STARLINGS - BRIGHTON During the autumn months, the skies above the Sussex landscape become the stage for one of wildlife’s greatest performances. As evening comes, clouds of starlings in numbers of up to 100,000 swoop and dive in unison as they group together for warmth and protection. Both Brighton piers play host to this spectacle known as murmurations, in one of the rarer examples of industrial structures chosen as roosting sites.  

STARLINGS - BRIGHTON

During the autumn months, the skies above the Sussex landscape become the stage for one of wildlife’s greatest performances. As evening comes, clouds of starlings in numbers of up to 100,000 swoop and dive in unison as they group together for warmth and protection. Both Brighton piers play host to this spectacle known as murmurations, in one of the rarer examples of industrial structures chosen as roosting sites.

 

BALSDEAN Balsdean is a deserted hamlet located just north of Rottingdean. There is little remaining of the original dwelling, which once consisted of farm buildings and a medieval church. One of the two farms was eventually used as a lunatic asylum and the rest disappeared during the Second World War after the area was used for target practice.  The fields hidden in this valley are worth a trip to see in the early summer months. As working farmland, the precision and pattern is at its greatest when the regimental lines of growth, and block colour intensity, start to show. You may find yourself responsible for cutting the path into newly growing crops, making your way across the valley with various grains brushing past your legs. And days with a slight breeze are even better, transforming the patchwork of corn fields, rape and long grasses into rolling green waves. As the summer months pass, a scattered audience of poppies break up the agricultural rigour, lining the tracks and infiltrating the crop. It’s worth taking a moment to look down on these fields if you approach from the higher footpaths.   

BALSDEAN

Balsdean is a deserted hamlet located just north of Rottingdean. There is little remaining of the original dwelling, which once consisted of farm buildings and a medieval church. One of the two farms was eventually used as a lunatic asylum and the rest disappeared during the Second World War after the area was used for target practice. 

The fields hidden in this valley are worth a trip to see in the early summer months. As working farmland, the precision and pattern is at its greatest when the regimental lines of growth, and block colour intensity, start to show. You may find yourself responsible for cutting the path into newly growing crops, making your way across the valley with various grains brushing past your legs. And days with a slight breeze are even better, transforming the patchwork of corn fields, rape and long grasses into rolling green waves. As the summer months pass, a scattered audience of poppies break up the agricultural rigour, lining the tracks and infiltrating the crop. It’s worth taking a moment to look down on these fields if you approach from the higher footpaths. 

 

MERIDIAN LINE The Meridian, or line of Longitude, is an imaginary line which runs directly between the North and South Pole. It divides the Eastern from the Western Hemisphere and every place on earth is measured in terms of it’s distance from this line. It runs through the main telescope at the Greenwich Observatory in London, and it was here that, in 1884, delegates from 25 countries named this point Longitude 0° and therefore the centre of world time.  The line runs directly south out of the capital and ultimately exits the UK into the channel at the cliffs in Peacehaven. The point is marked with an obelisk, erected in 1936. Due to cliff erosion, it has been relocated north (a total of 55 feet) twice since then.  

MERIDIAN LINE

The Meridian, or line of Longitude, is an imaginary line which runs directly between the North and South Pole. It divides the Eastern from the Western Hemisphere and every place on earth is measured in terms of it’s distance from this line. It runs through the main telescope at the Greenwich Observatory in London, and it was here that, in 1884, delegates from 25 countries named this point Longitude 0° and therefore the centre of world time. 

The line runs directly south out of the capital and ultimately exits the UK into the channel at the cliffs in Peacehaven. The point is marked with an obelisk, erected in 1936. Due to cliff erosion, it has been relocated north (a total of 55 feet) twice since then.

 

SMUGGLERS FISH & CHIPS - ROTTINGDEAN Smugglers is your usual fish and chip shop just off the sea front. Still a family run business, meaning you sometimes end up being served by a group of surly teenagers. But chips never come as a disappointment at the end of a walk, especially when eaten as a takeaway whilst looking out to sea. Closed on Mondays.  

SMUGGLERS FISH & CHIPS - ROTTINGDEAN

Smugglers is your usual fish and chip shop just off the sea front. Still a family run business, meaning you sometimes end up being served by a group of surly teenagers. But chips never come as a disappointment at the end of a walk, especially when eaten as a takeaway whilst looking out to sea. Closed on Mondays.

 

THE SNOWDROP PUB - LEWES Named after an avalanche that took place on that spot in 1836, The Snowdrop offers one of the more authentic pub experiences in Lewes. A varied menu of local food and ales, and sometimes live music, all contribute to an atmosphere which sets it apart.   

THE SNOWDROP PUB - LEWES

Named after an avalanche that took place on that spot in 1836, The Snowdrop offers one of the more authentic pub experiences in Lewes. A varied menu of local food and ales, and sometimes live music, all contribute to an atmosphere which sets it apart. 

 

OVINGDEAN GAP CAFE - UNDERCLIFF A refreshment window on the Undercliff serving all the usuals. A perfect place to stop, sit on the seawall with a cup of something hot, and take 10 minutes to watch the waves.  

OVINGDEAN GAP CAFE - UNDERCLIFF

A refreshment window on the Undercliff serving all the usuals. A perfect place to stop, sit on the seawall with a cup of something hot, and take 10 minutes to watch the waves.

 

WISHING STONE - ROTTINGDEAN Hidden away in the little village of Rottingdean near the home of Rudyard Kipling is a ‘wishing stone’. A small face peering down from the wall at passers by. A stroke of the nose with the right forefinger, and 3 quick spins, permits a wish to be made.   

WISHING STONE - ROTTINGDEAN

Hidden away in the little village of Rottingdean near the home of Rudyard Kipling is a ‘wishing stone’. A small face peering down from the wall at passers by. A stroke of the nose with the right forefinger, and 3 quick spins, permits a wish to be made. 

 

STANMER PARK TEA ROOM - STANMER PARK Open 364 days of the year, this is a dependable refreshment stop. Whether it’s to buy provisions for your outbound route, or as reward on your final leg back towards Brighton, the tearooms are a welcome find in the heart of Stanmer park.   

STANMER PARK TEA ROOM - STANMER PARK

Open 364 days of the year, this is a dependable refreshment stop. Whether it’s to buy provisions for your outbound route, or as reward on your final leg back towards Brighton, the tearooms are a welcome find in the heart of Stanmer park

 

THE BASKETMAKERS PUB - BRIGHTON The Basketmakers is very popular with the people of Brighton, it serves good beer and good food and because of that finding a table is often your biggest concern. On Friday evenings the street outside is occupied by a beer drinking crowd. If you manage to secure a table indoors be sure to open the tins that line the walls, reading notes left behind by others or adding your own for someone else to find.  

THE BASKETMAKERS PUB - BRIGHTON

The Basketmakers is very popular with the people of Brighton, it serves good beer and good food and because of that finding a table is often your biggest concern. On Friday evenings the street outside is occupied by a beer drinking crowd. If you manage to secure a table indoors be sure to open the tins that line the walls, reading notes left behind by others or adding your own for someone else to find.

 

THE DADDY LONG LEGS - BRIGHTON The still operating Volks railway, running from Palace Pier to Black Rock, once had an ambitious extension. In 1896, Magnus Volk, local engineer and dreamer, built a sea-faring carriage which ran through the shallows at high tide. The Daddy Long Legs, called so for it’s 7m high stilts, was a pier-like saloon carrying up to 30 passengers along the coastline, powered by electricity, conducted through the water.  The fate of the Daddy Long Legs was short lived. After suffering severe storm damage just 6 days in, the enterprise struggled on for just 4 years before lack of both funds, and sea defences stood in it tracks. Legacy of this ill-fated invention remain in the shape of slowly eroding concrete sleepers which are still visible at low tide east of the marina.    

THE DADDY LONG LEGS - BRIGHTON

The still operating Volks railway, running from Palace Pier to Black Rock, once had an ambitious extension. In 1896, Magnus Volk, local engineer and dreamer, built a sea-faring carriage which ran through the shallows at high tide. The Daddy Long Legs, called so for it’s 7m high stilts, was a pier-like saloon carrying up to 30 passengers along the coastline, powered by electricity, conducted through the water. 

The fate of the Daddy Long Legs was short lived. After suffering severe storm damage just 6 days in, the enterprise struggled on for just 4 years before lack of both funds, and sea defences stood in it tracks. Legacy of this ill-fated invention remain in the shape of slowly eroding concrete sleepers which are still visible at low tide east of the marina.  

 

COFFEE@33 - BRIGHTON Coffee@33 is perfectly located when rushing to catch a train. This place is often filled with locals, the baristas do a very good job of remembering everyone’s regular orders. Coffee is roasted on the premises, delicious cakes are baked out back, and a good selection of sandwiches are always on offer.  

COFFEE@33 - BRIGHTON

Coffee@33 is perfectly located when rushing to catch a train. This place is often filled with locals, the baristas do a very good job of remembering everyone’s regular orders. Coffee is roasted on the premises, delicious cakes are baked out back, and a good selection of sandwiches are always on offer.

 

THE UNDERCLIFF The Undercliff path runs uninterrupted between Black Rock and Saltdean. Built as a sea defence in 1933, this 4.5km coastal stretch is a concrete skirting to the stark white cliffs which rise sharply from the tideline to the undulating suburbs overhead. Popular with walkers and cyclists, practically, it’s a successful access route into and out of town avoiding traffic and seemingly endless suburbia. Aesthetically, it is a curious tightrope between the natural, and (often brutal) man-made world. The concrete stairwell at Ovingdean is the the greatest example of this contrast.  This concrete walkway is transformed by rough seas, changing your walking pace as you pause and dash to avoid the waves that breach the sea defences. But beware, if a tidal wave approaches there is no escape until Ovingdean.  

THE UNDERCLIFF

The Undercliff path runs uninterrupted between Black Rock and Saltdean. Built as a sea defence in 1933, this 4.5km coastal stretch is a concrete skirting to the stark white cliffs which rise sharply from the tideline to the undulating suburbs overhead. Popular with walkers and cyclists, practically, it’s a successful access route into and out of town avoiding traffic and seemingly endless suburbia. Aesthetically, it is a curious tightrope between the natural, and (often brutal) man-made world. The concrete stairwell at Ovingdean is the the greatest example of this contrast. 

This concrete walkway is transformed by rough seas, changing your walking pace as you pause and dash to avoid the waves that breach the sea defences. But beware, if a tidal wave approaches there is no escape until Ovingdean.

 

LEWES BONFIRE On the 5th of November every year the bonfire societies of Sussex meet in Lewes for the biggest gathering of it’s kind. The societies take to the streets, multiple bonfires light the sky, and the deep rumble of large quantities of fireworks can be heard around every corner. The town is filled with eager onlookers ready to observe the yearly spectacle. If you find yourself accidentally strolling into one of the smaller villages surrounding Lewes on a different Autumn evening, you may witness a large procession of torch baring villagers heading your way in one of the many other bonfire celebrations that happen in this part of the country.  

LEWES BONFIRE

On the 5th of November every year the bonfire societies of Sussex meet in Lewes for the biggest gathering of it’s kind. The societies take to the streets, multiple bonfires light the sky, and the deep rumble of large quantities of fireworks can be heard around every corner. The town is filled with eager onlookers ready to observe the yearly spectacle.

If you find yourself accidentally strolling into one of the smaller villages surrounding Lewes on a different Autumn evening, you may witness a large procession of torch baring villagers heading your way in one of the many other bonfire celebrations that happen in this part of the country.

 

SUSSEX UNIVERSITY - FALMER The University of Sussex sits on the edge of the South Downs National Park in Falmer. Not only beautifully positioned, but beautifully conceived. The 17 buildings designed by Basil Spence at the heart of the university were the first 1960’s buildings in the country to be listed.  The campus operates a completely open policy, and visitors are welcome to take a map from Sussex House reception and set out on a self guided tour. The concentric circles of the Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts and The Meeting House, with it’s coloured glass panes and white concrete facade, are of particular architectural note and worth a visit.   

SUSSEX UNIVERSITY - FALMER

The University of Sussex sits on the edge of the South Downs National Park in Falmer. Not only beautifully positioned, but beautifully conceived. The 17 buildings designed by Basil Spence at the heart of the university were the first 1960’s buildings in the country to be listed. 

The campus operates a completely open policy, and visitors are welcome to take a map from Sussex House reception and set out on a self guided tour. The concentric circles of the Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts and The Meeting House, with it’s coloured glass panes and white concrete facade, are of particular architectural note and worth a visit. 

 

VIRGINIA WOOLF The novelist and playwright Virginia Woolf lived with her husband, Leonard Woolf, at Monk’s House in Rodmell, from 1919 until Virginia’s death in 1941. During these years, the house was frequently visited by fellow intellectual writers, artists and friends who, alongside the Woolfs, made up the so-called Bloomsbury Group.  Virginia suffered from what would now be termed Bipolar Disorder, which resulted in spells of manic depression and ultimately her death. On The 28th March 1941, she filled the pockets of her overcoat with stones and walked into the River Ouse between Lewes and Newhaven and drowned herself. Her cremated remains are buried under the elm at Monk’s House.  

VIRGINIA WOOLF

The novelist and playwright Virginia Woolf lived with her husband, Leonard Woolf, at Monk’s House in Rodmell, from 1919 until Virginia’s death in 1941. During these years, the house was frequently visited by fellow intellectual writers, artists and friends who, alongside the Woolfs, made up the so-called Bloomsbury Group. 

Virginia suffered from what would now be termed Bipolar Disorder, which resulted in spells of manic depression and ultimately her death. On The 28th March 1941, she filled the pockets of her overcoat with stones and walked into the River Ouse between Lewes and Newhaven and drowned herself. Her cremated remains are buried under the elm at Monk’s House.

 

GROCER & GRAIN SHOP - BRIGHTON At first glance, you’d be forgiven for assuming that this wholefood shop caters only to the seeds-and-home-made-bran-flakes crowd. But amongst this, you’ll find filled baguettes and a selection of pies, tarts and cakes made on the premises daily with ingredients for both meat and veg eaters. Located right next to the station, it’s a perfect place to pick up a picnic before heading out of town for a day on the Downs.  

GROCER & GRAIN SHOP - BRIGHTON

At first glance, you’d be forgiven for assuming that this wholefood shop caters only to the seeds-and-home-made-bran-flakes crowd. But amongst this, you’ll find filled baguettes and a selection of pies, tarts and cakes made on the premises daily with ingredients for both meat and veg eaters. Located right next to the station, it’s a perfect place to pick up a picnic before heading out of town for a day on the Downs.

 

SUSSEX HEIGHTS - BRIGHTON Sussex heights is a residential tower block in central Brighton. Opened in 1968, it was designed by Swiss architect Richard Seifert who was responsible for shaping 1960’s London with buildings including Centre Point on Tottenham Court Road. Residents of note include a pair of peregrine falcons nesting on the roof. Successful breeding of the birds has taken place every year since 1998 after extinction of the breed in sussex between 1945 and 1990. The birds are visible to watch live via webcam through the Sussex Heights website. In it’s position amongst the seafront regency architecture, it’s very existence is divisive. However, it’s undeniable as a beacon of Brighton, visible for miles, from every approach, and often a welcome sight signalling the last leg into town.   

SUSSEX HEIGHTS - BRIGHTON

Sussex heights is a residential tower block in central Brighton. Opened in 1968, it was designed by Swiss architect Richard Seifert who was responsible for shaping 1960’s London with buildings including Centre Point on Tottenham Court Road. Residents of note include a pair of peregrine falcons nesting on the roof. Successful breeding of the birds has taken place every year since 1998 after extinction of the breed in sussex between 1945 and 1990. The birds are visible to watch live via webcam through the Sussex Heights website.

In it’s position amongst the seafront regency architecture, it’s very existence is divisive. However, it’s undeniable as a beacon of Brighton, visible for miles, from every approach, and often a welcome sight signalling the last leg into town. 

 

WOODVALE GRAVEYARD - BRIGHTON Woodvale Graveyard is a silent and often overlooked part of the city. Hidden just off one of the main roads into Brighton it acts as the perfect way to escape the city. There are many significant graves tucked away under the tree lined paths and covered in years of tangled ivy. A convenient ‘Tomb Trail’ loops its way through the graveyard past significant resting places. One grave to note is a magnificent mausoleum topped with a circus pony. This is the final resting place of John Frederick Ginnett and his family, one of the oldest circus families in Europe, dating back to the early 1800’s. The Ginnett family were originally famous for their Pony and Budgerigar shows. They built many permanent circuses and hippodromes around Brighton and still tour today.  

WOODVALE GRAVEYARD - BRIGHTON

Woodvale Graveyard is a silent and often overlooked part of the city. Hidden just off one of the main roads into Brighton it acts as the perfect way to escape the city. There are many significant graves tucked away under the tree lined paths and covered in years of tangled ivy. A convenient ‘Tomb Trail’ loops its way through the graveyard past significant resting places.

One grave to note is a magnificent mausoleum topped with a circus pony. This is the final resting place of John Frederick Ginnett and his family, one of the oldest circus families in Europe, dating back to the early 1800’s. The Ginnett family were originally famous for their Pony and Budgerigar shows. They built many permanent circuses and hippodromes around Brighton and still tour today.

 

HARVEY'S MONUMENT This small monument can easily be overlooked and from experience it is best approached in the mist. In these conditions the continuous and familiar rolling countryside of sussex is transformed into something unexpected and rare. The surroundings become unfamiliar and quiet. Very few walkers will venture out in the mist, so expect to find yourself alone. This monument is an interesting place to find yourself, not because it is grand or beautiful, but because it feels lonely. It marks the location where a John Harvey died suddenly on the spot. It’s a small de-tour from the paths suggested, but a little stone bench that sits next to the monument is as good a spot as any for a quick picnic. A similar experience can be achieved on all routes by putting on a head torch and exploring the paths after dark.  

HARVEY'S MONUMENT

This small monument can easily be overlooked and from experience it is best approached in the mist. In these conditions the continuous and familiar rolling countryside of sussex is transformed into something unexpected and rare. The surroundings become unfamiliar and quiet. Very few walkers will venture out in the mist, so expect to find yourself alone. This monument is an interesting place to find yourself, not because it is grand or beautiful, but because it feels lonely. It marks the location where a John Harvey died suddenly on the spot. It’s a small de-tour from the paths suggested, but a little stone bench that sits next to the monument is as good a spot as any for a quick picnic. A similar experience can be achieved on all routes by putting on a head torch and exploring the paths after dark.

 

THE JUGGS PUB - KINGSTON At weekends during the summer months The Juggs is always busy, a great location for consuming a roast. Made popular by its beer garden located at the foot of the South Downs. However a log fire also makes it the perfect location for a pint of ale on cold winter days. Try and claim a table in the old part of the pub near the bar and log fire.  

THE JUGGS PUB - KINGSTON

At weekends during the summer months The Juggs is always busy, a great location for consuming a roast. Made popular by its beer garden located at the foot of the South Downs. However a log fire also makes it the perfect location for a pint of ale on cold winter days. Try and claim a table in the old part of the pub near the bar and log fire.

 

THE HAND IN HAND - KEMP TOWN The Hand in Hand is an unlikely pub in an unlikely part of town. To say this place has character is to do it an injustice. The drinks, the decor and the locals are all as eclectic as it gets.  

THE HAND IN HAND - KEMP TOWN

The Hand in Hand is an unlikely pub in an unlikely part of town. To say this place has character is to do it an injustice. The drinks, the decor and the locals are all as eclectic as it gets.

 

HARVEYS BREWERY - LEWES Harveys Brewery is the oldest independent brewery in Sussex, dating back 200 years and is still owned by the Harveys family. The beer is created using many local ingredients including spring water that is brought up from a well 60 feet under the Brewery. With its endearing victorian exterior, the Brewery sits directly next to the river that winds its way through the town. Tours of the brewing rooms do exist, however the current two year waiting list means that you may require a golden ticket to take a peek behind the ageing gates. Thankfully, you don’t have to go far to sample the beer as it is a staple in most local pubs.  

HARVEYS BREWERY - LEWES

Harveys Brewery is the oldest independent brewery in Sussex, dating back 200 years and is still owned by the Harveys family. The beer is created using many local ingredients including spring water that is brought up from a well 60 feet under the Brewery.

With its endearing victorian exterior, the Brewery sits directly next to the river that winds its way through the town. Tours of the brewing rooms do exist, however the current two year waiting list means that you may require a golden ticket to take a peek behind the ageing gates. Thankfully, you don’t have to go far to sample the beer as it is a staple in most local pubs.

 

SALTDEAN LIDO Built in 1937, the lido in Saltdean is recognised for being a distinctive example of Art Deco architecture. Designed by R W H Jones, it has recently been recognised by both the Design Museum and Historic England and is the only grade II* listed lido in the country.  After soaring popularity in the 1940’s, it has only been in sporadic use since the 1950’s when an attempt by Butlins to buy the building fell through. Renovated again in the 1990’s, it become disused less than a decade later. The latest campaign to restore the lido has met relentless obstacles, but enthusiastic public backing and funding means the plans to reopen in the near future are still hopeful.

SALTDEAN LIDO

Built in 1937, the lido in Saltdean is recognised for being a distinctive example of Art Deco architecture. Designed by R W H Jones, it has recently been recognised by both the Design Museum and Historic England and is the only grade II* listed lido in the country. 

After soaring popularity in the 1940’s, it has only been in sporadic use since the 1950’s when an attempt by Butlins to buy the building fell through. Renovated again in the 1990’s, it become disused less than a decade later. The latest campaign to restore the lido has met relentless obstacles, but enthusiastic public backing and funding means the plans to reopen in the near future are still hopeful.

FLINT OWL BAKERY - LEWES A nice bakery filled with expensive cakes and delicious treats. An overwhelming choice of food to fill a hungry belly. The cafe has a garden at the back where food can be enjoyed in the fresh air and sunshine, overlooked by the neighbours of Lewes High Street.   

FLINT OWL BAKERY - LEWES

A nice bakery filled with expensive cakes and delicious treats. An overwhelming choice of food to fill a hungry belly. The cafe has a garden at the back where food can be enjoyed in the fresh air and sunshine, overlooked by the neighbours of Lewes High Street.