With country and coast, plus rolling vineyards and chocolate box villages, Sussex is filled with romantic walks to take your special someone this Valentine’s Day 

Seven Sisters Country Park 

The Argus: See the iconic Coastguard Cottages while walking in Seven Sisters Country ParkSee the iconic Coastguard Cottages while walking in Seven Sisters Country Park (Image: Getty)

Wrap up warm to wander with your loved one along Cuckmere River valley and the chalky cliffs of Seven Sisters Country Park. Not only is this one of the most romantic walks in Sussex, but it also ticks off some of the region’s most superlative sights.  

Begin at Seven Sisters Country Park Visitor Centre and follow the snaking river as it ebbs to the coast at Cuckmere Haven. As the postcard views of Coastguard Cottages come into view, you’ll begin to feel the fresh salty-sea air kiss your face.  

When you arrive on the pebbly beach, take a left towards the gleaming Seven Sisters, seven chalky cliffs that zigzag along the coast towards Birling Gap. Continue your walk up and over the grass-covered cliffs for some of the most spectacularly romantic views on the Sussex coastline.  

Seven Sisters Country Park is situated at Exceat, near Seaford, East Sussex, BN25 4AD, www.sevensisters.org.uk  

The white cliffs are beautiful but also very fragile. Please stay at least 5m back from the cliff edge and cliff base at all times. Be aware of tide times, the sea comes in & out twice a day and it is possible to get cut off by the incoming tide. 


Ditchling Common Country Park 

This secluded country park features open grassland, tree-lined paths and stunning views towards the South Downs. A labyrinth of tracks dart around the 188-acre park for you and your significant other to choose from. Consider the one-mile circular nature trail, marked by the ‘Dizzy the Ditchling Dragonfly’ signposts, which includes a passage through cattle-friendly kissing gates.   

You’ll first turn left at the car park and cross the bridge to reach Ditchling Common Pond. Further along, pass through a verdant wooded area of mature oak and willow trees before passing a grassy area where cattle graze during summer. Remember to pop back in spring, when much of the common is carpeted in beautiful bluebells. You could also extend your walk into gorgeous Ditchling, with its charming pubs and the Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft.  

Ditchling Common, Folders Lane East, Ditchling Common, Hassocks, BN6 8SG, www.woodlandtrust.org.uk 


East Dean to Beachy Head   

The Argus: Beachy Head Lighthouse is just one of the sights you'll see on this stunning national trail Beachy Head Lighthouse is just one of the sights you'll see on this stunning national trail (Image: Getty)

This romantic route takes in one of the most cinematic parts of the South Downs Way, a national trail carved into the coastline covering 100 miles from Eastbourne to Winchester.  

You’ll start in the beautiful hamlet of East Dean, four miles west of Eastbourne, at the foot of the South Downs, walking to Beachy Head via Birling Gap. Set off from East Dean and Friston Village Hall opposite the Tiger Inn pub. Pass the village green and St Simon & St Jude's Church, built between the 11th and 13th centuries, with a more recent 19th-century extension added. 

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Huddle together as you cover ground on the grassy roadside stretch on Gilberts Drive, weaving down the valley towards Birling Gap Road. You could break for a cosy hot chocolate or warming tea at Birling Gap’s Cafe before following the South Downs Way over the ancient clifftop path. This downlands route leads walkers to the iconic Beachy Head Lighthouse.  

You could either follow the same path back to the starting point or loop around to create a rectangle-shaped route. This should take three to four hours and cover around seven miles. Pack a flask of hot tea and your favourite snacks to share along the way. 

East Dean and Friston Village Hall, Village Green Lane, East Dean, BN20 0DR, www.edfvillagehall.org.uk  


Cissbury Ring 

The Argus: You can see all the way to the Isle of Wight from Cissbury Ring on a clear dayYou can see all the way to the Isle of Wight from Cissbury Ring on a clear day (Image: Laurence Perry)

If your idea of romance is being steeped in 5,000 years of extraordinary history on a winter’s yomp, plump for a walk around Worthing’s Cissbury Ring. This hulking, green-covered mound is the oldest hillfort in Sussex, covering around 65 acres of land. It’s also one of the highest, soaring 184-metres high. 

This archaeologically rich site features Neolithic flint mines, ramparts, and ditches that are the remnants of defensive walls. Cover the entire ring and you’ll be met with far-reaching views across Sussex stretching as far as the English Channel towards the Isle of Wight on a crisp-clear day.  

Cissbury Ring lies just south of Monarch’s Way, Britain’s second-longest signed walking trail, and two miles from the South Downs Way, making it a rewarding romantic walk on its own or as part of an extended hike.  
Cissbury Ring, Near Findon, West Sussex, www.nationaltrust.org.uk 



The Argus: Stroll through Nymans' Grade II-listed gardens Stroll through Nymans' Grade II-listed gardens (Image: Andrew Butler)

Nymans, a romantic, ruined manor house near Haywards Heath, is nestled amid 300 acres of ancient woodland and bucolic fields sliced with picturesque tracks. This hugely popular National Trust site draws visitors for its delicious Sussex Weald scenery and intimate Grade II-listed gardens. The house is beautiful, too, despite its partially dilapidated state following a devastating fire in 1947.  

Enjoy a long walk among the woods, gardens and house. Seek out Nymans’ second-hand bookshop, located in a former Potting Shed within the grounds, and steal a kiss beneath the towering redwoods. From February 11 to March 6, there’s another reason to explore Nymans estate on a romantic walk: the grounds are lit with twinkling lanterns lining trees as part of Ignite: Fire & Fantasy trail. 

Nymans, Handcross, near Haywards Heath, RH17 6EB, www.nationaltrust.org.uk 


Harting Down 

The Argus: Harting Down is one of the county's largest ancient downlands Harting Down is one of the county's largest ancient downlands (Image: John Miller)

Harting Down is among the largest of Sussex’s ancient chalk downland areas, made up of rippling fields, shrubland and forests. Embark on a circular walk from the car park and follow the South Downs Way east towards Beacon Hill. Wander across deserted hilltops, kissed with a soothing winter’s glow to be met with show-stopping Weald and North Downs views.  

On this compelling walk, you could discover the ridge of an Iron Age hillfort and what remains of a Napoleonic war telegraph station. Continuing south from Beacon Hill, you’ll pass through yew woods, known as the darkest place on the downs. Here, even during winter, it’s possible to hear the soothing birdsong of skylarks, wren, thrush and finch. To complete this fairy tale four-mile walk, continue through the woods and back up onto Harting Down. 

Harting Down car park, GU31 5PN, www.nationaltrust.org.uk 


Pevensey Bay 

The Argus: Take a romantic ramble around the ruins of Pevensey CastleTake a romantic ramble around the ruins of Pevensey Castle (Image: Jim Holden)

Pevensey Bay, positioned between Eastbourne and Bexhill, makes for a heavenly winter walk with your other half. From a fishing village to a holiday resort — occupied by fishermen, smugglers and even the Napoleonic defence forces — Pevensey Bay dates back centuries. 

This pretty spot is more of a long stretch than a bay, featuring a wide shore dotted with fishing boats and weather-beaten timber sea defences. Stick to the southwest section of the bay, with the opposite end often flooded during winter.  

After walking the seafront, share a portion of vinegar-soaked fish and chips at Rose's Fish Bar and continue your romantic ramble for one mile inland to Pevensey Castle. This hauntingly beautiful 4th-century fortress was the landing site of William the Conqueror's army in 1066. Now managed by English Heritage, you could wander among the former battlegrounds and trace the castle’s medieval walls.  

Pevensey Bay, BN24 6EH, www.visiteastbourne.com 


The Long Man of Wilmington to Alfriston  

The Argus: The mysterious figure carved into the South Downs is one of the largest in EuropeThe mysterious figure carved into the South Downs is one of the largest in Europe (Image: Getty)

For a date with a difference, begin at Wilmington’s St Mary and St Peter Church to first observe the eerie but beautiful graveyard. Here, couples are met with the Ancient Wilmington Yew Tree, thought to be around 1,600 years old. A short distance west of the churchyard you’ll follow the signposted path towards the famous Long Man of Wilmington. The route is around one mile and takes roughly 20 minutes, cutting through the countryside.  

The mysterious figure carved into the South Downs is the largest of its kind in Europe, while the tumbling landscape surrounding it is among the most jaw-dropping in England. Take time to admire your surroundings before continuing towards Alfriston.  

This is one of Sussex’s most beguiling and oldest villages, lying in the Cuckmere valley. Its main strip is the perfect endpoint for this romantic roam. Take a warming seat by the crackling fire at The Star, the village’s award-winning former smugglers' inn on the High Street. You could continue your romantic walk by heading south to the ravishing Rathfinny Estate. The vineyard, winery and restaurant lie 1.5 miles south of the village and offer romantic views of rolling vines.  



The Argus:

Explore some of Wakehurst’s 500 acres of grounds, including a world-beating Botanical Garden, centred on a sprawling Grade II-listed house. A Sussex offshoot of Kew Gardens, Wakehurst is typically covered in a sparkling winter’s frost in February, making it perfect for a romantic walk with your loved one.  

Lose yourselves wandering among the dazzling Winter Garden, home to 33,000 plants of 46 species. The paths weave around a series of mature Himalayan silver birch with their pewter-hued trunks, and attractive Tibetan cherry trees. Gaze at the pops of snowdrops and purple cyclamen among the Siberian dogwood and witch hazel. There are also woods, lakes and a walled garden to explore hand in hand.  

Wakehurst, Selsfield Road, Haywards Heath, RH17 6TN, www.kew.org/wakehurst