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A view across Blackcap on the Ditchling to Ashcombe Bottom walk
A view across Blackcap on the Ditchling to Ashcombe Bottom walk | © National Trust/Glen Redman

Ditchling to Ashcombe Bottom walk

This 6-mile walk across the South Downs from Ditchling Beacon to Ashcombe Bottom affords far-reaching views across the Weald to the north and Brighton to the south.

Total steps: 6

Total steps: 6

Start point

Ditchling Beacon car park, BN6 8XG

Step 1

From Ditchling Beacon car park go down the steps, taking great care as the visibility of the road here is not great, and cross the road heading east. This walk follows the South Downs Way until you reach Blackcap. The path undulates over the downs and every step you are rewarded with views to the north and south.

Step 2

At this point you will cross a track, this is Streat Bostal and is one of the tracks that was used to move animals from the farm to graze on the downs. A little further on you will come across Plumpton Bostall on your left – keep going along the South Downs way.

Step 3

You have reached Blackcap and here you will leave the South Downs Way as it heads south. Go through the gate and carry on walking past the plantation by taking the lower trackway on the right. On your right is Ashcombe Bottom and you're walking along the northern edge of it.

Step 4

Cross over a stile into Ashcombe Bottom and follow this track through the woodland, past an open area on your right, through another tunnel of trees until you reach a large bracken-filled glade with a large oak tree in the middle.

Step 5

At the open area, take the second track on your left. Walk up this track up through the woods along the main ride.

White Admiral butterfly, female, Hampshire
Look out for white admiral butterflies in summer | © National Trust Images/Matthew Oates

Step 6

At the bridle gate walk up the hill until you reach the same bridle gate you used to enter Blackcap. Retrace your route along the South Downs Way to return to Ditchling Beacon car park.

End point

Ditchling Beacon car park, BN6 8XG

Trail map

Ditchling to Ashcombe Bottom walk map
Ditchling to Ashcombe Bottom walk map | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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Signpost and stile on Ditchling Beacon, East Sussex

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