Route 3

Alciston to Selmeston

1.1 miles / 1.7 km Easy

Enjoy this countryside walk from historic Alciston to the pretty Selmeston churchyard. But take great care when crossing the A27.

Leave Alciston Church and walk down the path to the road. To your right is a 14th-century dovecote and beyond it a 16th-century tithe barn, one of the largest in Sussex. The group of buildings are the remains of a priory grange run by monks from Battle Abbey. Cross the road diagonally and, to the right of the gate, go over the stile into the pasture field. Follow the path diagonally across the field and then through the next field, travelling north northwest, down to a hedge and small stream. Cross the small seasonal stream and turn right along the field edge. Walk north, keeping the hedge on your right until you reach a fence running west (a footpath leads off to the right). Go through the gate and turn immediately left and walk up the fence line keeping it on your left until you reach a hedge. Turn right and follow the hedge down to a gate and bridge over a small stream. Go through the gate and walk up the pasture field with the hedge on your right.

The grassy craters in this field may be German bomb craters discharged on the return journey from a raid. Continue up to the road. Cross the road diagonally to the right and then turn off through the hedge on the left along a path enclosed by hedges and trees. Follow this path straight ahead and over a stile until you reach the A27. To your left is the Barley Mow pub where refreshments can be had.

Cross the A27 with great care as the traffic is heavy and fast. Walk down the road to the right of the garage into Selmeston village. You will pass the old flint school building on your left, opposite which is the village cricket pitch. Continue down the lane until you reach the Selmeston Church. Opposite the church is the Old Vicarage where it is said that Lewis Carroll, a friend of the vicar, found inspiration for part of his ‘Alice’ books.

Enter the Selmeston churchyard through the lych gate. This is another churchyard which is circular in outline and on a slight mound. The primroses on the western edge are a spectacular sight in the spring, the soil here is clay and sand.