A walk at Blackcap

Walking trail

Enjoy this secluded gem with sunken bostals, a hidden woodland, views over the Weald and fascinating history.

Blackcap is a remote and tranquil countryside spot with very few visitors so is a perfect place to while away a quiet afternoon.

Blackcap bostal white against the dusk on the South Downs


Map route for a walk at Blackcap


Layby on B2116, grid ref: TQ381129


Cross road from lay-by, go through gate and straight up main chalk track slightly to the right.

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Stay on the main track until until you get to the top of hill.


At top the bostal leads into open downland. Turn left and follow the path to the viewpoint (this is the OS trig point) on the ridge.


Continue down the hill, taking the track to the right of the crest of the ridge.

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Turn right at a waymark sign 110yd (100m) from the bridle gate. Follow the path down into a valley turning right where it meets the main track. Follow straight on along the shady track.

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A round headed rampion ’Pride of sussex’ flower in grassland


Stay on the main track which becomes steep and narrow. Go through the gate at the top, then straight on up the field. From the top of the bostal follow your steps back to the start.


Layby on B2116, grid ref: TQ381129

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A walk at Blackcap


Some chalk paths which may be slippery when wet. Uneven ground if animals are grazing in the area. One stile on route. Route will be muddy in winter in sections.

Well-behaved dogs on leads welcome. No dog bins in area so please take home all rubbish and dog waste.

A walk at Blackcap

Contact us

A walk at Blackcap

How to get here

Blackcap, Lewes, BN7 3QN
By train

Lewes 4 miles (6.5km); Cooksbridge 2 miles (3.2km). Good rail links from London to Haywards Heath and London to Lewes.

By road

Follow B2116 west of Lewes (postcode: BN7 3QN). Small lay-by below on B2116 for parking (free, open 24 hours), entrance to Blackcap opposite lay-by. 

Parking: Small lay-by on B2116 for parking (free, open 24 hours), entrance to Blackcap opposite lay-by.

By foot

The South Downs Way runs alongside the site and will bring you out at the top of the bostal.

By bus

Service 166, Lewes to Haywards Heath; service 824, Lewes to Burgess Hill. See Countryliner for timetable. Alight at The Blacksmith's Arms at Offham then, with the pub directly on your right, walk along main road until you reach the public access sign, then follow path to Blackcap.

Alternatively, alight at the Half Moon at Plumpton then walk to crossroads, cross main road and go along track opposite Plumpton Lane. Bear left at top of ridge and follow straight to Blackcap.

By bicycle

The South Downs Way passes Blackcap, which then links to a network of bridleways and country lanes.

A walk at Blackcap

Facilities and access

  • Half Moon pub in nearby Plumpton: parking, food, toilets and baby change available (not National Trust)
  • Lewes is the nearest town (3 miles/5km): wide variety of coffee shops, restaurants, toilets and parking
  • Well-behaved dogs welcome on leads