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1 - From the entrance to the bus stop lay-by at Denton Corner, turn right, passing Frost’s Garage on your left, following Mount Road round to the left and uphill where roadside parking is possible if arriving by car. At a T-junction with Falaise Road, turn right.
After a few yards, go ahead along a well-trodden path which descends into a dip and climbs beside a right-hand fence. After a little over half a mile, go through a gate, forward for 30 yards, then, when opposite a stile on your right, turn left across the ridge of Norton Hill, soon joining a terraced track which takes you down the hill towards the tiny hamlet of Norton.
2 - At the bottom of the hill, cross a lane and go ahead along the farm track opposite.
After about 250 yards, go through a swing gate, forward for 30 yards to a stile beside a gate, then half-right past an iron cattle feed container before bearing left along a valley (Devilsrest Bottom) beside a left-hand fence with a grassy slope rising on your right.
Over a stile, the path narrows between fence and hedge. Out in the open again, go right and left with a fence on your right at first, then steadily up across an arable field where there should be a well-defined path through any growing crop.
3 - Join a track over a stile and turn left. You can now follow this fine, wide grassy path for two miles up to the edge of the northern Downs escarpment. On the way, at a place called Five Lord’s Burgh, a gate on the left provides access via a signed permissive route to Denton Hill, a small area of isolated open access land, worth the short there-and-back detour if time permits.
4 - Join the South Downs Way next to the car park at the top of Bo-peep Bostal (GR 493051) which provides an alternative starting point for the walk if arriving by car.
Turn left and follow the South Downs Way for over two miles, mostly open and unrestricted by fences, rising initially to the summit of Firle Beacon.
The views from this 700ft viewpoint are exceptional. To the west, the northern downland ridge stretches away as far as Ditchling Beacon. Looking southwards towards the sea, Seaford Head and the first of the Seven Sisters can be seen as two notches in the coastline. The downland outlier of Mount Caburn, to the north east, appears quite modest in height and, to the north, on a clear day you can enjoy a wide prospect of the Weald as far as the distant heights of Ashdown Forest.
Your next objective, the radio station on Beddingham Hill, is now in view. Continue past another small parking area at the top of Firle Bostal and on to pass immediately to the right of the enclosure surrounding the radio masts.
5 - About 150 yards beyond the masts and just short of a cattle grid, turn sharply back to the left across a field to a gate, in sight, from which a clear path continues.
Prominent within the view along the Ouse valley to Newhaven from this path is the shiny silver building housing a new waste incinerator.
Where the path divides, fork left over the shoulder of a low hill, continuing over Fore Hill and Snap Hill, finally drooping down across an arable field to join a track, at a meeting of four ways, where you should turn right, uphill.
At another path junction, turn left and immediately fork right over a stile to follow a well waymarked and stiled path across paddocks, contouring along a hillside and soon entering woodland where you should ignore all side and crossing paths.
Finally, join and go forward along a potholed estate road. At a junction with Seaview Road, go ahead along Station Road which takes you straight back to Denton Corner.
- Distance/Time: Nine and a half miles/four and a half hours.
- By Car: Start from Denton between Newhaven and Seaford. Parking is possible along the estate roads (Mount Road or Station Road) used at the beginning and end of the walk, close to Denton Corner (GR 455019). Good parking also at the alternative starting points at the top of the Bo-peep Bostal (point 4) or Firle Bostal between points 4 and 5.
- By Public Transport: (Recommended). Bus 12 or 12a from Brighton or Eastbourne to Denton Corner. Frequent service.
- What’s underfoot: Excellent walking along good paths and tracks. Several ascents, all well graded.
- Thirsty Work: Pub and café close to Denton Corner. No refreshments en route.
- So you don’t get lost: OS Explorer 123