Ditchling Beacon to Devil's Dyke, South Downs walk

Walking trail

This walk takes in one of the most stunning sections of the South Downs Way long-distance trail. Spring and summer bring an abundance of wild flowers into bloom; the richness of the plant life is thanks to the chalk soil which forms a unique grassland habitat. With great bus links from Brighton, why not make this a green day out and leave your car at home?

All our houses, gardens, parks, toilets, cafes, shops and car parks are now closed to further restrict the spread of coronavirus. We urgently request people to stay local and observe social distancing - please do not travel.

Sunrise near Ditchling Beacon in Sussex


Map route for Ditchling Beacon to Devil's Dyke walk


Ditchling Beacon, grid ref: TQ333129


Take the chalk and flint path leading out of the back of the car park in a westerly direction and continue on along the chalk ridge. After around 250m you'll see a trig point on the left. This is one of the highest points on the South Downs and, for this reason, it was a defensive stronghold in the early Iron Age. You can still see some of the fort's banks and ditches today.

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Continue west along the South Downs Way. 1.27km from Ditchling Beacon you will come across a dew pond and 250m further on another pond with access over a stile. Keep going west until you reach a junction signposted left for Devil's Dyke and right for Clayton windmills.

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If you wish take a detour to view the windmills. To continue your walk take the path leading south and signposted to Devil's Dyke.

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Continue on the South Downs Way past New Barn Farm, now a riding stables. Just past the farm turn right where indicated by the signpost. Go past Pycombe golf course on your left and through the club entrance gate. Cross the road and take the path to Pyecombe which goes left and runs parallel with the road. Turn right where the path ends and go along School Lane. At the junction with Church Lane go straight on into Church Hill.

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Go past the church and at the end of the road turn left and cross the A23. On the other side turn left and walk in a southerly direction parallel to the main road. After 230m turn right along a path marked South Downs Way. (Look carefully for the waymarker because it could be obscured by undergrowth.) Follow the track up to the top of the hill, down the other side, and through a metal farm gate leading to Saddlescombe Farm. From here you can take a short detour (signposted) to see Saddlescombe's donkey wheel. This can be found by going over a stile on your left and along a grassy track.

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Continue past the farm cottages and when you get to the end of the farm buildings on your left turn left. Here you will find the Wildflour Café (not National Trust). Turn right past the café and in front of you is our information barn where you can learn about the farm's history. Follow the track out of the farm past a dew pond on your left and continue through the farm entrance. Cross the road and turn left. Walk through a small car park and go through the gate at the bottom of the hill.


Walk up the hill and continue around the edge of Devil's Dyke. Turn right at the head of the valley and continue uphill until you reach the car park.

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Devil's Dyke, grid ref: TQ258110

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Ditchling Beacon to Devil's Dyke, South Downs walk


The walk from Ditchling Beacon to Pyecombe is easy as most of it is flat but with a slight incline at the golf course. The ascent and descent from Pycombe to Saddlescombe is more strenuous.

Ditchling Beacon to Devil's Dyke, South Downs walk

Contact us

Ditchling Beacon to Devil's Dyke, South Downs walk

How to get here

Ditchling Beacon, West Sussex
By road

The closest postcode is BN1 9QD.

By foot

Ditchling Beacon is on the South Downs Way.

By bus

Buses run all year round from Brighton to Ditchling Beacon (service 79) and between Brighton and Devil’s Dyke (service 77) but the services are restricted to weekends and public holidays in the winter. Please refer to Brighton & Hove bus company website for timetables.

Ditchling Beacon to Devil's Dyke, South Downs walk

Facilities and access

  • Toilets are available in the Devil's Dyke car park