Mount Caburn and Firle Beacon — South Downs
komoot planned a hike.
April 10, 2019
This hike takes you high above the rolling patchwork pastures of the South Downs and explores the ancient history that is hidden within the landscape.
Due to the challenging terrain and distance on this route, there are two options to cut the route short—including an option to half the distance—without missing any of the star attractions. More on that later, though.
From the historic town of Lewes, you head southeast on the public footpath and begin the steep, but undulating, ascent of Mount Caburn.
At 480 feet (146 meters) high, Mount Caburn stands tall above the valley below and affords magnificent views over the River Ouse and Firle Beacon. Designated as a National Nature Reserve and Special Area of Conservation, the remains of an Iron Age hillfort are visible on the summit.
Continue east from Mount Caburn until you join the country lane. Head right along the lane, over the Glynde Reach river and through the village of Glynde. Keep right at the fork, cross the A27 and take the public footpath on your left. This section takes you through the Firle Estate.
The idyllic village and country estate are steeped in history dating back to the time of Henry VIII. The crowning jewel of the estate is Firle Place, a splendid manor house and gardens with an internationally-important collection of art and porcelain.
Follow the lane out of Firle, take the byway on the right and continue until you reach the bridleway. Make a sharp right onto the bridleway and begin the steep ascent of Firle Beacon.
When you reach the 712 feet (217 meter) high summit, your efforts are richly rewarded with extensive views. There are many ancient burial sites that are visible, too.
If you want to drastically cut the hike short, you can almost half the distance shown here by retracing your footsteps into Firle and catching the 125 bus service back to Lewes. This essentially halves the distance, culminating in a three-and-a-half hour hike.
From Firle Beacon, head west along the South Downs Way national trail. After four miles, you reach Southease railway station. If you want to shave off the final two hours on this route, there are regular trains to Lewes.
If you still have some energy in the legs, though, cross over the railway line and follow the public footpath north along the glorious River Ouse back to Lewes.
For the 125 bus times, visit: bustimes.org/services/125-lewes-alfriston-polegate-eastbourne
For train times, visit: thetrainline.com
April 11, 2019
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