Best walks in south east England

Found less than an hour away from London, south east England is home to miles of glorious countryside, dense forestry and stunning coastal walks. Iconic highlights include the White Cliffs of Dover, Brighton Palace Pier and the 1066 Battle of Hastings site, but there’s so much more to see and do in the counties of Sussex and Kent. Get your walking shoes on, and see a whole new side to England!

1. Seaford Head


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Located on the coast between Brighton and Eastbourne, Seaford Head offers the best views of the south coast’s iconic Seven Sisters. Continue on a circular walk around the nature reserve and you could discover some of the rare species of plants, birds and insects in the area.


2. Nymans


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Ever wanted to step into the Hundred Acre Woods and pay a visit to Winnie the Pooh and friends? Ashdown Forest was a key inspiration to AA Milne when he was writing the world famous series, as his son Christopher Robin would play with his stuffed teddy in the nearby fields and trees. Various sections of the forest were recreated in the books, meaning visitors can discover their favourite locations and even play Poohsticks!


3. Bodiam Castle


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Despite effectively being in ruins, the exterior of Bodiam Castle is still extremely impressive. Surrounded by a sizeable moat (successfully designed to make the castle more intimidating), you can enjoy stunning views on a walk around the castle all year round. Film buffs may also recognise the area as Swamp Castle from Monty Python and the Holy Grail!


4. Cuckmere Valley


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Naturally formed around the River Cuckmere, the high slopes of the Cuckmere Valley offer stunning views across the area, allowing visitors to spot the numerous species of wildlife and wild flowers that populate the area. A particular highlight is the way the river repeatedly meanders just before it meets the English Channel; make sure to pass through this area when planning a trek!


5. Devil's Dyke


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The oddly named Devil's Dyke was a major tourist attraction in the early 20th century, partly due to the mystery surrounding its formation. Even today, thanks to the remains of various structures in the area (including an Iron Age fort and a Victorian railway line), there’s still plenty to discover on a circular walk around the valley.


6. Leith Hill


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Climbing to the top of Leith Hill may seem tough (it's the second highest point in south east England, after all), but once you reach the summit, you’ll be treated to a spectacular view on all sides. If you’ve still got some wind in you, take an extra climb to the top of Leith Hill Tower for an even better view; on a clear day, it’s possible to see London in one direction and the English Channel in the other!


7. Arlington Bluebell Woods


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Open from April until late summer, the Arlington Bluebells may not be available all year round, but this walk is well worth the wait. Follow the trail into the woods, and you’ll discover a sea of stunning bluebells, carpeting the ground and adding colour everywhere you look. Combined with a tour of some local farm grounds, this is a walk that is sure to be entertaining and relaxing for the whole family.


8. Undercliff Walk


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Escape the hustle and bustle of Brighton for some quality time by the sea. The Undercliff Walk is found on a refurbished sea wall, designed to protect the iconic white cliffs from the harsh erosion of the sea. This 5km walk is ideal on a summer’s day, offering spectacular views across the English Channel. There’s also a variety of cafes along the walk, if you wish to slow down the pace and enjoy some refreshments.


9. Bewl Water


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Found straddling the border of Kent and East Sussex, Bewl Water is a tranquil reservoir, surrounded by lush woodland. An entire loop of the area might be quite taxing for some (it’s about 11.5 miles), but a trip along any length or section of the lake is sure to be a memorable one.


10. Beachy Head


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Found just along the coast from the Seven Sisters, Beachy Head is another iconic feature of England’s southern coastline. As the tallest white cliff in the country, the views from the top are unparalleled, and a walk along the coastline will take visitors to the seaside resort of Eastbourne.

27 Mar 2020(last updated)