There are so many great sites with walks around Brighton and the South downs - we've listed some of our favourites at the bottom of the page. In the meantime we've given you a bit of a feel for the kind of walks you might find across different parts of the city, so hopefully we can point you in the right direction! If you're looking specifically for sightseeing tours, click here, and if you fancy a guided walking or cycling tour, click here! This page is aimed at those rambling, map following (sometimes), independent walks, whether it's a spur of the moment type thing, or you want to plan out an ideal route (with essential pub stops).
The majority of the walks to be found north of the city head into the South Downs, with the area covering Devil's Dky, Ditchling Beacon, The Chattri Memorial, Patcham, Falmer and Hollingbury Woods. Broadly this area sits between the A27 and A23, you can see the map below.
You can get up to the area many different ways - there are buses all the way up to Ditchling Beacon, which serves as a good starting point for a lot of walks around the South Downs area, with great views all the way along. It can get pretty windy up the top, but there are some great picnic spots! If you want to start at the bottom of the hill and walk your way up, you can also get a bus out to Falmer or Stanmer Park and follow one of the many trails, or just keep heading uphill! Starting or ending your walk near Stanmer Park has the added advantage of taking you through Stanmer Village and straight past a great tea shop.
If you head east to the edge of the city, you'll be able to head in a few interesting directios, depending on what takes your fancy. Once you get outside of Brighton, you reach Ovingdean and Rottingdean, two smaller, very pretty villages.
East Brighton Park leads straight into Sheepcote Valley, a nature reserve that then merges into the South Downs. You can continue going east, through the fields and past the golf course to get into Ovingdean and down Longhill Road to get to a sizable field, shared by Rottingdean and Ovingdean.
If you head more nortth, or head north at Rottingdean, you'll end up at Castle Hill National Nature Reserve - it's often used for grazing, so keep an eye on dogs through here!
Included for completion, but, for reasons that should be clear as you reach the south of the city (and hit the sea) there aren't that many walks in this direction.
That being said, there is a brilliant walk along the seafront, which can be roughly split into 3 areas. Furthest west, you've got Hove Lagoon, which has a watersports centre, cafe and playground area. You'll find a wide promenade that runs all along Hove seafront towards Brighton here, lined with beach huts (which are very expensive, if you were tempted by them!). This wide walkway runs all the way along Hove Seafront, past Hove Lawns and ends around about the West Pier (the broken one). At this points you're definitely into Brighton Seafront, which has the traditional beach activities and pebbles and tends to be the busiest section, covering the Pier, the Wheel and many arcades and rides all the way along to Brighton Marina - it's a long walk!
At the far side of the Marina, the more traditional, scenic cliff walk begins (aptly called the Undercliff Walk) and takes you many miles east along some beautiful, quiet coast, surrounded by large, chalk cliffs. There are a couple of natural break points along the walk where you can get back up to the top of the cliff and bus it back to town, if you want. The most logical point is over at Saltdean, as at the top of the cliff is a park, pub, cafe and general space to relax and reward yourself after a long walk!
West of the city is more urban than the other directions, though you can of course get to the South Downs again by going west, then north through Hangleton, Portslade or Blatchington.
There is an interesting cut through on this side of the city though, if you start off in Hove Park and exit out the northern corner, at the roundabout between Goldstone Crescent and Woodland Drive, you can find an entrance to Three Cornered Copse, which leads all the way to the edge of the city through a forest, providing you with an all-green walk from near the centre of town to the edge.
We've popped a few useful links together below, if you're planning a walk around the Brighton & Hove area and you're not covered by the summaries above!
Brighton & Hove council offer a selection of downloadable mobile apps, with walks of varying length around the city, taking in movie sites, or sculptures, or just sampling local shops, you can find them all here!
For walks around the South Downs, courtesy of the National Trust, have a look at either of these areas below: