1 - For the start of the walk, make your way to Alfriston village green, known as The Tye, and set out along a tarmac path from the northern end, soon crossing the appropriately painted White Bridge over the Cuckmere River and continuing along a hedged tarmac path.

Just short of a lane, turn right along a path which runs parallel to the road. Where this path almost touches the road again before turning away to the right, join the road, go ahead to a T-junction and turn right, signposted to Litlington.

2 - After about 100 yards, fork left along a chalk and flint track, signed on a waypost to Jevington. The path climbs steadily for about two-thirds of a mile. Where another track joins from the right, bear left. At the top of the slope you will come to the edge of Lullington Heath National Nature Reserve, marked by a notice and map.

Covering 62 hectares of chalk heath, there is a rare combination of sand and chalk allowing a mix of plants thriving on both alkaline and acid soils. Accessible through a gate to the right of the Reserve Notice is Winchester’s Pond, a restored downland dewpond.

3 - To continue the walk, fork left a few yards short of the nature reserve notice, still on a clear track. Follow this track through a gate next to a second nature reserve notice and continue along a rising path, walking parallel to a left-hand fence with the deep rift of Deep Dean dropping away to your left.

Follow the path and fence as both curve left up towards the summit area of Wilmington Hill. When almost at the top, go through a bridle gate and turn sharp right with a fence on your right.

After 40 yards, when opposite a stile on your right, turn left with your back to this stile, to follow a path which soon passes high above the head of the Long Man with a panoramic view northwards into the Weald. Continue on this path until you can turn right through a bridle gate and follow a clear descending path round the shoulder of the hill.

When opposite the feet of the Long Man, up the hill on your right, turn left through a bridle gate and follow a fenced path down towards the village of Wilmington. Just short of the road bear right along a path behind the roadside hedge, finally joining the road opposite the entrance to a car park which provides an alternative starting point for the walk with free parking.

4 - Turn right along the lane (left if you are leaving the car park) passing the remains of Wilmington Priory, set back from the road, and the old flint-walled village pound, once used to contain straying cattle. Shortly turn left into Wilmington churchyard.

The ancient, propped-up yew tree in the churchyard is thought to be well over 1,000 years old. The church was once part of the Benedictine priory, founded in the 11th century. Inside, seek out an unusual stained-glass window in the 13th-century north chapel showing St Peter surrounded by bees and butterflies.

Leave the church yard via an iron gate, go left along a lane for five yards only, then right to head out across a field on a defined unfenced path with the distinctive profile of Firle Beacon ahead and, over to your left, an excellent view of the Long Man.

The origins of this impressive 225ft-high chalk figure, now distinctively outlined with white bricks, remain a mystery.

Continue through a gap and across a second field to join a lane. The Sussex Ox pub is now within easy reach along the lane to the left but the walk continues over the stile opposite, across a field, through two bridle gates and on past planted trees to join a lane over a stile.

5 - Go over the stile opposite and follow another cross-field path to another lane. Turn left and, just past the various buildings at Milton Court on your right, go right through a swing gate and diagonally across two fields.

Cross a lane and follow the left bank of the Cuckmere River as far as White Bridge, where you can turn right over the bridge, reversing your outgoing route to the start.

* If you would like to join others on this route and at the same time provide vital support for a local cause, the Charity Family Support Work is organising a sponsored walk, following a virtually identical circuit to the one described here. It will take place on Easter Monday, April 9, starting from Alfriston at 9.30am. For more details and a sponsorship form, visit www.familysupport.work.org.uk, call 01273 425699, or email admin@familysupportwork.org.uk

* Distance/Time: Six miles/three hours.

* By Car: Start from Alfriston, signposted southwards from the A27. Parking in one of the two village car parks is free for three hours but parking for longer periods in the main car park is very expensive for longer periods. The Wilmington Priory car park (GR 543042) offers an alternative, free of charge, starting the walk from point four.

* By Public Transport: Scanty bus service to Alfriston, better at weekends. More details from the Traveline website.

* What’s underfoot: All along excellent paths or tracks. One steady well-graded ascent.

* Thirsty Work: Pubs and tea rooms at Alfriston. Pub at Wilmington, half a mile off the route, pub at Milton Street about 200 yards off the route.

* So you don’t get lost: OS Explorer 123