SDW Day 1 (Eastbourne to Southease)

The start of the South Downs Way, heading up hill out of Eastbourne The view back into Eastbourne, with its pier The view back along Seven Sisters with Birling Gap and Belle Tout lighthouse

I had read the book, studied the map, and planned to spend 6 days to walk the 100 miles from Eastbourne to Winchester along the South Downs Way. I was set to go…

Yet it seemed to be another unauspicious start to a long distance walk. The weather was horrendous as I woke, gale force winds and heavy rain were sweeping across the country. I hit the snooze button on the radio and snuggled down for a little while longer.

Thankfully the winds were that strong that they blew the rain away and by mid morning the sun was out. I headed down to Eastbourne and made a start. I had walked most of this section before, but never in this direction – and I was soon wishing I had started from Winchester. The strong south westerly winds almost swept me off my feet whenever I reached a top along the Seven Sisters, blowing me backwards into the valleys from where I was struggling up from.

Making it to the end of Seven Sisters I was rewarded with a fantastic view of the Cuckmere Valley…

A little further on I reached Exceat, and a superb tea room. I can recommend the cream tea – which was quickly devoured as I was only just over halfway, my target was still 18 miles and the village of Southease in the Ouse Valley.The climb over the Downs out of Alfriston was long, but the views to the north were quite outstanding. I could see the town of Lewes in the late evening light and continued down to cross the River Ouse at Southease to reach journey’s end for the day.

Lewes and the River Ouse The church at Southease, with its round tower

Center of map
Route
View the map in Google Maps, or here is the Google Earth KML file.

4 thoughts on “SDW Day 1 (Eastbourne to Southease)

  1. I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog on walking the South Downs. I am a 2nd year Geography student at Exeter University and I am currently planning and researching for a dissertation on the South Downs. I was wondering if I could talk to you about your blog and your experiences walking the South Downs.
    Thank you

  2. Missing camera on the SDW!
    If anyone reports finding a camera between Midhurst and the old MOD site before Winchester fort could they please contact me.It would make my daughter very happy. :-)
    Regards, Colin
    cedardesignbuild@aol.com