Updated 30th May with more details for Friday’s walk.
This is the outline of the walks for the 2013 Song of The Downs tour – any questions please email email@example.com.
If you are looking for details of gigs rather than walks, see here.
We have heard from some people who are wondering about the logistics for the walks. The show each evening is an ideal opportunity for people to meet each other and talk about how to help with the logistics of moving cars and gear between the start and end points the next day, or from lunch stops and other points if people are walking for half-days. The merchandise point (we’ll have CDs, t-shirts and books) at each gig is a good place to come and say hello if you need any help.
We know from past experience that these walking tours attract a lot of friendly people and it is rarely difficult to find others to help sort out these issues. We will help where we can. We want the week to be fairly organised but relaxed and we need to allow for a bit of flexibility and the inevitable moments of dealing with the unexpected! We will be available on 07973 214289 from Saturday 25th May if people need any help or advice – but please don’t call this number before Saturday. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org at any time.
Please be aware that while the details of the walk on Bank Holiday Monday are fairly well understood (as descibed below), the details of the others days are subject to change. Please either see us at the gig the night before or call the number above during the week of the walk.
Monday 27th May (Bank Holiday) – sections are approx 9 + 10 = 19 miles
Meet at the Wish Tower, King Edward’s Parade, Eastbourne. Start meeting from 9.00am. We need to leave sharp at 9.30.
The path first follows the sea front, then turns slightly inland until the road bends right and the path goes straight on.
We then follow the coastal path to Birling Gap, which is past Beachy Head and before the Seven Sisters. We will then walk on to Exceat for lunch. There is a pub and a cafe but we strongly recommend bringing sandwiches for a picnic. Bear in mind this is a Bank Holiday and places might be busy, especially as we shall be a big group. Eastbourne to Exceat is a 9 mile walk.
We understand that there are buses back to Eastbourne from Exceat at 32 minutes past each hour. Also, if you prefer to join the walk just for the afternoon session then you can get a bus from Eastbourne pier to Exceat – they leave Eastbourne pier at 20 minutes past each hour for the 35 minute journey. We aim to leave Exceat by 1.30.
From Exceat we go roughly north for 3 miles up the Cuckmere River valley to Alfriston. Some people may choose to end the day’s walk here – perhaps with a pint in one of Alfriston’s pubs? If you finish here then the Cuckmere bus back to Eastbourne leaves Alfriston at 4.46pm and arrives Eastbourne 5.22pm.
Please confirm the times for local transport options
with the relevant bus companies.
JJ and others will then walk a further 7 miles – five miles to Beddington Hill then 2 miles north (off the South Downs Way) – to Glynde. This will be a faster walk. See here for a map to locate the end of Monday’s walking.
Tuesday 28th May – sections are approx 7 + 8 + 2 = 17 miles
Start at Southease Station (0900-0930 tbc) and follow the South Downs Way for approximately 7 miles.
There will be a small detour off the SDW for lunch at The Juggs, The Street, Kingston, Lewes BN7 3NT. See here for a map. There is a menu on the website and the pub would definitely like orders in advance if there are large numbers of walkers.
After lunch the route crosses the A277 before rejoining the South Downs Way.
Then five miles to Ditchling Beacon followed by three miles to the Jack and Jill Windmills just before the A273.
Meet there for lifts to Hassocks or walk two more miles along the side of the railway line to the hotel.
Wednesday 29th May – sections are approx 7.5 + 6.5 + 7 = 21 miles
The start (9am) is the Plough Inn, Pyecombe BN45 7FN. It’s then 6 miles to the car park below Beeding Hill.
Another mile or so takes us to the River Adur on the A283 – with a short detour north into Upper Beeding for lunch at The Rising Sun (Shoreham Road, Upper Beeding, West Sussex BN44 3TN). They will require a pre-order for food on Monday – we’ll have a copy of the menu at the Hailsham gig and on the Monday walk and will collect orders then; but others can pre-order from the menu on the website – though please make it clear that your order is in addition to the main group so they will know to expect extra numbers!
After lunch it is 6.5 miles to the car park on the A24 just south of Washington – a possible end point for those not wishing to complete the full day’s walk. Otherwise it’s another 6.5 miles to Amberley Station and half a mile from there to the George and Dragon in Houghton for a drink, food and the gig. If you plan to come here to eat, then please call the George and Dragon to book: 01798 831 559
Thursday 30th May – sections are approx 11 + 7.5 = 18.5 miles
Meet in the lane 200 yards east of the George & Dragon, Houghton (BN18 9LW) at 9am (NOT Amberley Station as mentioned in an earlier draft plan) and walk 11 miles to the car park where the South Downs Way crosses the A286.
Lunch at the Bluebell in Cocking. No need to pre-order food but they offer a shortened menu to large groups.
Then 5.5 miles to Beacon Hill and a further 1.5 miles to Elsted.
Friday 31st May – sections are approx 3 (optional) + 9.5 + 5.5 = 18 miles
A choice of starting points today: EITHER 9am at Elsted Village Hall for the first 3-mile walk, OR 10am at the car park and viewpoint below Harting Hill on the B2141.
From there it’s 5.5 miles to the A3 as it crosses QECP (Queen Elizabeth Country Park). Then 4 miles to the Sustainability Centre, Droxford Road, East Meon, Petersfield, Hampshire GU32 1HR, where we can have a picnic – though there is also a cafe!
Then it’s 5.5 miles to the car park before Old Winchester Hill, and lifts down to Wickham for the gig.
Saturday 1st June – sections are 7 + 9 = 15 miles
Meet again at the car park by Old Winchester Hill (0930) and follow the South Downs Way for 7 miles for lunch at Millbury’s (Beauworth, Hampshire SO24 0PB). No pre-ordering of food required here.
Then it’s a further 9 miles to the Railway in Winchester for the gig (including about 1.5 miles through Winchester itself).
Accomodation all booked. Gig tickets all purchased. Looking forward to walking the whole week. Just found out that you can get a free certificate for completion of the walk in exchange for completing a questionnaire: http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/southdowns/text.asp?PageId=53
If anyone wants to meet up at Hailsham to discuss car/luggage movements then I’m not the tall dark handsome bloke. I’m middle aged, average height, on the skinny side, short greying thinning hair, big nose, and glasses. With help from my wife I’ll get my car to Glynde first thing Monday morning so can offer lifts back to Eastbourne to pick up cars that evening. My wife isn’t doing the walk so looking for car tag team buddies for similar exercises the rest of the week.
See you all on the trail or at the gigs.
The merchandise point at each gig (we have CDs, t-shirts and books to sell) might be a good place for anyone to arrange to meet others to discuss logistics – or to say hello to the organisers…
Meet you there!
Yes, please come and meet us at the merch desk and/or the bar after the Hailsham gig (although we can’t stay long, we have something to do on Monday… 🙂 ).
The walk plans are definite where they need to be and flexible otherwise. Final plans will be made and discussed the evening before each day.