10 of the Best Views in East Sussex
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve raved about how beautiful this county is…but here’s the evidence. East Sussex has a unique blend of dramatic coastline, rolling hills and ancient woodland that offer a rich tapestry of stunning countryside for us all to enjoy. As we tentatively edge towards an ease on lock-down restrictions I’m really excited about being able to get back outdoors to explore the local landscape again. In celebration I’ve put together 10 of the best views across East Sussex. Which is your favourite?
Ditchling Beacon is the third highest point in the South Downs at a height of 248 Metres. The site, historically used as a beacon point to warn surrounding villages of impending invasions, is now a popular beauty spot and walking trail. You can enjoy easily accessible panoramic views across East Sussex a short walk from the National Trust car park on the Ditchling Road just off the A27. The car park has re- opened as of Wednesday May 13th
Beachy Head and it’s steep chalk face cliffs are famous for their tragic beauty. Nestled at the end of the Seven Sisters, Beachy Head has become notorious in its own right as a place of beauty with views of the coast stretching from Dungeness in the East to Selsey in the West. Keep a look out for the Belle Tout lighthouse which only emphasises the sheer size of the neighbouring 162 m cliff face. You can park a short walk away in the pay and display car park next to the Beachy Head Pub off the Beachy Head road. Please be wary of getting too close to the cliff edge.
Lake Wood, Uckfield
Lake Wood lies on Rocks Road, past Church Street off to the right at the top of Uckfield High Street. It’s a discrete location. There’s just a gate and a lay by at the side of the road. Walking around the perimeter of the lake takes you on an undulating woodland stroll passing through a number of tunnels carved out of rock. The ultimate viewing point culminates at the rocky outcrop overlooking the middle of the lake. This lesser known Sussex view doesn’t actually feel like it’s in Sussex at all…you have to visit it to experience it. Climbing to the rocky outcrop can be slippy so make sure you have sturdy footwear if you’re hoping to climb to the top.
Popular with gliders Firle Beacon is a hill on the South Downs with far reaching views towards to coast and surrounding countryside around Lewes and Glynde. Fortunately for the less keen walkers among us there is a car park near the top allowing everyone the chance to enjoy the views from the 220 m summit. The car park can be found by approaching the beacon via West Firle after turning off the A27.
Image courtesy of Bex Maini @ bexphoto.com
AA Milne Memorial on Ashdown Forest
Not only does this magical spot on the Ashdown Forest offer sweeping views across Sussex and Surrey, but you get to visit some of the most important locations from the Winnie the Pooh stories whilst you’re there. Park at Gills Lap car park and follow the footpath past the clump of pine trees (The Enchanted Place), continue past the Heffalump Trap (a small hollow where a lone pine grows) and you’ll come to the AA Milne and EH Shepherd Memorial. Once you’ve taken a moment to soak up the views walk back along the main dirt track where you’ll find Roo’s Sandy Pit on the left. A truly enchanting place to explore for all ages.
The Seven Sisters
Probably one of the best known views of British landscape in the world..and it’s right on our doorstep! The Seven Sisters are a series of chalk cliffs located between Seaford and Eastbourne. For the best views take the walk past the Coastguard cottages just East of Seaford Head towards Cuckmere Haven. The walk should take around 30 minutes with parking is available at Seaford Head Nature Reserve.
Malling Down, Lewes
Malling Down is a nature reserve on the outskirts of Lewes managed by the Sussex Wildlife Trust. The area is within easy reach of the centre of Lewes making it easily accessible for anyone visiting the town. The steep chalk cliffs dominate the skyline across Lewes and offer rewarding views from the top. Parking is available at the Mill Road car park just off the A26.
East Hill, Hastings
Ride the East Hill Funicular Railway and you’ll be rewarded with some fabulous views from the East Hill Nature Reserve at the top. Explore the nature trails whilst taking the coastline towards Bexhill, the narrow streets of Hastings Old Town and the colourful fishing boats on the shoreline – on a clear day you can even see right across the channel to France.
Mount Caburn is a small, isolated peak segregated from the rest of the South Downs by the River Ouse. About a mile East of Lewes and a short walk outside of the village of Glynde Mount, Caburn is both a popular walking trail and a place of huge archaeological interest thanks to the remains of an Iron Age hill fort at the summit. There are several walking routes which allow you to access the summit starting from either Glynde or Lewes – expect a 2 – 3 mile walk each way.
High and Over, Alfriston
The walking trails at High and Over offer incredible views of the Cuckmere River and it’s beautiful meanders. You can park directly next to the start of the trail at the High and Over car park off the Alfriston Road. Follow the trail to the summit walking right past the the chalk figure of the Litlington White Horse on your way.
Whichever view of Sussex is your personal favourite, there’ s absolutely no denying that this county offers some stunning scenery and we are extremely lucky to live here. Writing this has made me realise that I’ve actually only experienced a handful of the views I’ve written about for myself so this summer I’m going to make it my mission to tick them all off. Watch this space for the photos!