Steve Kisko heads to the parish of Streat and discovers a two and-a-half mile stretch of bridleway where you can switch off from following directions and just walk ‘straight ahead’.

This walk combines far-reaching views over the Low Weald with pleasant flat meadows and open fields.



1. Start at Ditchling Beacon car park. Facing north looking out over the Low Weald below turn right to cross Ditchling Road and go through a gate on the other side. Follow the South Downs Way (SDW) along the top of the hill for one mile, then go through a gate on your left on to a bridleway that starts to take you downhill almost back on yourself. Follow this all the way down to the bottom, passing through a couple of gates along the way, until you reach the B2116. Cross over aiming for a bridleway just over to the right through a gate.

2. The next two and a half miles are easy – just keep walking straight ahead, ignoring other footpaths either side, until you reach Streat Lane. The following will give you some guidance as you go, so: In 300 yards the drive will enter woods followed by hedgerows and later emerge onto a wider track with an open field on your left. The route ahead continues onto a quiet lane which alternates between concrete and gravel surfaces, mostly flanked with hedgerows. Eventually go through a gate to the right of Meadowsweet Cottage, over a footbridge and under a railway bridge (the track between Lewes and Burgess Hill). Continue with a gradual climb and in 450 yards enter woodland and exit out the other side through a gate. Carry on past a house to another gate and out into Streat Lane. Turn right.

3. In 275 yards take a footpath on your left over a plank & stile and walk diagonally right to a stile on the other side. This funnels out to a lane, turn right and in 20 yards take a footpath on your left through a gate between barns. Then reach a stile in 20 yards and on to a further stile in the opposite hedge. Cross the next field by aiming for the far right-hand corner where you go over a stile, onto a bridleway and turn right. In 100 yards go through a wide gate. Continue, and in 300 yards you go through a gate, followed by a footbridge over the Bevern Stream and on to pass under a railway line bridge. This leads on into more open scrubland. Continue ahead into woodland a pass through a gate. When you emerge onto a farm track find a gate just ahead off to the right and enter this field. Follow the right-hand field boundary as it curves around to the left and leads out into Streat Lane. Turn left. Follow the road for nearly half a mile until you reach Streat Church on your right.

4. Take the track on your right in front of the church which goes around the left of it and in 40 yards go through a gate on your left into a burial ground. Cross it, over to a gate on the opposite side. Enter a field and walk diagonally right down across it to a stile. As you go, look over to the left to see a V-shaped planation of trees planted on the South Downs in 1887 to mark Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. Next is a fenced-in section leading to an iron gate. Go up a slight bank onto a raised track and follow it right for 40 yards then come off of it to the right indicated with a right-of-way marker post and proceed to a stile in the hedge. Another fenced-in bit leads to a stile and into a horse paddock, then keep left. At the corner, go over a stile and you meet the long two and-a-half mile section earlier in the walk. Turn left and then almost immediately turn right to enter a field. Cross it aiming for the trees opposite but then as you near them start aiming for the far left corner, cross another path and take a stile ahead into another field. It is best to follow the right field boundary here which will lead to a stile. Climb over and proceed on a track between hedges leading out to Lewes Road. Turn left to head south. After about 200 yards you should be able to climb up onto a footpath high up on the bank on your right to avoid the road.

5. You soon reach a junction where the lane bends left near the church and you go on straight up between cottages. Go through a gate and this is the start of a steady climb back up the Downs. Follow this up as it first bends left then right, until you reach the top. Turn right and follow the SDW again back to the car park.



Eight and a third miles taking just over four hours.

Public transport:

Brighton & Hove Buses bus number 79 serves Ditchling Beacon from Brighton at weekends and Bank Holidays, see Plumpton Station is about three-quarters of a mile from just after point three, see


Car park at Ditchling Beacon is National Trust and payable for non-members.


Most of the walk is relatively flat but There is a steady descent down the South Downs near the start and a steep climb back up near the end. A little bit of road walking so take care to look out for vehicles. Plenty of stiles.

Thirsty work:

An ice-cream van is normally stationed in Ditchling Beacon car park. Otherwise take your own provisions.


Always follow the Countryside Code when exploring the great outdoors: Keep a dog under close control or on a lead if signs indicate.


OS Explorer 122.