Lewes & South Downs

vVisit the historic county town of Lewes famous for its Castle, Priory and bonfires. Then come back to Brighton across the beautiful South Downs passing Ditchling Beacon and the Chattri War Memorial on route. This is a challenging ride but well worth the effort.

We recommend going to Lewes by train however there is also a good cycle path that takes you there for those with lots of time and energy.

Route: Hove Station – Lewes - South Downs Loop
Distance: 29.7 Miles/ 47.8 Km
Gradient: Initially flat then moderate climb to Falmer. Challenging climb form Lewes to Ditchling Beacon then moderate descents
Terrain: Tarmac, off road trails, some uneven
Cycling time: Whole Route: 4-5 hours, Lewes to Brighton: 2-3 hours (if you catch train to Lewes)

Lewes nestles into the South Downs and is packed with history, charm and character. It was the site of the Battle of Lewes (1264) and boasts a castle, a Priory, the Anne of Cleves House and many other historic buildings.

From rolling hills to bustling market towns, the South Downs National Park’s landscapes cover 1,600km of breathtaking views and hidden gems. A rich tapestry of wildlife, landscapes, tranquillity and visitor attractions, weave together a story of people and place in harmony.

The Chattri (which means umbrella in Hindu) is a monument located in the South Downs dedicated to the Indian Soldiers who died in the First World War. It marks the site of the cremation place for Hindu and Sikh soldiers who died of their wounds at the Royal Pavilion Hospital during World War One. It was unveiled in 1921 by the then Prince of Wales.

Preston Park is the largest urban park in the city. Whether you want to take part in sports or sit and enjoy a picnic on a summer’s day, Preston Park is the perfect place to go. Due to its size and location the park is also used as a venue for concerts, circuses, fairs, family days and other events.

Dominated by the famous pebble beach and the architectural beauty of Regency squares and crescents, Brighton and Hove seafront is a relaxed, friendly and diverse place to eat, shop and play.

Try your hand at volleyball, basketball and a wealth of watersports, go east on the Volks, England's oldest electric railway, stop off at the Sea Life Centre with its sharks, seahorses and Amazonian Adventure or head west along Brighton beachfront for the children's play area, the green expanse of Hove Lawns and watersports.

Viewfinder route map