Total steps: 4
Total steps: 4
Devil's Dyke car park, grid ref TQ258109
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.)
In May and June, there are usually plenty of green hairstreaks here. Also look out for brown arguses, Adonis blues and chalkhill blues.
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.
This rich area of open fescue grass turf attracts many marbled whites and some dark-green fritillaries during July. Look for them on tall thistle flowers in areas cleared of scrub.
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.
Butterflies and flowers
In the wooded section, you may see speckled wood butterflies and, in spring, flowers such as bluebells, wood anemones and early purple orchids.
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.
Across the year, there's a wide range of butterflies to spot along this section. In spring, there are green hairstreaks, especially on sunny bushes. In July, look for dark-green fritillaries. In August, there are plenty of brown arguses, Adonis blues and chalkhill blues, as well as small heath butterflies and a few silver-spotted skippers. All three species of brilliant-green day-flying forester moth can also be seen here, along with numerous burnt moths.
Devil's Dyke car park, grid ref TQ258109
The route is via a chalk downland valley with steep slopes and paths that zig-zag downhill and may be slippery when wet. There is also a woodland section with a steep flight of steps.
Devil's Dyke Road, Near Brighton, West Sussex, BN1 8YL
Brighton train station is 6 miles away.
Devil's Dyke lies on the South Downs Way. A number of other footpaths also lead there: Brighton is 5 miles away, Fulking and Poynings both 1 mile.
The 77 bus travels up to Devil's Dyke from the centre of Brighton, passing the pier and train station. The bus does not run all year round so check the timetable with Brighton and Hove Buses.
A regular 17 bus service runs between Brighton and Poynings. From there, it's a pleasant 25 minute uphill walk to Devil's Dyke.
The South Downs Way is suitable for off-road cycling, involving some rough ground and uphill and downhill slopes.
The disused railway line cycle path runs from Hangleton near Hove to Devil's Dyke. It offers about 4 miles of family-friendly cycling on a paved path up gentle slopes and is part of the Brighton to Crawley National Cycle Network Route 20.
There are a variety of other bridleways and cycle paths north and south of the area.
Devil's Dyke car park is 2 miles north of the A27 Brighton ring road, and just off the A281.
Postcode for satnav: BN1 8YL.
Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leads as there are livestock grazing in surrounding fields. There are no dog bins so please take dog waste home with you.
There is pay and display and paybyphone parking at Devil's Dyke. National Trust members can scan their membership cards for free parking.
There are toilets in Devil's Dyke car park (not National Trust).
There is a pub next to the car park at the top of Devil's Dyke.
Includes steep downhill and uphill slopes, a long flight of steep steps with no handrail and several stiles and gates. The route may not be suitable for smaller children.
Blue badge holders park for free at Devil's Dyke car park.
A good three mile walk which takes you to the alleged burial site of the Devil and beyond to Saddlescombe Farm and the donkey wheel.
This walk takes you through beech woodland and across open grassland, and as a Special Site of Scientific Interest you'll find a variety of plants and wildlife. Visit in the spring to see bluebells and smell the wild garlic.
A moderate circular walk, starting and finishing at the Shepherd and Dog pub, comprising ancient landscapes and breathtaking views.
This route will take you through some of the most stunning parts of the South Downs Way, where you will find wildlife aplenty and see extensive views from the Ditchling Beacon.
With its panoramic landscape, Devil's Dyke is one of the most stunning places to pass the time. Whether walking, cycling or taking in the scenery, there’s something for all.
Devil's Dyke is an iconic landform in the heart of the South Downs, home to rare wildlife and many myths and legends. Discover its rich history stretching back thousands of years.
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