Ditchling Beacon is just south of the village of Ditchling and is managed by the National Trust. At 248 metres above sea-level, it is the highest point in East Sussex and offers commanding 360 degree views from its summit of the sea, the Weald and the Downs. The site is also of archaeological interest, with remains of an Iron Age hillfort. Neighbouring Ditchling Down lies to the west of Ditchling Beacon, and is a prime example of chalk downland. Walk the path along the scarp slope, passing through the disused chalk pits grazed by sheep and dotted with wild flowers throughout spring and summer. Ditchling Beacon is the third-highest point on the South Downs in south-east England and makes for a stunning vantage point to view the surrounding area, popular amongst walkers and cyclists.
Tel: 01323 423197
Ditchling Common Country Park covers 76 hectares (188 acres) and is a popular site for walking, fishing, picnicking, bird watching, education and dog walking (dog walkers note: cattle graze during the summer months). Both of the two ponds can be fished, but you’ll need a rod license from the Environment Agency and a fishing permit from the East Sussex County Council.
The map reference for the car park is TQ335181.
Hassocks Community Cycle Hire
Hire mountain bikes at Hassocks Community Cycle Hire, a community enterprise led by volunteers with the twin aims of promoting cycling and environmental tourism in the Hassocks, Sussex, Brighton and South Downs area through mountain bike hire. Saracen Mantra 2016 mountain bikes are available for hire all year round, also a tandem, children’s bikes and family rates, making for a great fun family day out.
East Station Approach, Hassocks BN6 8HN
Tel: 07521 961 909
Mid Sussex Golf Club
Designed to high specifications by renowned course architect David Williams and former winner of the European Open, Andrew Murray. The course is set in mature parkland and features superbly contoured greens, interesting natural water hazards and a host of strategically placed bunkers. It is maintained year round to a high standard, without the need for temporary tees and greens. It has a reputation for being a fun course to play for all standards of golfers off the forward tees, and so lends itself well as a golf day venue. It can also be stretched out to a tougher test off the back tees.
Mid Sussex Golf Club, Spatham Lane, Ditchling BN6 8XJ
Tel: 01273 846567
Plumpton Racecourse is a National Hunt (jumping) horse-racing course at the village of Plumpton, just 3 miles east of Ditchling. Conveniently situated next to Plumpton Railway Station (served by hourly trains from London Victoria to Lewes), it makes for a fun day out for the family.
Plumpton BN7 3AL
Tel: 01273 890383
Stoneywish Nature Reserve
Within sight of the South Downs and close to the historic village of Ditchling, the 50 acres of Stoneywish offer a magical retreat from the rush of modern living. Here you will find a corner of Sussex countryside as it used to be: meadows, wetlands and woodland full of native flowers and home to a wealth of wildlife, in addition to farm animals.
There are gardens and exhibitions for the older visitor to explore, gentle walks for every age and ability, and plenty of room for children’s play in our play area. Bring a picnic and relax for the whole day!