The Long Man of Wilmington to Alfriston hike
This short walk first climbs uphill to view the Long Man of Wilmington, a giant hill figure carved into the hillside. After passing the figure the views become vast and at one point you can even glimpse the ocean glistening in the distance. The walk finishes across the river and past the 14th century church into the picture-perfect village of Alfriston, a popular place to explore.
If driving, use postcode BN26 5SW to park in the free Longman Priory car park, at the Southern end of Wilmington village. Alfriston also has a free car park, postcode BN26 5UP, if you plan on using two vehicles. Regular trains run directly from London to Polegate. Bus 126 (bus 26 on Sundays) runs from Polegate high street to both Wilmington and Alfriston.
|When to do|
Yes, Willows Car Park, Alfriston
The Long Man of Wilmington to Alfriston
Route Description for The Long Man of Wilmington to Alfriston hike
If on the bus, get off on the A27 crossroads and walk down the road on your left, called ‘The Street’. Follow this road, past The Giants Rest pub on your right, all the way until you reach the small Priory Car park on your right. You’ll know you’re there because you’ll start to see the Longman on the hillside on your left. Exit the car park, and start on the trail directly opposite, on the other side of the road.
Follow this trail, with the road parallel on your right, as it passes through a gate and then turns left, heading, until you reach the information sign at the base of the chalk Longman on the hillside. The origin of the Long Man of Wilmington is still under debate, and it’s great to see it so close on this walk.
After pausing at the sign continue in the same direction, to the right, away from the man. When you pass through the next gate, cross over the intersecting trail and continue uphill, straight ahead.
Continue ahead, past the animal pen and look ahead to glimpse the ocean in the distance as well as another hill figure, Litlington White Horse, 6.4km away.
The trail continues down-hill, through a gate and to a road. Cross the road with care, then continue ahead on the trail directly opposite. After about 150m you’ll see a stile in the hedgerow on your left. Cross the stile into a field and you’ll see the village of Alfriston sprawled out ahead of you.
Take this path, diagonally across the farmers field, and through the hedgerow at the bottom. It crosses a private driveway before meeting another road. Cross over and onto the trail ahead on your right.
Continue on this path as it crosses two bridges, turning left after the second bridge to enter the grounds of St Andrews Church, originally built in 1370. Take a sharp turn up the narrow alley on your right and after 50m you’ll have reached the main street in Alfriston. A number of historic pubs and small locally owned shops make this a popular place to explore.
The locally owned Singing Kettle Tea Room is based inside a 15th Century flint cottage, near the village market. The traditional tea room serves wonderful food and makes some exceptionally good cake.
Pleasant Rise Farm is within walking distance of Alfriston high street. This family friendly, and very affordable campsite, is tranquil and picturesque and has great access to other walking trails.
If you don’t want to do a one-way walk, you could walk from Alfriston to the Long Man and back for a pleasant day out.
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