Sussex Ouse Valley Way
The Sussex Ouse Valley Way is a walk through Sussex which follows the valley of the River Ouse from its source to the sea. The journey starts in the High Weald at Lower Beeding, crosses into the Low Weald and eventually passes through the South Downs south of Lewes to finish at Seaford Bay. This is a walk through quintessentially English countryside and provides plenty of scenic variety and historic interest.
Although the route lies within the valley of the River Ouse it does not always follow the river course closely as there is not a public right of way along much of the bank. However the incredible diversity of scenery along the route ensures a delightful and fascinating journey. The route was devised by Terry Owen, co-author of the guide book and has a total distance of 42 miles.
The Way starts by meandering through mixed but typical High Wealden scenery: fields, woodland and water, including Furnace Pond, one of the large and beautiful ponds that once served the iron industry. From Staplefield it continues through the High Weald, spending more time by the growing River, and passes under the Sussex Ouse Valley Viaduct. Between Lindfield and Newick there is a sense of isolation for much of the route as it crosses fields and passes through woodland, broken only by steam whistles from the nearby Bluebell Line.
The countryside becomes more open as the Way advances into the Low Weald. From just north of Isfield the route follows the river bank to Barcombe Mills. From here the Way continues to shadow the now navigable River as it flows out of the Low Weald and through the South Downs, taking in the historic town of Lewes, the only inland town en-route. The River reaches the sea at Newhaven, but the Way continues for another 2 km following the old course of the River and on to meet the sea at Seaford Bay.
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