If you’re an avid reader of the BZ Blog, you’ll already know that it’s National Walking Month and we’re encouraging you to Walk This May! We’re sharing our favourite places to stroll around our BeeZee homelands, and today our own expedition leader Julia is revealing her favourite little ‘pockets of wilderness’ to explore within the city of Brighton & Hove.
Large open spaces, sports facilities, great for dog walks
St Ann’s Well Gardens
Really scenic, pretty trees, an old well, children’s play park, friendly café
It’s almost exactly 1 mile to walk around the main path. On the way there’s a pond which is filled with newts and frogs at this time of year, a shady under-tree walk, a wildflower meadow, a rose garden, a pair of ancient trees and even a secret walled garden in the corner.
Hollingbury Hill Fort
From Mouslecomb station, head up through woods to the dew pond at the top of Wild Park, then head west onto the site of the Neolithic hill fort with views over the whole city and out to the sea. Cut through the golf course then head south into Hollingbury woods, emerging out onto Ditchling Road with a short walk down to the cafés at Fiveways.
Woodvale and Race Hill
From Lewes Road follow the pedestrian entrance into a beautiful Victorian burial grounds, rising through blossom-filled valleys up to views over the city from near Bear Road. Cut past the Wyevale Garden Centre to Race Hill, and turn right to Whitehawk Hill, the site of another Neolithic fort. Follow the track south to join the main road in Kemp Town.
From the junction of Warren Road and Wilson Avenue, head east and follow the path around the top of the valley, as far as Whitehawk Football Club. Head down hill and via the pond back to Wilson Avenue. Really great views and excellent for dogs.
Head to the Marina and keep going, next to the chalk cliffs beside Asda. Follow the promenade as far as you can go. It takes in quiet beaches, Saltdean lido, two cafes and ends where the wall meets the cliff just past Saltdean.
From the crossroads in Woodingdean, turn off Falmer road at the first car park on the right hand side. Follow the path round the valley in a loop, which goes through the centre of the spookily abandoned village of Balsdean. Turn back up a steep slope to rejoin the main path.
Head to the sea and turn right, passing the shops and amusements of Brighton seafront, the Peace statue and Hove Lawns, keeping going as long as you like!
Take the ‘Breeze up to the Downs’ buses to the pub at Devil’s Dyke and follow the valley east to Saddlescombe Farm, where a lovely walled courtyard hosts the ‘Wildflour Café’ and lambing tours take place each weekend.
Take the ‘Breeze up to the Downs’ bus to Stanmer village and enjoy a leisurely stroll along the paths and woodland trails. You can even keep going through the woods and make it up to Ditchling Beacon on the South Downs from where you can catch the bus back.