Devil's Dyke butterfly walk

Walking trail

There are lots of butterflies of note on this walk, including large populations of Adonis blue, chalkhill blue and green hairstreak and smaller populations of brown argus, dark-green fritillary and silver-spotted skipper. Also, large populations of six-spot burnet moths (day-flying) and all three species of day-flying forester moth. There are a variety of chalk grassland flowers too, including drifts of common rockrose and horseshoe vetch and frequent carline thistle, dropwort and downland orchids.

Butterfly in the garden in the summer at Monk's House, East Sussex


Map route for Devils Dyke butterfly walk


Car park next to the pub, opposite the bus stop. Grid ref: TQ258109


In the car park (opposite the bus stop), with the pub on your left, look for a path through a gap in the hedge on your right. Just beyond the gap go over the stile and continue down the steep path towards a bridle gate. Turn left just before it onto a bridleway which runs parallel to the fence line along the top of the Dyke valley. If you look up the hill to your left you will see the grassy slope which is the site of the Iron Age hill fort. Continue straight along the bridleway and through another bridle gate after about 700 metres. (If you have strayed onto an upper path which veers to the left head down the slope towards the fence line and you will see the gate.)

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Immediately after the bridle gate, swing left onto an upward-sloping narrow path. The path disappears into open downland where you can meander around to the left and slightly downwards until you approach the escarpment: the sharp drop down to the Weald and Poynings village. Look down to your right and you will see a long flight of steps into the woodland.

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Descending the steps you will come to a kissing gate. Go through it, make an immediate right turn (ignoring the rest of the steps) and follow the woodland track until you reach a bridleway crossing your path. Slightly to the left of where you are, on the other side of this bridleway, you will find a path leading downhill to the right. Follow this path for around 500 metres and go down the steps and over the stile leading to the bottom of the Dyke valley. Please note that these paths have steep sections and can be slippery after wet weather.

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Just after the stile turn right and follow the main path up the valley. Near the summit the path swings to the right and leads to a bridle gate. Go through the gate, up past the waymarking post and straight up to the stile leading back into the car park where you started.

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Car park next to the pub, opposite the bus stop. Grid ref: TQ258109

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Devil's Dyke butterfly walk


Chalk downland valley with steep slopes. Usually dry ground but downslope paths likely to be slippery when wet. Route avoids the steepest slopes but walking across the open downland is uneven as it zig-zags downhill; gentle incline back up, steep at the top. Stairs down slopes are steep and there are no handrails. Suitable for older children. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leads as livestock in surroundings fields. No dog bins so please take dog litter home as well as general litter.

Devil's Dyke butterfly walk

Contact us

Devil's Dyke butterfly walk

How to get here

Devil's Dyke Road, Near Brighton, West Sussex
By train

Brighton train station 6 miles. A train ticket gets you a '2-for-1' offer on adult single and return tickets, or a 1/3 discount on a full adult single fare, on the 77 service bus to Devil's Dyke. Just show the bus driver your valid train ticket

By road
Devil's Dyke car park is 2 miles north of A27 Brighton ring road, and just off A281
SatNav: Devil's Dyke: Easting 525844, Northing 110977
By foot

Devil's Dyke lies on the South Downs Way and a variety of other footpaths lead to Devil's Dyke from all directions: Brighton 5 miles, Fulking and Poynings each 1 mile away

By bus

The 77 bus travels up to Devil's Dyke from the centre of Brighton, passing the pier and train station. The bus does not run all year round so check the timetable with Brighton and Hove Buses. A regular bus service 17 runs between Brighton and Poynings, from where it is a pleasant 25 minute uphill walk to Devil's Dyke. For enquiries and general journey planning, call 01273 292480

By bicycle

The South Downs Way is suitable for off-road cycling, involving some rough ground, ascent and descent. The disused railway line cycle path runs from Hangleton near Hove to Devil's Dyke, it offers about 4 miles of family-friendly cycling on a paved path up gentle slopes, part of NCN route 20, Brighton to Crawley. There are a variety of other bridleways and cycle paths north and south of the area

Devil's Dyke butterfly walk

Facilities and access

  • Pay and Display and paybyphone parking at Devil's Dyke. National Trust members please scan your membership card for your free ticket. Blue badge holders park for free.
  • Toilets available in Devil's Dyke car park (not NT facilities)
  • Refreshments - there is a pub next to the car park at the top of Devil's Dyke.
  • Dogs are welcome, but must be kept on leads where signs indicate livestock are grazing