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A sunset over the winding River Cuckmere, Sussex
A sunset over the winding River Cuckmere, Sussex | © National Trust Images/Nick Dautlich

Cuckmere Haven via Chyngton circular walk

An easy to moderate stroll taking in the chalk downland of Seaford Head local nature reserve, with far-reaching views of the Seven Sisters. Follow the Cuckmere Valley as it snakes down to the sea at Cuckmere Haven, and return via Chyngton Farm.

Trail route closed

Due to erosion and subsequent footpath closures we do not recommend undertaking this walk at the moment. Updates to this trail will be posted once repairs have taken place. Thank you for your understanding.

Total steps: 7

Total steps: 7

Start point

South Hill Barn car park (not National Trust), grid ref: TV504980

Step 1

From South Hill Barn car park, follow the central track past the gate and straight on down the hill along the middle track. Make your way towards the cattle grid and enjoy the emerging views of the Seven Sisters in the distance.

Step 2

At the cattle grid turn right and follow the path towards the sea. At the bottom you'll find steps down to Hope Gap, one of only four access points to the beach between Seaford and Eastbourne. Turn left and head up the (steep but short) hill. Follow the path towards the historic Coastguard Cottages.

Step 3

Pass the Coastguard Cottages and follow the path down to the beach. Walk along the top of the shingle bank towards the river bank and follow the path along the top of the bank as it turns and follows the river upstream.

Step 4

Continue along the top of the river bank and follow as it turns left. This will take you along a narrow section surrounded on both sides by scrub. When you reach the next junction take the gate on the left.

Step 5

Follow the path along the valley edge until you reach the stile in the fence on the right. Go over the stile and walk up the steep hill. The large patch of trees on your right is known locally as Harry's bush. Take a chance to pause halfway up the hill and enjoy the views across the valley to the Seven Sisters Country Park and beyond to Friston Forest and north towards High & Over. Bearing right, continue up the hill and aim for the narrow gap in the scrub at the top.

Step 6

Pass through the narrow gap in the scrub and turn left. Keeping the line of scrub on your right, skirt along the top of the field heading for the stile in the corner.

Step 7

Climb over the stile and turn right on to the track which leads back up the hill to the car park.

End point

South Hill Barn car park (not National Trust), grid ref: TV504980

Trail map

Map for Cuckmere Haven via Chyngton circular walk
Map for Cuckmere Haven via Chyngton circular walk | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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