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Local Sussex Walks- Pyecombe to Devil’s Dyke


The walk from Pyecombe to Devils Dyke starts just off the roaring tarmac off the A23 at Church Lane, with the aesthetically pleasing  Plough Inn sitting on the southern end. The 271/273 bus stops near here and there is a BP service station on hand, so the start of the walk is well facilitated.

I decided to take a look at the church at the top of the lane before heading off on the South Downs Way to cross the A23. Whilst sorting out my bits and bobs the vicar came by in full regalia, acknowledging me warmly. I would have asked for a picture, as she looked so dapper, but decided not to as posting pictures of clergy can be met by trollish derision of their character nowadays. The church itself in Pyecombe is listed on Wiki as 12th-13th century and well worth a look. An excellent landmark early in a short walk.

Crossing the A23, I deliberately took the walk up Newtimber Hill, avoiding the slightly shorter route of the more southerly South Downs Way. Unfortunately, the southern route gives you a far greater exposure to the sight and sounds of the A23. This is something I am conscious of on walks that are only slightly out of town. Even when you arrive in Seddlescombe, the South Downs Way takes you up near the Dyke Golf Club, and the sites and sounds of the town are still not far, so a little bit of thinking and this can be avoided too.

As I descended into Seddlescombe, from the top of Newtimber Hill, the Dyke comes in to view and the unevenness and hilly terrain make the journey so much richer. Everything is a beautiful shade of green. I found a secluded dewpond to stop and relax by for a while; even Google Maps couldn’t find me.

From Seddlescombe, rather than follow the South Downs Way, I again took a detour, so as to take in the full glory of the Dyke. I think it was the first time I have walked directly through it. It is an awesome sight as the pictures show. The ascent at the end of the route may be slightly taxing, but the well-placed Dyke Inn, and its panoramic views, offers wholesome reward…..

Distance: Around 3.5 miles

Duration:  About 90 minutes, but longer if you want to stop and admire some outstanding scenic moments


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