Sunday, 6 November 2011

#134 - South Downs day 2: Alfriston YHA to Eastbourne

I have had worse nights in a hostel dorm, but this one was pretty bad. The guy in the bunk above was a serial fidget, and there was the obligatory insufferable snorer amongst the pack. Oh well, at least I had survived without a hint of a hangover thanks to the lowly 3.9% of the beer the night before.

I was up at 7.30am, more because I had given up the idea of a peaceful lie in, than by design, and we were down for breakfast half hour later. We departed the hostel at 9:15am, and retraced our steps to the river, before striking north along the South Downs Way.

At the bridge at Alfriston, we made our first change of direction that suggested we were heading back, and thanks to the warm up, I was better acclimatised to tackle an ascent of Windover Hill.

It was certainly a colder day, a chilly northerly cut across the ridge, but as soon as we found shelter on the lower slopes, it was much more comfortable.

We strayed from the way to try and get a look at the chalk carving known as “The Long Man”, but we failed to see it, instead managing to find a trig point that showed we had achieved our highest point on the walk, a heady 214 metres!

We had hoped to find a tea shop, when we descended into the village of Jevington, but Jim had to make do with standing outside the Hungry Monk restaurant and reading the menu. Interesting fact; the restaurant is the birthplace of the Banoffi Pie, back in 1972!

With nothing to keep us in Jevington, we were onwards and upwards, 130 metre climb to the top of the down, where the trail turned south to the coast. To our left, sat Eastbourne, and a great view of the south east coast up to Hastings.

The section south is long and straight, giving you ample opportunity to take in the views from both sides of the ridge.

Crossing through the Eastbourne Downs Golf Club, we cracked on to where the coastal section of the South Downs Way intersects, and then descended to the cafe in Holywell for a cuppa and a large slice of carrot cake!

All in all, a successful weekend away, and given it was only put together a few days before, all the better for it!

  • Date: 06/11/11
  • Region: South Downs National Park
  • Status: Equals
  • Description: Alfriston YHA - Windover Hill - Jevington - Willingdon Hill - Eastbourne Downs Golf Club - Warren Hill - Holywell - Overcast, chill breeze, 4hrs, 15.3km
  • Type of Walk: Personal Walking


  1. Nothing like a dash along the chalk in the sea air to refresh the brain cells.

    nice write-up, Paul.

  2. Wow, this brings back some memories! I lived in Eastbourne in 1974/75. Alfriston? Jevington? They're familiar names to me!

  3. Greg, what were you doing there? Are you an ex-Pat? Just doing the numbers, and going by your profile, that would mean you were 4 years old, and I'm pretty sure that's a little too young to be backpacking Europe! ;-)

  4. Haha...Yes, the numbers don't add up do they?! I was a child at the time, but how I got there is worthy of its own extended blog entry!

    I'm actually 47 now and if I crunch the numbers I've worked out I was 10 years old in 1974! My mother was an insane walker and she used to drag me over the Downs from Eastbourne quite regularly. I should drag out some old black and white photos for a 'retro' post!

    In answer to your question I was born in Australia, but spent about 5 years in England. A long time ago now, but looking at your picture the pier in Eastbourne is still standing and looks no different to what I remember!

    I would love to get back one day for a look...

  5. well, if you do, give me a shout! :)