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The writing lodge at Monk's House, East Sussex
The garden lodge offered Virginia Woolf a tranquil spot in which to write | © National Trust Images / Caroline Arber
Sussex

Southease to Monk's House circular walk

For Virginia Woolf writing and walking were inseparable. Her father, a renowned mountaineer, wrote a lot about the Alps and speculated that 'All great men of letters had to be great walkers'. It is true that Virginia made up her books as she walked along. Virginia and Leonard lived at Monk's House from 1919 and she walked every day for 2 hours or more. This 3.5-mile walk takes you in their footsteps to some of the places they loved.

Total steps: 8

Total steps: 8

Start point

Southease Railway Station

Step 1

Exit the station and head away from Platform 1 towards Southease village. Follow the small road over the River Ouse and continue straight through the water meadows until you reach the church at Southease.

Step 2

Continue to follow the road up the hill until just before you reach the main road junction. Turn right immediately after a small cottage following the signpost marked 'permissive footpath Rodmell'. Go through the first gate and take an immediate left through another gate, following the path up the hill.

Step 3

Follow this footpath for around half a mile. You will ascend a small hill with views towards Rodmell and the Ouse Valley beyond. The path then descends and rises gradually before arriving at Rodmell village, where it merges onto the pavement adjacent to the C7, which runs through the village. Keep going in the same direction until you reach the junction with the Abergavenny Arms pub.

Step 4

Turn right and follow this road (called The Street) for around 400 yards. Monk's House is clearly signposted on the right-hand side. The visitor reception is located in the Woolfs' old garage, immediately south of the property.

Step 5

Once you've visited Monk's House, continue down The Street for 100 yards (91m) and instead of following the road as it bends left, take the track that branches off to the right immediately after the National Trust car park.

Step 6

Remain on this track for around three-quarters of a mile (1.2km), passing through all gates until you reach the River Ouse.

Step 7

Turn right at the river and follow the footpath, which runs alongside the Ouse on an elevated bank, until you reach the swing bridge.

Step 8

Exit the footpath at the swing bridge and turn left, following the road once again back to Southease railway station.

End point

Southease Railway Station

Trail map

Southease to Monks House circular walk map
Southease to Monk's House circular walk map | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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