Picture monumental white sea cliffs, picturesque green river valleys, grassy rolling hills and a historic land of ancient battlefields and stunning castles. Walks in East Sussex offer all of this and more. Boasting some of the highlights of the South Downs National Park, beautiful coastline and the rural magnificence of the High Weald, it is difficult to believe that all of this is within touching distance of London.Hikes in East Sussex are enjoyable all year round. In winter, frosted hills and gorgeous coastal views await, with cosy villages pubs to escape the cold. In Spring, the landscape comes to life, bringing a dazzling display of vibrant colour. Summer is prime walking season and, with approximately 1,750 hours of sunshine a year, East Sussex is way above the national average, so make sure you pack your shades and sun cream.
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Perhaps the best hiking trails in East Sussex explore the white cliffs of the Seven Sisters. Stride high above it all as you traverse the roller-coaster-esque rise and fall of the cliff tops. There are many fantastic trails here; some reveal gorgeous views of the cliffs from below, whilst others follow the springy turf of the cliff-edges, with unforgettable views of the cerulean sea below.
Towering 531 feet (162 m) above the waves and just to the east of the Seven Sisters, Beachy Head is the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain. It makes for a thrilling hike with stunning views. It is important to note that you should always stay at least five metres from the edge, as chalk is brittle and landslides are not uncommon.
The towns of Eastbourne and Lewes are fantastic bases for exploring the beloved hills of the South Downs. Some of the most scenic walks in East Sussex follow tranquil river valleys, such as the Cuckmere and the Ouse. Here you can discover unique historical artefacts on the nearby hills. Not far from the Cuckmere, you can explore the Long Man of Wilmington, a huge figure built into the hillside some four hundred years ago.
A hazy infinity of rolling hills await from the summit of Ditchling Beacon, East Sussex’s highest point at 814 feet (248 m). It commands a panoramic vista of the sea to the south, the Downs stretching away to the west and the High Weald to the east. The hills in this area are home to a plethora of flora and fauna, with the region’s iconic Adonis blue butterfly a common sight.
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