Which views qualify as the best views in Sussex is always going to be subjective. And frankly, we are spoilt for choice as the Sussex section of the South Downs Way offers over 100 km of almost non-stop fabulous views. But if you’re looking for somewhere with the wow factor where you can stop a minute and breath deeply, here are 10 recommendations.
Best Views in West Sussex
Roaming around West Sussex looking for a great view? Try one of these:
Blackdown, West Sussex
As the highest point in Sussex, Blackdown near the Hampshire border is an obvious choice. Head to the Temple of the Winds, look across Sussex to the sea in the distance and you’ll understand where Tennyson got his inspiration from. This is food for the soul.
Well known for its poppies, The Trundle near Goodwood has great views towards the sea. If you don’t want to climb it, there’s also a car park just off the main road to the east of The Trundle which has particularly special views at sunset! Just pull up in the car, and enjoy.
Travelling along the South Downs Way from west to east, there is what feels like a vertical climb up Amberely Mount. But wow, what a view is revealed as you climb. There’s also another lesser-used path that runs just south and parallel to the South Downs Way which is also well worth it for the views. Our top recommendation would be to park at Kithurst, walk west to Amberley Mount, and double back on the alternative route.
It’s a close call as to which has the best views between Chanctonbury and Cissbury Ring, and if you can, walk from one to the other to decide for yourself. Both have something magical about them, perhaps due to the history and folklore that surrounds them.
Just south of Petworth, there is a viewpoint halfway up Duncton Hill. For some reason, it’s particularly charismatic with views over Seaford College and across as far as the North Downs and I defy you not to hear the haunting refrains of Hillaire Belloc’s poem ringing in your ears as you stand here, “The passer-by shall hear me still, A boy that sings on Duncton Hill.”
Best Views in East Sussex
It’s difficult to call it, but at the risk of being persecuted by the good people of the West, I think East Sussex has the best views. Here are five favourites:
Much as the views from Mount Caburn are amazing, the views from Itford Hill (just across the way and just east of Southease) beats them! It’s a steep climb up from the café at Itford Farm but the rewards are great. If you know what you’re looking for, you can see the wind turbines near Eastbourne, Birling Gap, the Rampion Wind Farm, Lewes, Mount Caburn, Newhaven and the River Ouse as it winds from Lewes to the sea. This view puts Sussex history into context, and keep walking towards Firle because it keeps on giving!
The views from both West Cliff and East Cliff in Hastings are both great but on a sunny day, East Cliff wins. Climb up the many steps (or take the funicular) and look across Hastings Old Town to the castle on the opposite cliff and then on out to sea!
Not for the faint-hearted, but you can climb to the top of St Mary’s Church in Rye for gorgeous views of the town. It involves three ladders and some narrow spaces but then you are out on the roof! Try not to choose a windy day (as it does feel a little like you could be blown away).
The Cuckmere Valley and Cuckmere Haven
Take your pick of incredible views here. From the High and Over car park (on the Alfriston to Seaford road), climb down a little for spellbinding views of the snaking river. Equally, if you’re walking the South Downs Way, as you emerge from Westdean you have great views of the river as it reaches Cuckmere Haven. If you still haven’t had enough, climb the first of the Seven Sisters (Haven Brow) for views east, west, and south.
The Long Man at Wilmington
Ok, so Beachy Head should be on this list but it is pipped to the post by the views from Windover Hill just above the Long Man at Wilmington. Again, it’s a steep climb but there is something very special about it when you get to the top. Try it at sunrise and watch the day dawn over the county!
Of course, there are loads more great views in Sussex. Head up the i360 in Brighton for views of the city and coast. From Ashdown Forest you can enjoy views back across to the South Downs and from Leigh Hill (Surrey) you can look down across Sussex from over the border. Or of course, just walk the South Downs Way, and when you’ve finished enjoying all its many views, walk back again in case you missed any!
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