Best walks in Sussex
Walking in Sussex is one of the best ways to see the county. Sussex is home to thousands of miles of footpaths, bridleways and byways across some of the most beautiful national parks in the country, stunning countryside, and a coastline that gets the most hours of sunshine nationwide too.
In Sussex, you can walk on open down lands, tranquil valleys, charming villages, lowland heaths, ancient woodlands, and the beautiful South Coast. In this list of the best walks in Sussex, we’ve tried to include challenging hikes, short distance walks and some Sunday pub lunch strolls with your four-legged friend to give a nice balance. Fortunately for you, we have two parks in Sussex: Church Farm Holiday Park in West Sussex and Combe Haven Holiday Park in East Sussex, meaning all of the hikes on this list are within driving distance from your Haven caravan. So, pull on your walking boots and get out and explore what Sussex has to offer by foot.
Seven Sisters Birling Gap walk
Distance: 1.5 miles
This is a nice family-friendly coastal walk from Birling Gap across the iconic white chalk cliffs - The Seven Sisters - which are perhaps the most iconic landmark in Sussex. This short walk takes you along the South Downs way until you reach the Belle Tout lighthouse. This is worth checking out; known as "Britain's most famous inhabited lighthouse" Belle Tout is instantly recognisable thanks to its striking location and use in film and television. You will then head back in a loop to the start, but not before snapping a picture of the mighty cliffs. As with all coastal walks, please be incredibly careful when close to the cliff edges, especially with your dog and children.
Bignor Hill and The Denture from Amberley
Distance: 8.5 miles
This West Sussex walk, starting and finishing at Amberley station, explores sections of two long distance trails from Amberley on the banks of the River Arun. The outward journey follows the South Downs Way, while the return section is a part of the Monarch's Way. The terrain includes a mixture of fields, woodland, and a few hilly bits. The paths can get a bit slippery after rain, so this is not one for beginners in inclement weather.
Arundel Park and the River Arun from Arundel
Distance: 7 miles
This walk starts in Arundel, which is just a 15-mile drive from our fantastic Haven Church Farm Holiday Park. After parking in Mill Road, by the river, this route takes in the town’s magnificent castle, unique cathedral, and lovely High Street before venturing into the surrounding countryside to enjoy Arundel Park. Eventually, you will drop down to the path alongside the River Arun for the return to the start. Just before the end of the walk, the route will take you past The Black Rabbit pub, which serves delicious gourmet food.
Harting Down Circular Walk
Distance: 3 miles
This three-mile loop National Trust trail near Compton, West Sussex, is a moderately challenging route, great for birding, hiking, and walking. You’ll get awe-inspiring views over South and East Harting for a good part of the walk. The walk starts in the National Trust car park - a 30-minute drive from Haven Church Farm Holiday Park - and commences on the South Downs Way.
Whilst it is up and down, the gradient never becomes too steep. This is one of the best dog walks in Sussex, but you may encounter some farm animals so keep your pooch under close control, as well as near the main road during the final section of the walk.
The Cuckoo Trail
Distance: 14 miles(split section by section)
This surfaced path through the Sussex countryside is a lovely, safe route for long-distance walkers and cyclists of all ages. The route follows a disused railway line which was in use until the 1960s, running from Heathfield to Hampden Park which is just a 30-minute drive from Haven Church Farm Holiday Park.
The picturesque route also passes through Horam, Hailsham and Polegate and is bordered with beautiful borders of wildflowers, and trees that have been cut to allow light to reach the ground. There are also benches, picnic tables and sculptures in wood and steel, as well as other artwork and plenty of birdlife to look out for. All in all, this is a walker’s paradise.
Arlington Reservoir loop
Distance: 3.5 miles
This circular walk from Berwick Station loops around the scenic Arlington Reservoir. On the trail you can spot birdlife and enjoy tranquil rural paths through pastures and fields. The terrain is fairly easy going and is very dog friendly but do note that you will be sharing some of the fields with sheep, so be sure to put your pooch on a lead at these points.
South Downs Way - Alfriston to Eastbourne (including Seven Sisters)
Distance: 12 miles(split section by section)
The most eastern portion of the South Downs Way provides beautiful views of the Seven Sisters, the chalk cliffs, and the coast. Starting from Alfriston, you’ll hike alongside the Cuckmere River, before reaching the coast, where the iconic chalk cliffs and sea will be visible. As the Seven Sisters is owned by the National Trust there are a few car parks, a visitor centre and plenty of facilities along the way. It might be the busiest section of the South Downs Way, but it’s also perhaps the most visually alluring.
Hastings, Ecclesbourne Reservoir and East Hill Circular
Distance: 3.5 miles
This fantastic walk starts and ends in Hastings, a stone’s throw from Combe Haven Holiday Park. The route takes in woods and some steep up and down hills, making it a good bit of cardio. However, it’s all worth it in the end as the views from East Hill are stunning. The entire route is dog friendly too, so bring your four-legged friend along for some exercise!
Seven Sisters and Cuckmere River walk
Distance: 7.5 miles
This is an extension of the above walk but for seasoned veterans who’ve seen the cliffs before and would rather enjoy a spot of riverside walking with plenty of pubs. Enjoy a long and peaceful walk along both banks of the languid River Cuckmere as it winds its way north from the car park and away from the coast. You’ll pass through the quaint villages of Litlington and Alfriston, each with their own excellent cafes, churches and of course, plenty of pubs.