An all-ability guide for the most beautiful running trails around Brighton.
Seven Sisters – do as you please
This is by far my favourite trail. It is hilly, the views overlooking the sea are amazing, and if you feel like you want to hike this instead – you can!
Seven Sisters is iconic to Eastbourne so it is very easy to access by bus. It should take you just about an hour if you take the 13X from Imperial Arcade. As is often the case with popular landmarks, this place is going to be crowded so I do recommend a very early start for runners. This trail is very long and only goes in one direction so I will refrain from giving any further advice and leave you the thrill of exploring it yourself.
Stanmer Park – 10 or 5K
I adore this run – it used to be my go-to run as a Fresher since Stanmer Park is located right next to campus. It is very easy to access.
If you are on campus and type “Norwich house” into google maps it should not take longer than five minutes to reach. From here, you can walk up into a field. You should be able to see a garden space to your right. Walk up the hill until you reach the gates. Open the gates and walk past the cows until you can open another gate to your right. Now you should be standing on a trail. This is where you start running. You can either stay on the trail and keep going straight if you would like to jog a bit further and catch a nice view of Brighton and Falmer stadium. If you decide that 5k is more than enough, however, stay on the trail until you have the option to run down a rather steep hill to your left. Once at the bottom, take a left and run down into the village. And you are done! The village harbours a few pretty cute cafes so, if you feel like rewarding yourself before going back, you can.
Brighton to Saltdean – 10k one way
This is a good one for avoiding the hustle of jogging directly at the Brighton Promenade especially if you start early as very few people will be about. Expect relatively flat terrain and rocky beaches.
Directions on this one are pretty uncomplicated. Start at Brighton Pier and keep going until you reach Brighton Marina. Here, take a left to rejoin the main road. Jog up the main road for a few minutes until you see a hill. Run up that hill (it’s the only steep part of this run, I promise!). Now you should be close to the old mill on the opposite side of the road. This is where you have to keep a lookout for some stairs to your right. These stairs lead you back down to the beach. Turn left and just keep going straight until you reach Saltdean.
Saddlescoombe Farm – 5k round trip
I found this trail while on the lookout for some nice hikes near Devil’s Dyke. It’s recommended by the National Trust. It is easy to see why: You run past dew ponds, wildflowers and some pretty cute sheep. What I enjoy about this trail is that it features the views but not the busyness of Devil’s Dike. Are you ready to give it a try?
Start at Saddlescoombe Farm, where you’ll find a track. It should have a National Trust sign reading ‘Newtimber Hill’. Enter through the gate and go up the hill to your left. After a while, you should reach another metal gate which you can climb over. Turn right. Now you should be able to see an old chalk quarry – run until you reach the top edge of the quarry and look down onto an amazing view of Devil’s Dyke valley. After you’ve enjoyed that view, have a look to the right. You should be able to see a hill with a noticeable amount of trees – that’s where you want to be heading. So, leave the quarry behind you and make your way towards the barrow. Looking at the trees and staying on the left side, you should see a grass trail – follow it. When the trail splits, take a left first and a right at the second split. You will reach a dried-up dew pond that you can walk around. Make your way to the fences on the opposite side and you should see another pond where you can rejoin your track until you see Saddlescoombe Farm in the distance. Run down to the Farm and take a left at the concrete post in front of it and keep running until you reach the gate at the bottom corner of the field. Go through the gate and follow the track until you reach the next gate titled ‘South Downs Way’. Now you could keep going and explore the South Downs yourself but if you want to run roughly 5km I recommend turning around and running back to the farm.