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Long Man of Wilmington and the South Downs

EASY 5 reviews
#15 of 151 trails in

Long Man of Wilmington and the South Downs is a 10.0 kilometer loop trail located near Wilmington, East Sussex, England that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and nature trips.

Distance: 10.0 km Elevation Gain: 308 m Route Type: Loop

kid friendly


nature trips




no shade

A circular walk from the small village of Wilmington in East Sussex. The walk climbs onto the chalk slopes of the South Downs to visit the hillside chalk figure known as the Long Man of Wilmington, followed by a quick visit to a charming church before exploring long stretches of the chalk tracks that criss-cross the top of the seemingly endless downs. In summer, the chalk download is covered in beautiful wild flowers and you will have views of the sea plus another hillside chalk figure, the Litlington White Horse. The route includes several long climbs and descents, from moderate to steep. The chalk tracks are wonderful firm surfaces after dry summer periods, but are rutted in part and can be very muddy and slippery in winter and after wet periods. The tops of the downs are very exposed so make sure you have appropriate clothing. There are several single bridle gates on route, but there are no stiles or kissing gates. There is a stretch of road walking in the middle of the walk, so take care of traffic at this point. You will be sharing some of the open downland with sheep and cattle (although being the popular South Downs, the cattle tend to be accustomed to walkers and dogs). About half the walk is on tracks bordered by crop fields or hedgerows, ideal for well-behaved dogs to have a good romp around. Allow 3 to 3.5 hours depending on conditions under foot.

no shade
25 days ago

Great walk! We went a bit further around than the route, added an extra 2k on top. Very quiet area, stunning views all around. Different grades of climbing/ terrain, nothing overly steep though. A+

2 months ago

A very idyllic walk with beautiful scenery open down lands and rolling fields and further distant views of Arlington reservoir and the wind turbines out to sea near Brighton. The Long Man of Wilmington is also a must to see with this ancient man carved now into the downs and can be seen for miles. The very last part and a small section of the walk is extremely rutted by heavy farm machinery, and has made the path very hazardous for walkers now. And is in need of some works to make this section suitable for walkers again.

8 months ago

We walked this route just after Christmas. Only saw a handful of people the entire route. Lovely open Downs, great views, a couple of hills to get the heart pumping. Took us 2 1/2 hours walking reasonably fast. Keep dogs on a leash as there are loads of sheep along the way. Recommended.

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