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Adonis blue and Chalkhill blue butterflies
Adonis blue and Chalkhill blue butterflies | © Matthew Oates
Sussex

Devil's Dyke butterfly walk

This short but hilly route over the downs into the Dyke valley and through the woods is abundant with butterflies. Depending on the time of year, you can spot Adonis blues, chalkhill blues, green hairstreaks, brown arguses, dark-green fritillaries and even silver-spotted skippers.

Total steps: 4

Total steps: 4

Start point

Devil's Dyke car park, grid ref TQ258109

Step 1

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. Go through the gap, over the stile and down the steep path towards a bridle gate. Turn left just before the gate onto a bridleway that runs parallel to the fence line along the top of the Dyke valley. From here, look up the hill to your left to see the grassy slope which is the site of the Iron Age hillfort. Continue straight along the bridleway and, after about 765yd (700m), through another bridle gate. (If you've strayed onto an upper path that veers to the left, head down the slope towards the fence line and you'll see the gate.)

Step 2

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'll see a long flight of steps heading into the woods.

Marbled white butterfly on thistle at Parkhill Camp Wiltshire
Marbled white butterfly on thistle | © National Trust Images/John Miller

Step 3

Go down the steps and you'll 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, on the other side of the bridleway, you'll find a path leading downhill to the right. Follow it for around 550yd (500m) then 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.

Step 4

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, and up past the waymarked post to the stile. Cross the stile back into the car park where you started.

End point

Devil's Dyke car park, grid ref TQ258109

Trail map

Ordnance Survey map for Devils Dyke butterfly walk, Sussex
The Devils Dyke butterfly walk, Sussex | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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Devil's Dyke, Nr Brighton, West Sussex

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