1 - If arriving by train, from the station exit turn right (north) towards the mini-roundabout and turn right along the High Street. Cross at the pedestrian crossing, and in a few paces, turn left into Peelings Lane to pass Westham Village Hall on the right.

If starting from the car park, go out to Peelings Lane and turn right. Almost opposite is a pond on which there is usually wildfowl to be seen.

Continue along Peelings Lane, taking particular care after the footway ends. Go past Castle Farm on the right, ignoring the footpath sign and the 1066 Country Walk sign pointing into a field on the right.

We will join part of this regional route from Pevensey to Rye later on but for now the road ahead is part of the 1066 Country Walk extension to Eastbourne.

After a further 600 yards, directly opposite St Johns Drive, turn right on a marked footpath. Follow the waymark to the left, behind the new houses, then between fences to go over a stile.

Continue in the same direction in the field, uphill through a post and string fence. Bear left at the top towards a fingerpost and go through a narrow path between hedges. On approaching Mill Farm, turn left just past another fingerpost to go down the farm track to Hankham Hall Road.

2 - Turn right along the road and, in a very short distance, go across the bridge over the Pevensey by-pass (A27). Continue for a further 400 yards and just around a sharp left-hand bend, look for and go over a stile which is hidden in the hedge on the right.

Follow along the left-hand field edge to cross an overgrown stile to the left of a metal gate. Continue straight ahead in a north-westerly direction towards some saplings surrounded by a wooden fence in the middle of the field. Then bear slightly left, aiming for a fingerpost by a metal gate more towards the left-hand end of the farther field edge.

[If horse-jumping is taking place in the field, it will be necessary to go around the temporary fencing to get to the farther side of the field.] Go through the gate and continue straight ahead towards a wood, crossing a track which leads to a property on the right shown as Montague on the map. In less than 100 yards, go over a stile on the left. The path then goes through a short piece of woodland to cross a new footbridge to a fingerpost and a farm track.

3 - Turn right along the track, passing glasshouses on the left. Follow the right-of-way which now becomes a grass path straight ahead, going over three stiles in succession.

The footpath then continues downhill to the bottom left-hand corner of the field. Here there is a stile to cross, leading along a rather overgrown path to another stile and a road.

Turn right and, in a few paces at a junction, continue to the right along the road signed Rickney. This is another part of the 1066 Country Walk Eastbourne extension.

Follow this road for just over half-a-mile, ignoring footpaths on the left. Also, note Elmhurst Farmhouse with its unusual colour contrast on the left.

4 - Just before a sharp left-hand bend, turn right by a bridleway sign and immediately right again through a small iron gate. The route is now part of the original 1066 Country Walk leading to Pevensey which is the traditional site of the Norman landing in 1066.

Go along the bridleway beside the fence, then through a gate and straight ahead into an open field. Where the field narrows, veer to the left alongside the river, as a waymark on the right indicates.

Follow alongside the river for about one-and-a-half miles across this area known as Hankham Level. On the way, see a new-looking wind pump on the right which glistens in the sunshine. Also note, but do not cross, a substantial footbridge across the river on the left.

Where the bridleway veers away from the river, go through a gate and follow the route between hedges. On coming to another gate, go through and cross the road (Pevensey bypass) with great care and through the gate directly opposite. Continue alongside a drainage ditch, and on coming to houses, go straight ahead up the track to a road.

5 - Turn left along the roadside footway around the double bend to view the Old Mint House on the left. This 14th century building dates from the time when coins were minted locally. Cross the road with care to the pub opposite and turn right to enter Pevensey Castle grounds through the archway.

Unless visiting the Anderitum Roman Fort, which was made into a medieval castle following the Norman Conquest, follow the public footpath to the farther end. This large open area is suitable for a picnic. Leave the castle grounds through a gate and go along the footway to see the parish church of St Mary on the left.

Continue along the footway, and, just past the school entrance, go across the zebra crossing if returning to the car park. Turn left past The Heron pub and then right into Peelings Lane. If returning to the station, continue past the zebra crossing and turn left at the mini-roundabout.

  • Distance/Time: Five-and-a-half miles/two-and-a-quarter hours; a little less if starting from the car park
  • By Car: Use small car park (free) adjacent to Westham Village Hall in Peelings Lane (north of High Street, B2191). Please do not park in area marked for residents only
  • By Public Transport: Trains to Pevensey and Westham (frequent service on the Coastway line from Brighton and Hastings). Buses (55) limited service only. Timetable information from Traveline: 0871 2002233 or www.traveline.info
  • What’s underfoot: Mostly level field paths, which may be muddy if wet, and minor roads
  • Thirsty Work: The Heron, Westham High Street (near start/ finish) and The Royal Oak & Castle Inn, Market Square, Pevensey. Also, other refreshment places in Pevensey and Westham
  • So you don’t get lost: OS Explorer 123 or 124; also Landranger 199. A compass would be useful for general direction

Click here for a full-sized map of the Westham circular