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Alfriston to Eastbourne

Verantwortlich für diesen Inhalt
Macs Adventure Verifizierter Partner  Explorers Choice 
  • The Seven Sisters
    / The Seven Sisters
    Foto: Sarah Stone, Macs Adventure
m 300 200 100 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km St. Andrew's Church & Clergy House Belle Tout Lighthouse Seven Sisters Visitor Centre Bus to Eastbourne Birling Gap Beach White Horse of Litlington Beachy Head The Seven Sisters

A superlative day of walking to finish your South Down's Way with a bang. 
19,7 km
6:00 h
423 hm
423 hm

The last section contains impressive coastal scenery. Saving the best until last, this section takes you through the Cuckmere Valley as the river makes its way to the sea. The Seven Sisters roll away in front of you as you stroll along the cliff tops. The grassy cliff path undulates to Beachy Head, a spectacular chalk cliff with panoramic views in all directions. Slightly further on is the official end of the South Downs Way at Meads Village. Eastbourne is a half-hour walk from here or if you are feeling weary a short bus ride.

Eastbourne is traditional English seaside town with a population of approx. 104,000. A popular holiday destination during the Victorian-era, this is very obvious today due to its host of Victorian style seaside buildings and its grand Victorian pier. Being a large town, it has all the amentities you may need such as post offices, laundrettes, bookshops, supermarkets, restaurants and pubs. 

Profilbild von Sarah Stone
Sarah Stone
Aktualisierung: 02.10.2020

Höchster Punkt
147 m
Tiefster Punkt
-5 m


The South Downs Way occassionally crosses busy roads, take care when crossing!


If you wish to carry a hardcopy map, we would recommend buying the South Downs Way map published by Harvey's Maps. Alternatively, you may wish to print the daily maps directly from our app.


If you wish to bring a guidebook, we would recommend Trailblazer's South Downs Way by Jim Manthorpe & Daniel McCrohan.

Food & Drink

Stock up on supplies in Alfriston, or ask your accommodation upon check-in if they offer packed lunches. Although you will be walking through towns and villages, café opening hours are not always guaranteed, therefore we recommend taking enough food and drink to see you through until your next overnight location. 

Weitere Infos und Links

Please see the interactive map for notable points of interest.  Click the icons on the map for more information.


Alfriston (9 m)
50.808046, 0.156550
50°48'29.0"N 0°09'23.6"E
31U 299670 5632333




*** To help you follow the route with confidence we provide these route notes to help you. The South Downs Way is well waymarked, but we strongly suggest that you follow the GPS tracks in the Macs Adventure smartphone app to ensure you have a safe, enjoyable and problem-free day.  The daily maps can also be printed from the web version of the app should you wish to take paper copies with you. ***

There are two routes leaving Alfriston for the next section of the SDW to Eastbourne, the inland route or the coastal route. We are specifing the coastal route as it is much more spectacular and the inland route is really designed with cyclists and horseriders in mind. 

Leave Alfriston by heading south following a riverside path that hugs the Cuckmere River. After approx. 2 km, the trail turns left away from the river and brings you out at the south of the village of Litlington. The pretty village is worth a look around.  Once you are ready to continue, follow the trail as it heads south. From here, you should get good views of the Litlington White Horse on the hillside to your right (see Points of Interest for more info).

The path climbs as it continues through fields. From here the trail is undulating. 

At about 3.5km, ascend steps to enter Friston Forest, and keep to the most obvious track while walking through the forest. Approx, 800m later the trail turns right through West Dean. A beutiful hidden gem of a hamlet. Re-enter the forest, again by ascending some steep steps and after 400m the trail comes out at Exceat. Exceat has a visitor centre, café, car park, toilets and a water tap. 

Carefully cross the East Dean Road (A259). At the signposts be sure to bear left onto a grassy field track that ascends, ignoring the concrete path with continues straight ahead alongside the River Cuckmere (this is for cyclists). Continue on the trail following numbered posts to stay on track.

At approx 7.5 km, the undulating and beautiful trail across the top of the seven sisters begins. Take your time to soak in the views. This part of the trail is really a reward for all your hard work so far! For more information on the Seven Sisters please see Points of Interest. 

At approx. 11 km, the trail heads slightly inland at Birling Gap. where you can head down to the popular shingle beach. Here you will also find a visitor centre, car park and toilets.  To continue on to Beachy Head, take the stairs to ascend once again. 

At about 12 km come to Belle Tout Lighthouse, the lighthouse is now decommissioned and designated a British landmark. For more info see Points of Interest. Continue past the car park.

At 14 km, the going gets step for the final push to Beachy Head viewpoint. Out in the water you'll see Beachy Head lighthouse. 

Once you have reached Beachy Head enjoy the fantastic panoramic views - you've earned them! Close to the viewpoint is the Beachy Head visitor centre, toilets and a pub, perfect for a celebatory pint! Once ready, continue on the descending trail, while enjoying lovely sea views.

At around 17 km, you will arrive at the official end of the South Downs Way. Congratulations! 

To get to Eastbourne, either continue walking along the sea front into the town centre (about 3km longer), or take a bus from the end of the trail to Eastbourne (see Points of Interest for more info about this). Enjoy a lovely dinner tonight and give yourself a pat on the back for completing this fantastic National Trail. 

NOTE: If you are staying at Southcroft Guesthouse or Cherry Tree Guesthouse they are located before the end of the GPX track, so be sure not to miss them or you will need to double back! Check the directions on your accommodation details for more information. 






alle Hinweise zu Schutzgebieten


50.808046, 0.156550
50°48'29.0"N 0°09'23.6"E
31U 299670 5632333
Anreise mit der Bahn, dem Auto, zu Fuß oder mit dem Rad

Buchtipps für die Region

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Such is the way of British hiking, that you need to be prepared for all seasons and weathers; sturdy hiking boots, warm clothes and a waterproof/wind-break layer are all required, as is plenty of sun-cream and a healthy respect for the sun.

Walking poles may be helpful on some of the ascents and descents.

Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike, it might be beneficial to bring a power bank.

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19,7 km
423 hm
423 hm


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