Sussex / UK
I love Ditchling beacon. No matter what direction you come from, no matter what time of year it is, it offers stunning views of Sussex.
With dog walkers, hikers, runners and cyclists roaming these paths. The routes which lead up to the beacon are full of people going in one direction or another. Although the activity differs, you’re never short of a friendly “Hello”. It makes you feel like part of the community – albeit the community who likes to wake up early and drag the kids up a hill.
This little route makes for a great family walk. Our youngest (4 1/2 years) managed it well although got a little tired at the very top. A snack and a short break and he was fine for the descent.
The weather was dry, windy and overcast with patches of sun, overall pretty chilly.
The hike took us just over 2 hours, which included the usual child faffing:
- stopping to look at rabbit holes
- catching sheep (unsuccessfully)
- and a worryingly large number of pee breaks
The hike begins at a carpark found at the bottom of the Ditchling Bostall. There is a nice little walk along Underhill Lane before turning onto Burnthouse Bostal. A muddy path that leads straight up.
The first section of this walk is basically uphill. But it’s not long and arduous. In fact the path takes you through trees, past fields until you reach enough height that the views begin.
It’s important to note that at this time of year it’s muddy and quite slippery, especially at the bottom.
The path joins the Southdowns way and leads right up to the Beacon. This section runs along the top with views to the left of a flat sussex and views to the right of rolling hills and sea.
From the beacon the path back to the carpark takes a steep descent. This proved to be fun for the kids and a little scary for the adults.
Once more the landscape changes often along the descent with a final path in a small patch of woodland.
Lots of fun and just about right form my littlest one (4 1/2 yrs). It’s very muddy in winter though so bring a spare pare of shoes/clothes.
At the top it was very cold, much colder than when we started, gloves, thermals and hats needed, also a spare pair of gloves for the littlies as they slip often.
Sebastian’s thoughts (11yrs)
I really like walking with my family and seeing the sheep, getting muddy was really awful.
Oliver’s thoughts (4 1/2yrs)
I liked when I was waving a stick and it went in the pond. Then I was sad because it went in the pond.