Walk 8: Southease to Exceat -10.5 miles

You can start this walk with the best value breakfast on the SDW inside you.  The £3million YHA South Downs hostel at Itford Farm, Southease serves a full continental breakfast plus a very full English breakfast all for £4.99 provided you order it in advance and start consuming it by 0900. Details of how to get to the start are here.

seasetoexceatelevThe SDW passes through the hostel grounds and over the A26 via a purpose-built bridge. From here is a steady climb for 630 feet up Beddingham Hill and on towards Firle Beacon.  From here  on this treeless landscape there are 360 degree views,  northwards towards Ashdown Forest and Heathfield, east towards the 1066 country of the Pevensey Levels and Hastings and south over the gentler slope of the Downs that slides into the sea around Seaford and Newhaven.

Looking west towards Firle Beacon
Looking west towards Firle Beacon – click to enlarge

But once the main climb of the day is done, its downhill all the way to Alfriston – with an embarassment of  tearooms and restaurants to choose from – and then along the Cuckmere River to Exceat.  There are just one or two little surprise climbs on this stretch at Littlington and then over the steep bank behind the visitors centre at Exceat.  But the reward is a stunning view of the meandering Cuckmere’s oxbow lakes.  Tea may also be had at the Exceat tearooms – if you are lucky enough to find it open.

Cuckmere Haven
Cuckmere Haven – click to enlarge

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