Did a walk yesterday from Lewes to Eastbourne via the South Downs Way. The weather was brilliant for most of the day - warm with light breeze and clear sky, until later in the afternoon.
Normally most people who start at Eastbourne, but I was planning on ending there to catch the sunset at Beachy Head (plus there are more trains from Eastbourne back to London). Alas, I arrived at Beachy Head at 4.30 pm. Not really looking forward to waiting a couple of hours for the sunset, I decided to leg it to Eastbourne to catch the earlier train. Just as well as it was getting colder and the clouds were kinda ruining the view...
The route itself is straight forward and well marked. The hills can get windy at times and there are no trees to shelter from rain or the sun. You can begin at Southease (saving you a couple of miles as the railway station is right on the South Downs Way) or Glynde. I chose to start at Lewes because I didn't want to wait half and hour for the train to either stations.
At Alfriston, the South Downs Way divides with one taking you to Exceat (and Seven Sisters) via the Vanguard Way and another through Jevington and the Long Man of Wilmington. Both routes will end at Eastbourne, with the coastal route (Seven Sisters and Beachy Head) a couple of miles longer. This route is actually more scenic and worth the extra couple of miles on your precious knees.
Distance: 23.5 miles (37.8 km)
Height gain: 3862 feet