12 ISSUES FOR £24 Subscribe to Sussex Life today click here

Sussex walk around Alfriston village

PUBLISHED: 11:43 06 December 2016 | UPDATED: 11:15 13 December 2016

There are lots of different ways to enjoy the view! A paraglider soars over the Cuckmere River near Litlington

There are lots of different ways to enjoy the view! A paraglider soars over the Cuckmere River near Litlington

Archant

Enjoy riverbanks and downland views – and even buy your Christmas wines – on this circular walk encompassing Alfriston village and Rathfinny vineyard by Hazel Sillver

The White Horse

Known as the Litlington White Horse, this chalk filly trots over the South Downs, above the Cuckmere River, southwest of Litlington village. Three local men are said to have cut it into the hillside by the light of a full moon in 1924. And it is believed that it replaced an ancient chalk horse which had become overgrown. 


Rathfinny Wines

The Rathfinny Wine Estate sits on sheltered south-facing chalk slopes of the South Downs, near Alfriston. Established in 2010, it aims to become one of the largest single vineyards in Europe, eventually producing one million bottles of Sussex Sparkling a year. This fizzy wine (made with Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir grapes) will be available from 2018. Until then, their light, crisp wines – made from Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc grapes – are available to enjoy under the Cradle Valley label. To taste and buy Rathfinny wines, head to the Gun Room in Alfriston (walking north through the village, head down the alley/twitten on the right after the Moonrakers restaurant, following the sign to the Alfriston Heritage Centre).

Open 10am-4pm daily; 01323 870022; rathfinnyestate.com

Where to refuel

There are several good pubs, restaurants, and tearooms in Alfriston. Both The George Inn (01323 870319; thegeorge-alfriston.com) and The Star Inn (01323 870495; thestaralfriston.co.uk) pubs, as well as the Chestnuts tearoom (01323 870959; chestnutsalfriston.co.uk), all welcome dogs.


Route

• Location: Alfriston, near Seaford, East Sussex

• Distance: 6m (10km) – 2.5-3 hours to walk.

• Terrain: lots of up and down; grass, chalk, and woodland paths; and riverbanks (which can be muddy)

• Where to park: In the large pay and display car park at the north end of Alfriston village.


The walk

1 From the main car park at the north end of Alfriston village, head past a house signed The Willows, past the coach park, towards a gate. Go over the stile, and soon head over another stile. At the signpost head left, then immediately right onto the riverpath, which leads past cottages. Maintain direction past a white bridge, heading across grass, and then back onto the path past Alfriston Church, and alongside the river.

2 Go through Pat’s Gate. Stay on the river path for another mile, passing through three more gates.

3 The path leads through hedgerow to a hard track. Head left here and then immediately right before the bridge, going through the gate back onto the same riverside path. Stay on the riverpath for another half mile. Eventually the path leads over a stile.

4 At the bridge, head right upslope into a field. Turn left, walking through the middle of the field and then through a gate. Carry on through the middle of the next field towards another gate.

5 Head over the road and through the next gate. The path divides – head left. You will now see Rathfinny Wine Estate to your right. The path soon leads through hedgerow.

6 Go through the gate, along the edge of the field, and through another gate. Maintain direction, walking along the field edge, next to scrub, with views over the vineyard.

7 Go through the gate and bear right, heading along the wide hard track between hedgerows.

8 The path runs past Seaford golf course on your left. Soon head right through the gate marked with the red Rathfinny shield, and walk downhill on the chalky path. Eventually, at the signpost, maintain direction across the hard track, and continue along the narrow path, which soon leads into woodland.

9 At the signpost, head right. The path leads through scrub and then heads up the side of a field, alongside hedgerow.

10 Go through the vineyard gate and immediately head left, walking uphill along the edge of a field. Eventually, at the top of the hill, the path bears right.

11 The path now narrows and leads between fencing. Soon, ignore the stile on your left, and carry on along the path between hedgerows for a half mile.

12 Ignore all gates you pass, and continue through woodland until you reach the road.

13 At the road, head left and walk through Alfriston village. Eventually, at the small square and the market cross, take the right-hand road, which leads past the Old Bank, back to the car park.

More from Christmas

Thursday, December 15, 2016

With views, cosy pubs, endless walks and lively towns and cities, Sussex is the only place to be during the holiday season

Read more
Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Wine expert Jilly Goolden heads to the high street for the best tipples to accompany the festive feast

Read more
Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Enjoy riverbanks and downland views – and even buy your Christmas wines – on this circular walk encompassing Alfriston village and Rathfinny vineyard by Hazel Sillver

Read more
Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Our guide to the best events in and around Sussex. Edited by Erica Gilbert

Read more
Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Wine writer Jilly Goolden shares her top tipples for seasonal boozy presents

Read more
Thursday, November 3, 2016

Brighton’s Christmas light’s switch-on is almost upon us and this year promises to be bigger, better and more Brighton than ever

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad
Sussex Life Application Link


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory

Sussex's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search