Old Town Road

Lewes District Area

Following the old turnpike roads and the footsteps of artists at the foot of the downs.


Start: Berwick railway station (Lewes-to-Eastbourne line)
End: Berwick railway station (Lewes-to-Eastbourne line)

You can take bikes on trains except during peak hours. Normally only a few are allowed on any one train. There is some car parking in Berwick, including one at the station?.  This ride can be linked to both Its the climb ending back at Southease railway station or Life’s a beach ending at Seaford railway station.

Route Notes

Leaving Berwick the ride is on quiet country lanes before crossing over the busy A27 and following farm tracks to Firle village.

At Firle there is a short stretch of tarmaced road through the village before the ride rejoins chalk and gravel tracks along the foot of the South Downs scarp slope.

As you arrive near Alfriston you rejoin country lanes and tarmaced bike paths all the way to Berwick station.

Please cross the A27 at the marked crossing location as this is a very busy road.

  • Want a map of the route to take with you? All our routes are available in the free Komoot app.

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About the Ride

This ride traces tracks and lanes at the foot of the South Downs scarp slope that were once part of the old turnpike road system between Lewes and Eastbourne.

Near to the start of the ride at Berwick is Arlington reservoir, a SSSI owned and managed by South East Water and a haven for many bird species. When the reservoir was first dug in 1969 the skull of a Wooly Rhinoceros was discovered!

From Berwick the ride heads towards the Ouse to Eastbourne scarp slope of the downs which when the wind is right is a popular spot for paragliding. The scarp slope is a unique environment with limited access and protected from building and arable farming seen at the foot of the slopes because of its steepness.

This area has long been a favourite for artists and not far from Firle Village lies Charleston House – once home to the Bloomsbury set and now a venue for exhibitions, festivals and events. From here the ride traces the foot of the scarp slope through arable farmland and back to Berwick via Alfriston.


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