Start point for the walk: Berwick Station (TQ 526 068)

Finish point for the walk: Berwick Station (TQ 526 068)

OS 1:25 000 maps: 123 Eastbourne & Beachy Head

Length: 16.04 km

Maximum height: 213 m

Minimum height: 3 m

Height ascended: 371 m

Estimated time for the walk: 3 hrs 50 mins

Outline route description

(Route description is based on survey walk undertaken on 03 November 2007, summit area resurveyed 01 August 2010.)

From Berwick Station (TQ 526 068), follow the Vanguard Way to Alfriston, passing Stonery Farm and Berwick village.

[The beginning of the route is slightly obscure. To find it, leave the station and turn right down the road, past a house with the Berwick Inn opposite. Just before a solidly built brick building, there is sign indicating a bridleway. It passes to the right of the large green barn or shed set back from the road.]

At Alfriston, follow the South Downs Way towards Eastbourne as far as Windover Hill.

Just beyond the summit of Windover Hill, where the South Downs Way bears off to the right towards Jevington (TQ 544 033), follow the fence line up to the trig point on the summit of Wilmington Hill, using a licensed path on the south side of the fence (that is, the side of the fence away from the open access land shown on the 1:25 000 OS map). The high point is a little beyond the trig point, on a small tumulus.

Trig point
Trig point on the summit of Wilmington Hill

To return to Berwick Station, carry on beyond the trig point, through a gate and then left down a licensed bridleway towards The Holt (marked on the 1:25 000 OS map). Towards the bottom of the hill, the bridleway turns right. At this point, cross the stile to the left, then continue to head down the ridge along a licensed path that soon meets the public bridleway used by the Weald Way (TQ 551 040).

From this point, follow the Weald Way, past the Long Man of Wilmington (a giant figure carved in the chalk) and then into Wilmington Village. Continue to follow the Weald Way, across the A27(T), then across the railway at a footpath level crossing, to meet the minor road that runs just to the south of Arlington Reservoir (TQ 538 068).

The Long Man of Wilmington
The Long Man of Wilmington

Turn left along the road, crossing a long bridge over the Cuckmere River. Just beyond the bridge, take the footpath left at a finger post, to follow the short path that runs parallel to the road, following it around the bend. The path emerges back onto the road at a small, scruffy, car park-cum-field entrance. Cross the road to a footpath opposite.

At the time at the time the survey walk for this route was conducted (03 November 2007), this footpath was temporarily closed 'to allow work to be undertaken to prevent sewage leaking onto the path'. The notice was dated 02 November 2007 and was intended for a period of 21 days, 'unless it is continued by a temporary order'. If the path is open, follow it to join the access road (a public bridleway) leading to Arlington Reservoir.

In the event that the path is still closed, follow the road as far as Chilverbridge Farm, then turn right up the access road (public bridleway) leading to Arlington Reservoir.

If you have taken the footpath, it arrives at the bridleway by one of two alternative routes, one through the grounds of Chilverbridge House, the other a little further north. Either way, take the footpath that leaves the bridleway heading west, at a point about halfway between the reservoir and the road. Follow this footpath over a number of stiles back to Berwick Station (TQ 526 068).