Skip to content
Early purple orchid surrounded by cowslips on the south downs, Sussex.
Early purple orchid surrounded by cowslips on the south downs | © National Trust Images/Graham Welfare
Sussex

Saddlescombe Farm and Newtimber walk

Fresh air, views and an ancient landscape will accompany you along this scenic downland walk near Devil's Dyke, West Sussex. Discover the wildlife-rich dewpond, and catch a glimpse into the past when you visit the old Donkey Wheel, traditionally used to draw water for the farm.

Total steps: 12

Total steps: 12

Start point

National Trust 'Newtimber Hill' sign, grid ref: TQ272115

Step 1

From the car park, cross the road and follow the track into Saddlescombe Farm. On your left you'll see the National Trust 'Newtimber Hill' sign. Enter the gate, turn left immediately, and follow the path uphill. Go over the stile alongside the metal gate, and bear right.

Step 2

On your left is the remains of a disused chalk quarry. Continue uphill to the top-most edge of the quarry, and take in the views of the Devil's Dyke valley. To the right of the valley lies Fulking Escarpment (with its pylons perched on the top). Further to the right, you'll see Chanctonbury Ring, a hill in the distance topped with a circle of trees.

Step 3

Turn around so that the quarry is behind you. Walk straight up the hill towards the clump of trees. Keep the trees to your right, continue for 270yd (250m), heading towards a mound in the distance.

Step 4

Upon reaching the mound (often referred to as a barrow) you'll notice its concave top. Walk around the left side of the mound until you reach the opposite side. You'll see three large trees in the distance with a wide grass path running through the centre.

Step 5

Just after the trees, you'll reach the first fork in the path. Take the left-hand grassy track and continue until you reach a second fork, take the right-hand grassy track. Walk on until you find a large dried-up dew pond to your right. Go around the dew pond towards the fence on the opposite side, where you'll find a water-filled dew pond.

Step 6

Rejoin the grassy track and walk for roughly 5 minutes, passing a cluster of trees to your left.

Step 7

Twenty two yards (20m) before you come to a wooden gate, turn right and you'll see Saddlescombe Farm in the distance, with a shallow ditch and bank in the foreground. This ditch is a cross ridge dyke. Follow the ditch down the slope towards the farm. You'll come to a short concrete post in front of you. Bear left at the post and head towards the fence line and gate in the bottom corner of the field.

Step 8

Go through the gate, and follow the flat grassy track (keep the fence on your right) towards Saddlescombe Farm for ten minutes. The slope to your left is a spectacular spot for wild flowers.

Step 9

Keep to the flat track, passing a water trough on your right. Continue until you reach the bottom corner of the field and go through the wooden bridle gate on your right (marked South Downs Way with a blue access arrow).

Step 10

Walk straight ahead for 22yd (20m), until you come to a stile on your left with a sign for Saddlescombe Donkey Wheel. Cross the stile, and follow the grass path as it bears to the left. Continue on to find the Donkey Wheel straight ahead of you.

Step 11

Retrace your steps back to the Donkey Wheel sign. Go over the stile, and turn left. Continue along the hard track, keeping the farm on your left.

Step 12

When the track forks, bear left down to the Wildflour Café and enjoy a well-deserved rest and a cup of tea. To return to the car park, turn right out of the café and follow the track.

End point

National Trust 'Newtimber Hill' sign, grid ref: TQ272115

Trail map

Map route for Saddlescombe Farm and Newtimber walk, Sussex
Map route for Saddlescombe Farm and Newtimber walk | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

You made it

Share your experience

More near here

Sunrise over Pillbox pond at Sheffield Park, East Sussex
Trail
Trail

Estate walk at Sheffield Park 

Explore the wider Sheffield Park estate and discover the historic and natural importance of this piece of Sussex countryside.

Activities
Walking
DistanceMiles: 3 (km: 4.8) to miles: 3 (km: 4.8)
Two people walking through woodland with sunset shining through trees
Trail
Trail

Petworth ancient trees walk 

Discover more about the ancient trees that dominate the skyline of Petworth on this circular walk in Sussex.

Activities
Walking
DistanceMiles: 4 (km: 6.4)
Walkers on the clifftop on the South Downs Way footpath at Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters, East Sussex with a view of the sea in the background
Trail
Trail

Bounding up to Belle Tout at Birling Gap 

Enjoy a relaxing stroll up to Mad Jack Fuller's folly on this circular walk which offers breathtaking views of the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head lighthouse.

Activities
Walking
DistanceMiles: 2 (km: 3.2)
View of Devil's Dyke from Saddlescombe Farm with sun breaking through clouds, West Sussex
Trail
Trail

Devil's Dyke histories and mysteries walk 

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.

Activities
Walking
DistanceMiles: 3 (km: 4.8)

Get in touch

Saddlescombe Road, near Brighton, West Sussex, BN45 7DE

Our partners

Cotswold Outdoor

We’ve partnered with Cotswold Outdoor to help everyone make the most of their time outdoors in the places we care for.

Visit website 

You might also be interested in

Winter sun in the woods at Petworth House and Park, West Sussex

Walking in Sussex 

Explore coastal paths, open parkland and countryside teeming with wildlife on these top walks in Sussex.

A visitor carrying a backpack and walking along a footpath at Divis and the Black Mountain with stone walls either side, the countryside visible in the background.
Article
Article

Follow the Countryside Code 

Help to look after National Trust places by observing a few simple guidelines during your visit and following the Countryside Code.

A group of people in a hiking group are being guided on a hike by rangers at Marsden Moor, West Yorkshire
Article
Article

Cotswold Outdoor: our exclusive walking partner 

Find out more about the National Trust’s ongoing partnership with Cotswold Outdoor as our exclusive walking partner.

An aerial view of an adult and baby walking a dog along a path at Baggy Point, Devon
Article
Article

Staying safe at National Trust places 

The special places in National Trust care sometimes come with a few risks for visitors, be it coastline or countryside. Find out how to keep safe throughout your visits.

A hiker wearing an insulated jacket and a backpack watches the sunset over snowy mountain peaks

Walking 

Explore some of the finest landscapes in our care on coastal paths, accessible trails, woodland walks and everything in between. Find the best places to walk near you.