Discovering Ditchling and Ashcombe Bottom

Walking trail

Wonderful views across the Weald to the north and Brighton and the sea to the south are to be found on this walk before heading down into the hidden depths of Ashcombe Bottom

A view across Blackcap


The route of the walk


Ditchling Beacon Car Park


From Ditchling Beacon Car Park you go down the steps and (carefully, as the visibility is not great down the hill) cross the road heading east. This walk follows the South Downs Way until you reach Blackcap. The path undulates over the downs and every step you are rewarded with views to the north and south.

A view across Blackcap


At this point you will cross a track, this is Streat Bostal and is one of the tracks that were used to move animals from farm to the grazing on the downs. A little further on you will come across Plumpton Bostal on your left, keep going along the South Downs way.

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You have reached Blackcap now and here the South Downs Way deviates south but you are going to go through the gate and carry on walking past the plantation taking the lower trackway on the right. On your right is Ashcombe Bottom and you will be walking along the northern edge.

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Here there is a stile into Ashcombe Bottom follow this track through the woodland, past an open area on your right, through another tunnel of trees until you reach a large bracken filled glade with a large oak tree in the middle.

A veteran oak in Ashcombe Bottom


At the open area you want to take the second track way on your left walk up this track up through the woods along the main ride.

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Hazel coppice stool


At the bridle gate walk up the hill until you reach the same bridle gate you entered Blackcap. Now it is a case of retracing you route along the South Downs Way back to Ditchling Beacon car park.


Ditchling Beacon car park

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Discovering Ditchling and Ashcombe Bottom


The track is flinty in places and the chalk can be slippery when wet. There is one significant climb through the woodland.

Discovering Ditchling and Ashcombe Bottom

Contact us

Discovering Ditchling and Ashcombe Bottom

How to get here

Ditchling Beacon car park
By train

Falmer and Hassocks, both 5 miles

By road

Road From central Brighton: Follow Ditchling Road from St Peter's Church (just off of London Road). Continue straight, crossing A27, for 5 miles to Ditchling Beacon car park. A27 (from Brighton): Turn off A27 at Hollingbury, go straight at roundabout, then sharp left onto Ditchling Road (signposted Ditchling). Continue north along Ditchling Road to Ditchling Beacon car park

By foot

Accessible via the South Downs Way. Footpaths and bridleways cross the site. Plan your route using Explorer map 122

By bus

Brighton and Hove 79, Brighton Old Steine or Brighton Railway Station to Ditchling Beacon, Sundays and Bank Holidays throughout the year, Saturdays during the summer season. Alight at Ditchling Beacon car park.

By bicycle

South Downs Way bridleway crosses the site

Discovering Ditchling and Ashcombe Bottom

Facilities and access

  • car park
  • seasonal ice cream van