9 great walks in Sussex with pubs along the way
- Credit: Unsplash/Ben Collins
There's nothing quite as satisfying as tucking into a Sunday roast after stretching your legs in the countryside. Here are nine great pub walks across Sussex so you can explore the area and have a pint-shaped reward too...
The pub: The George is situated in the lovely village of Burpham, near Arundel, and serves tasty modern pub food (including vegetarian options), made with locally sourced ingredients; a children’s menu is available on Sundays. Booking is advisable.
The walk: Enjoy a circular walk that encompasses the banks of the River Arun, or head up onto the Downs. To do a four-and-a half mile downland stroll, park in Burpham, and then head south to Wepham village. From Wepham, take the public footpath up onto the Downs past Norfolk Clump. At Wepham Down, where paths meet, walk straight on, then immediately left, before soon heading right up slope. The bridleway leads over Barpham Hill, from where there are good views; head slightly back on yourself at the gate, walking westward along the field edge; head left at the signpost, through a gate, then straight on into woodland. After a long walk through woodland, head right downhill past hazel trees, and over three stiles; then walk upslope along the edge of the field, before following the lane back to Wepham.
Dogs: Welcome in the pub
The pub: The Anchor Inn is an 18th century country pub on the banks of the River Ouse, north of Lewes. Enjoy hearty pub food, vegetarian dishes, and sandwiches in the large garden. Once your lunch has settled you could hire a two, four, or six-seater boat, and paddle along the river, where you might spot a kingfisher.
The walk: There are two circular walk options. You could park at Barcombe Mills and walk north along the disused railway line to the pub; then, after lunch, head back along the riverbank (two and a half miles). Alternatively, park at the Anchor Inn, and head north along the riverbank, before looping back through Burtenshaw’s Wood and a section of Roman Road (three and a half miles).
Dogs: Welcome in the garden
READ MORE: The best coastal cafes in Sussex
The pub: The New Inn is an 18th century coaching inn near the coast in the historic, pretty village of Winchelsea, near Rye. Enjoy traditional, British pub fare, sandwiches, ploughman's, vegetarian options, or dishes from the children’s menu, served inside or in the garden.
The walk: From Winchelsea, join the 1066 Country Walk, which snakes around the north-west tip of the village, then runs into Station Road. You can do a six-miler by heading right on the footpath to Rye, and then looping back through Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, or a longer circuit upon the 1066 Country Walk to Rye. Alternatively, enjoy a stroll along the Royal Military Canal by heading onto the Saxon Shore Way.
Dogs: Dogs are welcome
The pub: The lovely 18th century Star and Garter pub sits at the foot of the South Downs in East Dean village, near Goodwood. Locally sourced ingredients are used to produce an exciting menu of beautifully presented, tasty food, including vegetarian options.
The walk: Head up onto the South Downs to enjoy a (four and a half miles) circular stroll: from the pub head north, past the church, out of the village on the bridleway. The path leads uphill, then through forest, where it eventually merges with the West Sussex Literary Trail. Upon meeting the South Downs Way head right, walking east for half a mile; then turn right, along the bridleway that leads down slope to Brockhurst Bottom; maintain direction upon the footpath that eventually runs into New Road and back into East Dean village.
Dogs: Dogs are welcome
The pub: The George Inn, in the village of Robertsbridge, north of Battle, is a former 18th century coaching inn. The friendly pub serves hearty, modern dishes made with locally sourced produce; the menu includes vegetarian options, and delicious puddings.
The walk: To do a five mile circular, follow the public footpath south-east out of Robertsbridge village, through Park Wood, past Keepers Cottages, to John’s Cross; after crossing the main road, pass Mountfield Court, and head north-west over the railway line; finally, walk north along the railway line, towards Robertsbridge.
Dogs: Welcome in the pub
The pub: The Beachy Head is a vintage pub with plenty of history. It has been a working pub since the 1880s, and was even used as a listening post in World War Two. Enjoy hearty favourites and pub classics, as well as cask ales, fine wines, and plenty of British gins.
The walk: Enjoy spectacular views of the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs on this scenic journey. Start your walk in Seaford, and follow the coastal trail that ascends to Seaford Head Nature Reserve. Continue onto Hope Gap where you can reach the beach, before following the trail to Cuckmere Haven. Make your way across this to the Birling Gap, then walk to Belle Tout Lighthouse. Follow that direction towards Beachy Head, where you'll find the pub of the same name. Head along to Eastbourne to finish the path, before looping back round to get back to the start.
Dogs: Welcome in the bar area
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The pub: The charming Pelham Arms on Lewes high street know how to put together a fine meat-filled meal. They have their own smokehouse, hand grind their own meat for their burgers, and use local suppliers for that true farm to table feel. Tuck into a meal alongside a glass of wine from Lewes' own Plumpton Wine Estate.
The walk: Start at Lewes train station, following the road towards Priory Road, then heading to Southover High Street. From here head towards Ashcombe Windmill, where after following the path you will approach the top of a hill. Turn left onto South Downs Way and stay in this direction, where you will eventually reach Castle Hill Nature Reserve. Continue on the South Downs Way, pass the Blackcap water tap, before taking the stairs onto the Plumpton Plain t-junction. Here you can make your way to Lewes.
Dogs: Welcome in the bar area
The pub: The Nevill Crest and Gun is a gorgeous pub with an abundance of breezy and bright spaces to eat, including a large outdoor area. It has a large menu filled with cosy treats, and caters well to vegetarians and gluten-free visitors too. As well as this it has a lovely Sunday lunch menu, with many cuts of meat as well as a nut roast.
The walk: Leave the pub car park, turning right, and passing by the Holy Trinity Eridge Church. From here, turn right onto the public footpath, and continue on this until you arrive at a car park which is home to the Eridge Rocks. Return onto the main road, head right towards the T-junction, then follow this onto woodland path, before heading to another T-junction by the Veteran Oak. From here follow the boardwalks towards Nature Reserve Car Park, to then cross over to the Decoy Pond. After this follow the main track, head off at the right fork, and soon you'll be able to retrace your steps back to the pub.
Dogs: Dog-friendly, and will provide a bowl of water if your dog is pooched after the walk
The pub: The Coach and Horses pub is a vibrant family-run pub that has a locally-sourced, seasonal menu of dishes. Try the Coach cheese burger with mac sauce, red cabbage slaw and hand cut chips, or those with a sweet tooth will love indulging one chocolate mayo cake with dark caramel and passion fruit sorbet.
The walk: Starting from the pub car park, head right from the Coach and Horses Lane, then turn right when you reach the junction. Turn left and follow the path to a footbridge, cross this, then turn and keep left on the signposted path junction. Cross another small footbridge, and follow this path to School Lane until you reach Collingford Lane. Take a sharp left and follow the downhill path behind the village school. Once you reach the driveway, go across this to the Tanyard Lane junction, and follow this to Brookhouse Bottom. Follow this then reach the stile by Rough Acre, before crossing numerous stiles within a short distance of each other. Once you've gone through the woodland loop back to Tanyard Lane, and turn right then almost immediately turn left back onto Coach Lane to go back to the start.
Dogs: Welcome in the bar area and bar areas of the restaurant