After crossing A26 by the new bridge, climb Itford Hill. The next 5 miles to just above Alfriston are mainly grass fields, with many sheep!
View of Itford Hill from Piddinghoe ( a few miles south); radio masts just visible to middle right on hill.
After slight ascent passing the radio masts, and slight incline to Firle Beacon, it is then slight down gradient. Grass fields, quite a few gates. There are good views from Firle Beacon (trig point). There are two small car parks, both free.
Panorama (made up of 6 photos) not annotated; to left (east) is towards Alfriston to right (west) Southease, middle is south. NB large file
On reaching the gate (photo below) before the copse to the NW of Alfriston, SDW is signed straight ahead, but this is short narrow path between thorn hedge, so I went to right then immediately left to rejoin on chalk track.
There is also a good view towards Windover Hill and SDW going up it ! (photo below)
Slight downhill on chalky stone,
then left bend and steep rough descent to Alfriston. It changes to tarmac residential road at bottom. At crossroads, give way, then straight over to the main street.
Turn left at the main street, then just before the market cross in middle of road, no more than 50 yards, turn right down River Lane. The only mention of SDW is a small sign on wall of house. (I had parked in Alfriston, and so did not see sign, missed turn).
After a right and left, both clear fingerposts, go (cycle) over foot bridge; SDW via coast is right, SDW bridleway is straight ahead. Follow narrow path to road, then left. After 1/4 mile, at T-junction, turn right up SDW track. Photo below
Now 1.4 mile climb ! first 1/3 mile is between thick hedge, surface tree roots, flints etc. Eventually, come out at small car park (3 cars?), cross over lane, gate, photo
then follow track up Windover Hill, chalk flint, roughish, long! But good views back across valley!
There is an unexpected deep valley to the right.
The next 1.25 miles are slightly down and across open grass downland with far views, lots of sheep. There are posts every few hundred yards as SDW gradually bends round.
Eventually, gate to wood (just after Holt Brow). Follow narrow track for approx 100yds to track crossroads. The finger post is hidden in bushes to the right. SDW is wider track to left, going down.
Descend through woods, (roots etc) quite dark after open downs. Watch out for bear (turn, not animal!) right after about 300 yards as SDW is a smaller path branching off to right.
Then follow down , winding through trees to fields and Jevington Church. Follow lane into Jevington.
There is a post Silver Jubilee on left before road. On the wall of restaurant ahead, there is a sign that (link to website) Banoffee Pie was 'invented here'!!
At road, turn right, SDW is second on left, about 30 yds. SDW becomes rough stone, compacted lumps of brick ?, (makes v rough descent if coming other way). Again, comes out in to open with views back to Jevington.
Becomes single track between wire fence, widens out to chalk flint to top of Bourne Hill.
There is a track crossroads, SDW straight ahead. At brow, good view to Eastbourne. SDW then is gravel stone track beside golf course for 1 1/2 miles, not very exciting!
NB Change Jan 2102 Thanks to Ming Locke Jan 2012: start end has changed see below
Thanks to Ming Locke Jan 2012: start end has changed see below
At road A259, bear (another one !) on track to right , then cross over road.
Grass, bear left near trig point, descend to Eastbourne (I stopped here and rode back to Alfriston (where parked my car) and Southease.
There are also some photos on the going 'Westwards' page