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East Sussex

Hiking in East Sussex

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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.

Difficult
05:59
13.4 mi
Intermediate
04:45
10.8 mi
Intermediate
03:42
8.41 mi
Intermediate
02:31
5.58 mi
Intermediate
03:34
7.81 mi
Intermediate
04:44
10.3 mi
Intermediate
02:11
5.06 mi
Intermediate
03:32
8.67 mi
Intermediate
02:11
5.10 mi
Intermediate
04:24
9.50 mi
Intermediate
02:59
6.83 mi
Intermediate
04:16
9.34 mi
Difficult
07:00
15.7 mi
Difficult
05:07
12.1 mi
Difficult
05:09
11.5 mi
Difficult
05:08
11.1 mi
Intermediate
02:30
5.82 mi
Easy
01:57
4.66 mi
Intermediate
02:09
5.19 mi
Intermediate
02:26
5.28 mi

Top 20 best walks and hikes in East Sussex

    1
    Difficult
    05:59
    13.4 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,300 ft
    1,300 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    2
    Intermediate
    04:45
    10.8 mi
    2.3 mph
    850 ft
    850 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
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  • 3
    Intermediate
    03:42
    8.41 mi
    2.3 mph
    700 ft
    700 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    4
    Intermediate
    02:31
    5.58 mi
    2.2 mph
    575 ft
    575 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    5
    Intermediate
    03:34
    7.81 mi
    2.2 mph
    900 ft
    875 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    6
    Intermediate
    04:44
    10.3 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,250 ft
    1,250 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    7
    Intermediate
    02:11
    5.06 mi
    2.3 mph
    325 ft
    325 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    8
    Intermediate
    03:32
    8.67 mi
    2.5 mph
    100 ft
    100 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    9
    Intermediate
    02:11
    5.10 mi
    2.3 mph
    275 ft
    275 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    10
    Intermediate
    04:24
    9.50 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,225 ft
    1,225 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    11
    Intermediate
    02:59
    6.83 mi
    2.3 mph
    500 ft
    500 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    12
    Intermediate
    04:16
    9.34 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,075 ft
    1,075 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    13
    Difficult
    07:00
    15.7 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,425 ft
    1,425 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    14
    Difficult
    05:07
    12.1 mi
    2.4 mph
    525 ft
    500 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    15
    Difficult
    05:09
    11.5 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,075 ft
    1,075 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    16
    Difficult
    05:08
    11.1 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,425 ft
    1,425 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    17
    Intermediate
    02:30
    5.82 mi
    2.3 mph
    350 ft
    350 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    18
    Easy
    01:57
    4.66 mi
    2.4 mph
    150 ft
    150 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    19
    Intermediate
    02:09
    5.19 mi
    2.4 mph
    150 ft
    150 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    20
    Intermediate
    02:26
    5.28 mi
    2.2 mph
    650 ft
    650 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

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Britain’s most beautiful white cliffs

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.

Exploring the South Downs

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.

Experience the High Weald

Hikes in East Sussex also allow you to experience the beauty of the High Weald, a land characterised by wooded hills and sandstone outcrops. It is a region of Norman battlegrounds and magnificent castles, such as the medieval splendour of Bodiam Castle – an archetypal moated castle with striking battlements and turrets. With so many historical sites to explore, hiking in East Sussex takes you through centuries of history.

East Sussex's best walks and hikes on the map

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