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Things to see and do at Cuckmere Valley

An aerial view across the Cuckmere Valley with a river meandering through the valley and hills covered in chalk grassland and scrub rising on either side
The valley and meandering river at Cuckmere Valley | © National Trust Images/David Sellman

Cuckmere Valley is made up of two coastal and riverside properties. Chyngton Farm is a haven for birds and wildlife at the mouth of the Cuckmere river, and Frog Firle Farm on the riverbank is home to bugs, flowers and other wildlife. With far-reaching views across chalk grassland and down to the Seven Sisters cliffs, Cuckmere Valley is well worth a visit.

Wildlife in the Cuckmere Valley

Cuckmere Valley is a popular spot to watch wildlife. During the colder months look out for over-wintering wildfowl and notice the hardy plants still thriving despite the weather – sea purslane, yellow horned poppies and glasswort are just some to look out for.

Once the warm weather arrives, colourful wildflowers fill the area and rare, colourful butterflies can be seen flying over the species-rich chalk grassland.

Walking in the Cuckmere Valley

There are three routes for you to follow. Set out on the Frog Firle Farm circular route, take a walk between The Long Man of Wilmington and the White Horse to see two chalk figures in one day, or take a stroll along the meandering River Cuckmere down to the sea.

Cycling and canoeing

With cycle routes throughout the area, you can explore the forest, fields, villages and seashore. Take in scenic views when you canoe or kayak the river at high tide between Alfriston and the sea. For beginners, try the cut-off meanders at Exceat.

Archaeology in the Cuckmere Valley

Make time to explore the archaeological features at Frog Firle Farm. The remains of a large Saxon settlement can be seen in the lumps and bumps of the flat valley floor to the south of the Cuckmere. To the west of High and Over car park is a large burial mound that was plundered by the Victorians in their enthusiastic but invasive search for hidden treasures.

Visiting Cuckmere Valley? Don’t miss…

  • The white horse cut into the chalk on High and Over's dramatic river cliff, which dates from 1836.
  • Second World War remnants such as pill boxes, bunkers and anti-tank traps at Chyngton Farm.
  • Spring lambs on Cradle Hill and High and Over.
  • The sunset over the river at Exceat.
A view back from the pebbly beach at Cuckmere looking back down the valley where the river meanders through fields
The landscape at Cuckmere Valley where the beach meets fields | © National Trust Images/Chris Jonas

Stay for a picnic

Venture to High and Over for a grassy picnic spot with great views through the valley. There is plenty of space to fly a kite and play family games. For a quiet spot, venture off the beaten track to enjoy a picnic by the river.

‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ at Cuckmere

There are lots of things to complete on your ‘50 things’ list when you visit Cuckmere Valley. From finding and holding mini-beasts, making mud creations in the rain or visiting early in time for sunrise, there’s plenty of adventures to be had.

A view over the Cuckmere Valley across the river meanders with the reflection of the warm sunset colours on the water

Discover more at Cuckmere Valley

Find out how to get to Cuckmere Valley, where to park, the things to see and do and more.

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