Friston Pond


This 6½ mile walk starts at Eastbourne Downs Golf Club and is good to do on a Wednesday morning when East Dean holds its weekly market.  It is classed as a “Moderate walk” with only one hill!

Start:  The path just above the golf club house.  Buses stop at the top of the hill (No. 12/12a/12x bus from Eastbourne) or park in the golf club car park.

With the road behind you walk inland across the golf course until you get to a cement road on your left.

Follow this road down the hill, with golf going on either side of you, into the valley and when it bends to the right, continue ahead along the grass path.  This takes you along the valley floor.

The path eventually reaches a tarmacked road (Downs View Lane), follow this to reach the main A259.  Walk downhill along the path until you reach a safe crossing place (near the bus stop).

Turn left into Gilberts Drive and cross the road to access the village hall and market stalls (market on Wednesdays).

From the village hall walk up the hill, past the car parks and a café to reach the village green and The Tiger Inn.  Note the blue plaque on the wall of one of the flint cottages.

Using the footpath by the pub, continue uphill passing by the row of cottages to reach the tarmac road (Upper Road).  Turn left and shortly after, as the road bends round to the left, turn right to see a gate and track going up a grassy field.  A short climb (the only real climb!) will bring you to a gate leading into Friston churchyard.  A convenient bench allows you to take in the view.

Go through the churchyard and exit through the typically Sussex Tapsell gate .  These gates are tied with white ribbon for a wedding and the bridegroom has to lift his bride over.  This apparently brings good luck!

Turn right and cross the A259 carefully onto a triangular green, then head for a metal gate slightly to your left.  Go through the gate and keep right and right again along the narrow path parallel to the road (safer than walking alongside the road).

As you exit the wood 100 yds later, cross the road and follow the road signed Old Willingdon Road (known locally as Millionaires’ Row!).  This will take you past the water tower with houses on your right and fields on your left.  It will eventually turn into a much narrower gravel track.

Continue until you reach a wooden gate on your right hand side.  Go through the gate and follow the path along the field boundary.  Continue along this path as it turns sharp left before continuing through fields, past a small copse of trees and three gates.

At the end of the path go through a final gate to reach the South Downs Way.  Turn right onto this to face the sea.  This path will return you to the Golf Club and your starting point.

Toilets:  In East Dean village hall if it is market day, in the Hiker’s Rest if open.

Refreshments:  In the village hall (if market day), at the Hiker’s Rest cafe or in the Tiger Inn

Walk description created by: Gill Mattock Eastbourne’s Walking Champion.         

Sept 2020

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Map & Directions

“This little piggy went to market”

Type:Town Trail

Eastbourne Downs Golf Club, Car Park, East Dean Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN20 8ES

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Eastbourne Visitor Centre, Welcome Building, Compton Street, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 4BP

01323 415415

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