight for Ditchling Beacon by turning right. It’s about 3km to Ditchling Beacon so take your time and enjoy!

Once your reach Ditchling Beacon car park turn left onto Ditchling road and take the path that runs down the right-hand side of the road.

Keep to the path and you will reach Underhill Lane, turn left onto the lane and then immediately right onto Nye Lane.

Follow Nye Lane and keep left at the fork in the woods to head towards Beacon Road. Turn right onto Beacon Road and into Ditchling.

Once through the high street there is a little lane on the left-hand side of the road called Boddingtons Lane, head up here.

Along this lane, you will see some small steps on your left, head over the steps and follow the footpath for approximately 1.05km. This path has panoramic views of the walk you have very nearly completed (going from right to left) it is crazy to see how far you’ve walked from the bottom like this!

This path comes out onto Ockley Lane where you want to cross over onto Grand Avenue and follow this road all the way back to Hassocks.

Once in Hassocks town centre turn right onto Keymer Road and follow along until you see the steps that lead you back to the car park.

Congratulation on completing roughly 17km!

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