More to follow in the next post about the Church itself.
The highlights are climbs up two of the most beautiful hills in the South Downs, both of them affording panoramic views. The first of these is Windover Hill behind Wilmington, on which is found the chalk figure of the Long Man of Wilmington – seen at close quarters on this walk. The second is High and Over, a dramatic vantage point above the Cuckmere River, with views down towards Cuckmere Haven and the sea.
Before and between these two hills are two fairly flat sections – one approaching the South Downs ridge from the north, and the other along the pretty valley of the Cuckmere River south of Alfriston. Both Wilmington and Alfriston have wonderful pubs for lunch, though in the latter village you may prefer to sample one of its two tea rooms. An alternative start from Berwick also takes in a popular pub in the village of Alciston and another near Berwick church, which was decorated by members of the Bloomsbury Group
The walk ends at the Cuckmere Inn pub by Exceat Bridge, from where there are very regular buses back to Seaford, though in summer you may prefer to walk to Seaford via Cuckmere Haven and the over the cliffs of Seaford Head, a beautiful 6.2km (3.9 miles) extension, with stunning backward views of the chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters.
Note that this walk is perfectly practical in winter – the lowland areas can be muddy, but no more so than anywhere else.
Alternative start: Berwick station to Alfriston via Alciston. This shorter start bypasses Wilmington, the Long Man and Windover Hill, but takes you through the pleasant village of Alciston – which has an idyllic pub as a possible early lunch stop – and on via Berwick church, decorated by the Bloomsbury Group, to Alfriston. From Berwick station to Alfriston, this route is 6.6km (4.1 miles), making a total walk from Berwick station to Exceat of 12.2km (7.6 miles) and from Berwick station to Seaford of 18.4km (11.4 miles).