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Ditchling Beacon, Ditchling

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Ditchling Beacon is the third-highest point on the South Downs in south-east England, behind Butser Hill (270 m; 886 ft) and Crown Tegleaze (253 m; 830 ft). It consists of a large chalk hill with a particularly steep northern face, covered with open grassland and sheep-grazing areas. Situated just south of the East Sussex village of Ditchling and to the north-east of the city of Brighton, it is the highest point in the county of East Sussex. A road runs from Ditchling up and across the northern face and down into the northern suburbs of Brighton, and there are car parks at the summit and the northern base. Various charity, sporting and other events which are run regularly between London and Brighton incorporate this steep road as a challenging part of their route. It was also featured as a climb on the first of two days' racing in Britain in the 1994 Tour de France. The Tour organisers gave Ditchling Beacon a climb category of 4. 20 years later it was included as part of the route of the seventh stage of the 2014 Tour of Britain from Camberley to Brighton.
Ditchling Beacon is part of the Clayton to Offham Escarpment biological Site of Special Scientific Interest and an area of 24 hectares (59 acres) is a nature reserve managed by the Sussex Wildlife Trust.
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Ditchling Beacon Reviews
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  • A must visit when in the South Downs and traveling towards the coast. Parking an be a problem on weekends, but why not walk/hike up from Ditchling.  more »
  • Lovely views in all directions, you can see the English Channel and also beautiful vistas of the Sussex country side. Sheep are often grazing so be mindful if walking with dogs. Can be windy at the...  more »
  • Big skies and patchwork landscapes, dewpond and historical features. Travel the ridge of the South Downs through wildflower meadows and farmland giving views of awe and wonder. Feel the peace and tranquility of a bygone age, refreshing and invigorating in all seasons.
  • One of the most popular points on the South Downs Way, Ditchling Beacon attracts walkers and cyclists alike, being not far from Brighton and offering panoramic views along the Downs, out to sea and inland towards the heart of East Sussex. There is a small car park at the Beacon itself which gets very crowded and further along the Way a car park at Jack and Jill windmills. This section is very well travelled but it is easy to see why. These photos show some views at the end of the afternoon as I walked from Jack and Jill to the Beacon and back again.
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