Jack and Jill windmills are among the most distinctive landmarks of the South Downs. Eddie Start hits the high ridgeline and then descends on an ancient track to the Weald following well-defined paths but always with a view to those prominent landmarks.

1 From the car park beside the startlingly white Jill Mill walk out to the flinty track, known as Mill Lane. Turn left and follow the rising track, passing the entrance to Jack Mill (the black one).

The track arrives at a fork in 200 yards, take the left branch. The steady climb continues, soon clearing the enclosing fencing and coming to an open downland landscape. Keep to the main track, passing a dried-out dewpond on the right, to the high point beside the famous Keymer Post.

This position is a crossing for a number of paths that have probably been highways for generations. The east-west path is the well-drained South Downs Way and the post indicates distant destinations at Eastbourne and Winchester.

The north-south directions are possibly remnants of long-established trails used for gaining access from downland settlements to summer pastures on the Weald, and we still use the routes pioneered long ago.

2 Turn left through the bridle gate, just before the post, and note, in the right season, the blazing gorse bushes to the right.

Head down the rough track, with wooded Clayton Holt off to the left, across the steep coombe. There are extensive views ahead and it is possible to make out the distinctive Oldland Mill, about a mile away. Pass long-abandoned chalk diggings on the right to arrive at a fork in the track: take the left branch.

The path becomes rougher as it twists its way between scrub and passes through a bridle gate. On arriving at Underhill Lane cross to a squeeze stile and field path.

3 Follow the path as it veers right above a shallow hollow, with a clear lake down to the right. Keep to the path beside a metal railing fence and towards the end of the lake cross a stream outlet, branching to the half-left and heading for the far, right corner and a stile. Climb the slope ahead to a minor road and turn left.

Follow the road, passing between the buildings of Lodge Farm to arrive at New Road. Cross the road and enter Lodge Lane, following this for a quarter-of-a-mile to houses at the outskirts of Keymer.

4 Just before the bungalow on the left of the road take the signed, enclosed public footpath. This takes left and right turns and in a few yards arrives at the edge of a sports field.

Follow a half-left line across the field, making for an opening and bridge in the opposite bushes. Take the path through the bushes, and in the next field continue on the half-left line to a mid-fence crossing.

In the third field there is the option to take a permissive path to the right corner of the field and go left along the hedgeline to a stile. The true line of the footpath across the field maintains the earlier direction to a stile and plank bridge. The ongoing path leads to a hedge corner beside a residence, shown as Halfway on the map.

Turn right along the track, descending slightly left towards an isolated house called Woodbine at the edge of Lag Wood. Turn left on the track, crossing over a pond outlet, and in a few paces cross a stile on the left to climb on a rising path along the left woodland edge.

Keep to the edge of the field, passing over a crossing track and then over a railway bridge. The path crosses a stile and climbs along the edge of Bonny’s Wood, with Clayton Wood Memorial Garden on the left.

5 On arriving at a road in 350 yards, cross to the opposite side, take a few paces right and turn left along a right hedgeline footpath to an intermediate stile. In the following field continue along the left hedgerow for 75 yards, crossing left over a stile and boardwalk to go right in the scrub.

In a few yards turn left towards the buildings of Coldharbour Farm. Pass the stable buildings and an ornamental pond, keeping right of a cottage, and climb up the farm’s driveway. At a minor road in 250 yards turn left, following the road for a further 250 yards to a bridleway turning on the right.

6 Turn right up the well-defined track passing woodland on the left, with Wellcombe Bottom and the eastern flank of Wolstonbury Hill on the right. In just over half-a-mile, at a bridleway junction, turn left on the descending track that arrives close to an equestrian centre at Rockrose.

Continue down the bridleway and just before the road take a permissive bridleway on the right. The bridleway descends steeply, at first to the edge of woodland and, after 500 yards of rise and fall through bushes, arrives at a junction with the South Downs Way.

Turn left and cross the busy road with care. Follow the well-signed route that climbs across the car park of a golf club and veer slightly left to climb on the bridleway, with the golf course off to the right.

In three-quarters-of-a-mile, at a junction of bridleways, turn left on the South Downs Way and head towards the buildings of New Barn Farm. Keep to the main drive, which begins a left sweep to arrive back at the flinty track taken earlier, just above the windmills. Turn left down the track to the car park, from where the walk began.

Distance/Time: Five-and-three-quarter miles taking two- and-three-quarter hours.

By Car: East off the A273, half-a-mile north of Pyecombe village, into Mill Lane. Car park adjacent to Jill Mill, very busy at weekends. Start point Grid Ref TQ303134.

By Public Transport: Details from www.traveline.info or phone 0871 2002233.

What’s underfoot: Downland, scarp slope and Weald walking on well-defined tracks. Possible with a baby backpack, not possible with a baby buggy.

Thirsty Work: The Jack and Jill pub at Clayton, a mile from the start/finish.

So you don’t get lost: OS Explorer map 122