Things to see and do at Cuckmere Valley
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.
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.
Find out about bringing your dog to the South Downs. Explore the beautiful landscape together, from cliff-tops and beaches to ancient downland.
Discover what to see and do at Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters. Fossil hunt on the beach, walk on the historic downland or enjoy the views as you spot birds.
Close to Brighton, Ditchling Beacon is the highest point in East Sussex. Come for the views, the wildlife, picnics, walks, kite-flying and the remains of an Iron Age hillfort.
Fancy running free in the fresh air, learning new skills and trying new things? Grab your gear and start your adventure.
Plan a visit to one of the special countryside places in our care and discover the benefits of being in the great outdoors. Pack your walking boots and get ready to explore woodlands, valleys and rivers.
Discover the wide array of countryside settings around Sussex, from the highest point of East Sussex at Ditchling Beacon to the incredible rolling landscape of the South Downs.