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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

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Monday, 27 May 2019

Bank Holiday Walk - Berwick to Seaford via Alciston, Alfriston, Cuckmere River, High & Over, Exceat and Cuckmere Haven

SWC 90 - Berwick to Seaford

Length: 18.4 km (11.4 miles). Options to shorten and lengthen
Toughness: 6 out of 10    One steady ascent of High & Over Hill: otherwise, 4 out of 10

London Victoria: 09-16 hrs   Littlehampton and Eastbourne service; CJ 09-22; EC 09-32 hrs. Train splits at Haywards Heath
Arrive Lewes: 10-23 hrs  Change trains
Leave Lewes: 10-47 hrs  Hastings service from Brighton
Arrive Berwick: 10-56 hrs

Return: Seaford to London Victoria via Lewes: 25 and 53 mins past the hour

Rail ticketeither a day return to Berwick (Sussex) or Seaford is usually accepted by on-train inspectors

It has become customary for SWC's Wednesday walkers to give this walk an outing every year early in March, when new born lambs are first let loose in the fields.  But this walk is a delight at all times of year, for its variety, historic interest, views, a hill to sort you out - plus top drawer water features.

From the Walk Directions you will note there are several options to this walk. But the best one - in my opinion - takes the Alternative start to Alciston then Berwick Church (well worth a visit to see its murals) before you head for Alfriston where you have three pubs and at least one deli for a lunch stop. Being a Bank Holiday, Alfriston and its pubs are likely to be very busy, but if you split up into small groups you should manage to find space somewhere for all wishing to dine. I do not recommend your deferring lunch for 40 mins until you reach  Littlington, with its excellent pub, the Plough and Harrow, as almost certainly all tables in the pub will be pre-booked.
After Alfriston you walk beside the Cuckmere River to Littlington before you tackle High & Over Hill. On the way up, as you catch your breath, then once on top, do stop to admire the panoramic views - your reward for the climb.  You now head down off the Hill on its 'tother side to arrive at Exceat. Here you can complete your walk by taking the bus (regular service) to Seaford, reducing the length of your overall walk by almost 4 miles. But if you continue with the walk, you now head gradually uphill on the Vanguard Way to Cuckmere Haven, where you have a superb view of the Seven Sisters over to your left. Do remember to glance backwards for this view as you walk along the cliff top on an undulating path all the way to Seaford, taking care to keep well clear of the cliff edge where the chalk has eroded or sheared off in landslips.
The newly refurbished and reopened fish & chip restaurant - Trawlers (an SWC favourite) is usually open on Bank Holidays for those in need of sustenance. Otherwise, there are several pubs and bars in Seaford awaiting your custom before you head for the railway station for your journey home after what I hope has been a rewarding and enjoyable day's walk.
Walk Directions are here: L=swc.90


Anonymous said...

n=8 on this lovely semi-coastal walk. w=sunny-in-the-morning-then-colder-in-the-afternoon-with-wind The group met at Berwick and very quickly decided to split in two to go in different directiosn and meet at the lunch stop. One group went to see the chalk figure, and one went to see the church in Alciston (hopefully someone from the former group can say how that went). We all met in Alfriston for lunch; five (church group + 1 from the chalk figure group) picnicked on the church green, which was massive, with lots of space and benches; the rest of the chalk figure group ate at the George Inn, which had a lovely garden. Some had a peak around the village, which is well worth it. There is an abundance of shops for such a small village; it's clearly popular as there seemed to be bus loads of tourists wandering around. The bookshop, Much Ado About Books, was well reviewed by those that went into it; it had 'blind dates with a book', which is clever (pick a book that is wrapped so you don't know what it is!). Do make sure to have a look around the village!

After lunch, there was a bit of a new mix as the church group + 1 from the chalk figure group carried on together towards Exceat and Seaford. We had a great time meandering around the river, as well as meandering conversions covering all sorts of random things. After climbing the aptly named High and Over Hill, and zigzagging down the steep sides, we arrived at the pub in Exceat, where one took the bus to Seaford. The rest braved the fierce winds atop the cliffs, and arrived in the sleepy town with 20 minutes to spare before the train. This turned out rather well, as there is a fabulously done mini pub/coffee shop on the station platform, where we all purchased refreshments and treats for the train home.

Thanks for posting a lovely walk!


Marcus said...

Thanks for the walk report, Karen. I did the walk "backwards" starting in Seaford, on a train 30 mins ahead of you: the views heading down "High & Over" Hill were lovely. On reaching Alfriston I called in at the three pubs to see if I could spot any SWC walkers but alas I missed you all. After a good lunch at the Star Inn I headed for Berwick Church, which was busy with tourists admiring the murals. The route from the church to Berwick village was very overgrown in places, with farmers not reinstating paths through fields in crop - with one stretch of 250 metres being close to impassable through shoulder high oil seed rape. As this path came at the beginning of the walk - for those doing the Alternative start to Alciston - I would not have blamed you if you had taken an about turn and returned to the start for a re-think on the route to take. Having fought my way through this field - and just missing my train by 2 minutes - I retired to the Berwick Inn for an excellent cuppa.

Anonymous said...

Nice to hear that you did the walk! I forgot about the high vegetation at the beginning! It was pretty heavy going but we had a bit of fun going through it.