1 - From Ore Station, exit on to Hughenden Road, turn left and then left again into Mount Pleasant Road. Almost immediately, cross at the traffic lights and continue direction past Calvert Methodist Church. (Bus users and drivers follow the route from here.) At the top of Mount Pleasant Road (about 350 yards), turn right into Priory Road. In a few paces, go across the road and straight ahead along a tarmac path through a burial ground.

Cross another road and continue direction downhill on a tarmac path. Bear right and then left down steps by a seat, with a large grass area on the right and allotment gardens on the left.

2 - At the bottom of the hill, turn right on the footway along the main road (A259). In about 300 yards, cross at the traffic lights, then go straight ahead over a zebra crossing and turn left along Harold Road.

In a short distance, at a footpath sign, bear right up a long, straight tarmac path, with a handrail on the first steep part. Go up a series of steps ahead and, at the top, turn right, which leads into High Wickham.

Continue uphill with good views to the right over the sea and town, with Hastings Castle on top of West Hill. At the end of this cul-de-sac, go through a gap by Gate 1 leading into Hastings Country Park (HCP), which was designated as a country park in 1971. The Nature Reserve is the largest area of the High Weald ridge that meets the sea.

For those who would like a longer route through this extensive open area known as East Hill, bear right and do an anti-clockwise circuit on higher ground and then re-join the main route at point 3. Do not to go near the cliff edge or downhill on the coast path.

Otherwise, immediately past the house on the left, turn left on a grass path uphill. Continue under trees, then follow the footpath across more level ground for about 250 yards.

3 - At a “Welcome to Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve” sign and an information board, leave the open space and go along a stony track. In a short distance this becomes a metalled road where a footpath sign confirms this as a right-of-way.

Pass by a caravan park on the right and, at the public road, turn right. Pass by Shearbarn Holiday Park on the right and another holiday park on the left, and continue on what is now a rough track, coming to HCP Gate 3.

Go through the gap by a waymark post and follow what is once again a metalled road. In about a quarter of a mile pass HCP marker post 11 on the right.

4 - In a short distance, immediately before a prominent green Sustrans sign, turn left along a grass footpath between fences. Continue uphill until coming to a road and turn left along the footway.

In a few paces, go across the road and up Mill Lane. At the top of the hill, turn left through a gap by HCP Gate 7 to reach the viewpoint known as North’s Seat. Here there are seats and a topograph indicating directions and distances to prominent places which can be seen on a clear day, and some more distant ones which definitely cannot!

Go back to Mill Lane and turn left, going downhill on what has now become a rough track. On the way, pass close by two masts, which have been visible for some while.

At a sharp right-hand bend, turn left (but not into a field); and then in a few paces turn right by a chain-link fence. Follow the footpath downhill and down steps to the road.

5 - Cross the A259 with great care and go down a footpath with shallow steps beside a board fence. In 75 yards, turn right by a footpath sign along a twitten and then through scrub. On coming to open space, keep to the left through more scrub going downhill to a road under power lines.

Turn left, then immediately past the kennels and cattery turn right along a twitten going downhill. Go up a few steps and along the footpath between fences, then descend into woodland and over the railway bridge between high security fences.

Continue on the footpath uphill and, at the track leading to the pig farm on the right, turn left. In a few paces, turn right to keep on the public footpath to a road and turn left. Follow the road for about half a mile until coming to The Ridge (B2093).

6 - Turn right and cross at the bollards to continue direction for just a few paces. Turn left into Pine Avenue, a byway which is a surfaced road for the first part only.

At the bottom of the byway, cross Pilot Road into Parker Road, opposite to the left. Take the next left into Upper Broomgrove Road, bearing right at the bottom to the right of a children’s play area.

Go across the railway bridge and then uphill, turning right into Broomgrove Road. At the junction, turn right into Mount Pleasant Road. Train users should take the next right into Hughenden Road to return to Ore Station.

  • Hastings Museum and Art Gallery has an exhibition entitled The Nature Of Things, Part II until April 20. Visit www.hmag.org.uk for details


  • Distance/Time: Six miles/three hours (from Ore Station); optional extra, up to half a mile/quarter of an hour
  • By Car: On-street parking in Mount Pleasant Road (upper part without yellow lines)
  • By Public Transport: Trains to Ore (on the Hastings to Ashford line). Buses from Hastings (alight in Mount Pleasant Road, near Calvert Methodist Church). Timetable information from Traveline: 0871 200 2233 or www.traveline.info
  • What’s underfoot: Field and woodland paths and tracks may be slippery in places when wet; no stiles but a few steep climbs
  • Thirsty Work: None en route, so take a drink and/or picnic. Pubs and restaurants in Hastings.
  • So you don’t get lost: OS Explorer 124; also Landranger 199. A compass would be useful for general direction

Click here for a full-sized map of the Hastings circular walk