South Downs walk - East Hill and Saddlescombe

View towards Devil's Dyke from Saddlescombe

View towards Devil's Dyke from Saddlescombe - Credit: Deirdre Huston

Climb up East Hill to enjoy downland vantage points over Saddlescombe Farm and the Devil’s Dyke Estate

Saddlescombe Farm Donkey Wheel

Saddlescombe Farm Donkey Wheel - Credit: Deirdre Huston

1. Enter Saddlescombe Farm on foot, via one of the two access lanes. At the gates, see a Newtimber Hill National Trust sign. Go through the walker’s gate and follow the South Downs Way right. At the three-way signpost, turn right. Go through a metal walker’s gate and straight on past a signpost.Divert right to visit the Information Barn & Wildflour Café, if appropriate.

Continue straight ahead past some farm workers’ cottages. On your right, there’s a sign to the donkey wheel. To investigate, climb over the stile and follow the signs. Back on the South Downs Way, go through a gate.

2. Almost immediately, go straight ahead on the South Downs Way at a four-way signpost. This track may have been used in the past by sheep drovers.

3. This is the point where our walk splits. Walk right through the gate, following the signed bridleway and Sussex Border Path. Glance back to Saddlescombe Farm and look further afield as you soak up

the fabulous downland vistas. At the top of the hill, go through a gate. Walk diagonally right to another gate.

4. Turn left. From this magnificent ridge, spot the renowned Jack and Jill windmills to your right. Climb steadily, ignoring a narrow gate. Continue through a wide metal gate. The village of Pyecombe and the A23 come into view. Go through a gate to the signpost.

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5. Turn left and walk along beside a fence on the signed South Downs Way. Walk down the hill. Go through a gate and continue. Arrive back at point 3 and return to the start.


Location: Saddlescombe Farm, near Devil’s Dyke, Saddlescombe Road, Brighton

Distance: Two-and-a-half miles – about an hour to walk

Terrain: grass or mud paths, may be uneven or have gradients


Where to park: There is limited parking opposite. Alternatively, try Summer Down Car Park (BN45 7DD)

Public Transport: a bus service from central Brighton terminates at the Devil’s Dyke car park – alight approximately 40+ minutes away from Saddlescombe Farm if you want to include an invigorating walk over the Downs as part of your visit

Map: O.S.Explorer 122 Brighton and Hove

Navigation: straightforward

Dog-friendly? This is a working farm. Dogs must be under close control or on leads. For a longer nine-mile walk, see Route 14, The Heart of the Historic Downlands in the second edition of my guidebook, Day Walks on the South Downs. This route also takes in peaceful and atmospheric Newtimber Church where farm tenants attended, and may have been buried

Further information: Maude Robinson’s A South Down farm in the 1860s

Saddlescombe Farm:

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