• Start: Glynde – car park beside Glynde Reach river
  • End: Glynde – car park beside Glynde Reach river
  • Country: England
  • County: EastSussex
  • Type: Country
  • Nearest pub:
  • Ordnance Survey:
  • Difficulty: Medium
Google Map


Beginning a new series of Sunday walks, Hazel Sillver strides over the secluded downland above Glynde. The walk starts at the village car park beside the Glynde Reach river, near the station

Location: Glynde, nr Lewes, East Sussex
Distance: 6m (9.5k); about 1hr to run and 3hrs to walk.
Terrain: lots of up and down and lots of stiles.
Where to park: Glynde car park beside Glynde Reach river.

1. From the car park, turn left and walk through the village. Turn left into Ranscombe Lane. Just after the shop,
go through the gate on the right.

2. Walk across the field and into another field here follow the path beside the fence that gently slopes uphill.

3. Go through the stile/gate, following the middle grassy path. At the top you can veer off to explore Mount Caburn, on the left.

4. Rejoining the path, cross the stile it leads to and walk down the slope. At the bottom, go over the stile into Oxteddle Bottom nature reserve.

5. Follow the path around the bottom
of the dry valley and go through the middle gate beside the pond. Just after this there is a wooden post, where the path forks take the right hand path that leads diagonally uphill.

6. Go through the gate at the top and follow the path left to another gate. Go through this and along the grassy path over the field, maintaining direction.

7. Go through the gate. Turn right into Lewes Golf Club car park. Anyone wanting to avoid the golf course should now turn right, walking alongside the southerly edge of the course. Otherwise turn left. Follow the narrow path by the side of the road, walking downhill.

8. As you reach the first house, turn right towards a sign that reads Residents Only and take the little path on the right. Steps lead up through trees.

9. You will eventually re-emerge at the golf course. Follow the wooden posts across it. Stop at each fairway to check golfers arent about to hit a ball. Soon, in the distance, you will be able to see the earthwork known as The Bible, where two fields (planted with oilseed rape in summer) look like the pages of an open book.

10. The route over the golf course will bring you to a stile and back onto downland. Maintain direction, passing through a gate. Keep going to another gate, after which you follow the same direction. The path will run downhill alongside woodland.

11. After the dewpond turn sharp right, up a chalk track. When the path forks, veer left. Go through the gate/stile, across the field to another gate/stile. Walk ahead; then at the post (beside the gate), follow the grassy path left.

12. Go through the gate/stile and walk down through the trees. This opens out to a view of Glynde village
then alongside hedgerow.

13. Turn right and walk through the village to the car park.

Mount Caburn
This iconic landmark is almost 150m above sea level and was the site of an Iron Age hill fort. Archaeological finds suggest that the fort was some kind of sacred enclosure for worship and burial. Caburn has 140 burial pits, which were full of bones, coins, weapons and pottery. The hill was once covered in a forest of yew trees, but today its slopes are coated in grass and wild flowers; in fact the south scarp is the best place in the
UK to see the burnt-tip orchid.

Oxteddles Butterflies
Oxteddle Bottom is a dry valley and home to Southerham Nature Reserve. Along with other wildlife, such as linnet birds, this is a great place to spot the beautiful Adonis Blue butterfly (Lysandra bellargus). The Adonis is small and can usually be spotted flying low over vegetation such as horseshoe vetch; the females are a boring brown colour, but the males have bright azure wings, rimmed with white. They love warm enclosed chalk downland such as this and blue clouds of them can some-times be spotted during their main flights in May/June and August/September.

For a pub lunch
Head to the Trevor Arms (01273 858 208, in Glynde on sunny days theres plenty of room in the garden so no need to book.

For a cream tea
Drive to Caburn Cottages along Ranscombe Lane (about 1.2m from Glynde). Glynde Place (and its tearoom) will be closed for refurbishment until 2013.

A note to those with dogs
This walk includes many stiles. My four-legged friend accompanied me and, of course, refused every single one of them! He is young and jumps fences with ease, so this is simply prima donna behavior. In case youre unsure how to lift your large dog, the best way is to hug around the tops of their legs, rather than under the tummy. Held like this, they dont squirm. There are ponds and a few cattle water troughs en route, where they can drink.

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