Seven Sisters

Coast & Countryside

Nearly two-thirds of Wealden is protected landscape with Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, ancient woodland, heathland, wetlands and wildlife habitats.  The beautiful Ashdown Forest and the South Downs National Park, are both part of this wonderful rural area.

The beautiful undulating countryside is perfect for walkers, cyclists and all lovers of a classic English landscape. Wander through ancient Sussex woodlands, or explore unique and unspoilt country parks. The traffic-free paths along the Cuckoo Trail and the Forest Way Country Park are both former railway lines and ideal for walking, cycling or horse riding.  The Cuckoo Trail is 11 miles long and runs from Polegate in the south to Heathfield in the north of Wealden; the Forest Way Walk runs for about 10 miles from East Grinstead, via Forest Row, Hartfield and Withyham to Groombridge. 

The High Weald, a large part of which is in Wealden, is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is one of the best surviving medieval landscapes in Northern Europe.  It was the country's main iron-producing region during the Roman and Tudor periods.

Some of the best views in Wealden can be seen walking along the coastal path at Birling Gap and Cuckmere Haven looking inland and out to sea. 

Did you know?

Friston Forest once had an airfield, primarily used for emergency landings and also as a base for aircraft in World War Two.

Abbot's Wood


Abbot's Wood is an ancient wood and derives its name from the times of Henry I, when the wood was gifted to Battle Abbey and overseen by the Abbot.

It was once used by canons from the nearby Michelham Priory and is now a popular nature reserve offering visitors waymarked forest trails, barbecues and picnic sites.  There is also a large grass area for ball games.


Arlington Reservoir

Arlington Reservoir

Arlington Reservoir is set in 120 acres of beautiful landscape approximately half a mile off the A27 Lewes to Eastbourne road and signposted to Berwick. It is designated as a Local Nature Reserve and classified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

It is a prized location for bird watchers and visitors who flock to follow the picturesque Osprey Trail. The reservoir waters are also renowned as a superb fishing facility.

Ashdown Forest

Ashdown Forest Heather

Experience the spectacular scenery of Ashdown Forest, the former ancient Royal Hunting Forest. It is famous as the setting for the 'Winnie the Pooh' stories written by A.A. Milne.

A walker's paradise with over 80 miles of footpaths, visitors are able to walk freely and there are plenty of secluded picnic areas and free car parks.

The Forest covers approximately 10 square miles and is one of the largest areas of lowland heath in the South East.

Bewl Water

Bewl Water

Bewl Water Country Park  The reservoir is host to a huge variety of wildlife and water fowl and is one of the region's most popular attractions for fishing, sailing, walking and cycling. It is one of the best spots in the south east to see the elegant great crested grebe.

Bike hire and pleasure cruises are available and the 12.5 mile route around the reservoir is open to cyclists and horse riders during the drier months and to walkers all year round.

Birling Gap & Seven Sisters

Birling Gap

Birling Gap is part of the world famous Seven Sisters chalk cliffs, one of the longest stretches of undeveloped coastline on the south coast with breathtaking, unspoilt views of the sea and over the downland and cliffs.

There is lots to offer for visitors who enjoy spectacular views and it is an ideal beach for exploring with its rock pools and areas of pebbles and sand. The area is also good for amateur fossil hunters.

Cuckmere Haven

Cuckmere Haven

Cuckmere Haven lies on the coast at the point where the South Downs meet the sea. Its dramatic chalk landscape with a characteristic cliffy coastline is constantly changing. Cuckmere's quiet beach, is located within the Seven Sisters Country Park. Whilst there are no facilities on the beach itself, refreshments are available at the nearby Seven Sisters Country Park Visitor Centre.

Friston Forest

Friston Forest offers a number of waymarked routes for visitors to explore the beech woods. Its undulating terrain makes it popular with walkers and mountain bikers.

Two popular trails to follow are the Butchers Trudge - a short trail of 1 mile starting from the car park and leading to a hard path just below the gallops, through part of the woods and back to the car park.  The second is the White Horse View, which is a gentle 1.5 miles walk following forest tracks between plantations.

High Weald

The High Weald  is 30 miles south of London and is the fourth largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England and Wales.

As well as enjoying the beautiful countryside and landscapes, there are opportunities for walking, cycling, visiting attractions and rock climbing.  Look out for rarer species of birds such as the fieldfare and the nightjar and shy wildlife such as deer and dormice.

Lullington Heath

Lullington Heath

Lullington Heath Nature Reserve is one of the largest areas of rare chalk heath remaining in Britain and is within the South Downs National Park.

The footpath through the reserve takes you into some of the loveliest and most unusual countryside in the area, rich in wildlife and fragrant with wild flowers.

Pevensey Levels

Pevensey Levels

The Pevensey Levels is a nature reserve of international importance. Here you will find wet meadows in an open and relatively remote landscape, helping to ensure the preservation of a series of rare aquatic plants, insects and birdlife.

It is an ideal location for walking, bird watching and cycling.

Sheffield Forest

Sheffield Forest

Sheffield Forest is a quiet woodland site situated between Horsted Keynes and Nutley.  It is a haven for wildlife and contains a wealth of archaeological evidence highlighting centures of site managment for iron smelting and timber production.

The forest also attracts many native and visiting birds throughout the year including buzzards, hobbies, crossbills and nightjars.  Well worth visiting and exploring.

South Downs National Park

Credit SDNP

The South Downs National Park  stretches from Winchester in the west to Eastbourne in the east through Hampshire, West Sussex and East Sussex.  The national park covers the chalk hills of the South Downs (which on the English Channel coast form the white cliffs of the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head). The South Downs Way spans the entire length of the park and is the only National Trail that lies wholly within a national park.