Route 5

Arlington to Wilmington

2.7 miles / 4.3 km Moderate

This scenic trail takes in some Roman history and a walk by the river.

Leave Arlington Church and exit the churchyard by the same gate as you entered (in the southwest corner). Double back on yourself to the small bridge through the hedge. But now cross the stream and walk straight ahead across the field in front of you to a stile. Continue to walk straight ahead across open rough damp grassland. The path eventually goes down the right-hand side of Stapley’s Farm and onto a tarmac road.

A Roman villa, settlement and industrial activity was found in the vicinity based on the clay seam which occurs here. Roman bricks can be seen in the walls of Arlington Church. Continue straight ahead down the road to the minor road which runs along the line of an old Roman road. On the opposite side of the road, slightly to the right, is a path through the scrub (before the bridge). The path leads down to the east bank of the Cuckmere River.

Follow the path as it bends along beside the river until it meets a hedge. Turn left and walk along the hedge (on your right) and then pass over the stile immediately in front of you into an old grass track. Turn right and go through the gate. Walk straight ahead, due south, keeping the hedge on your right. Walk the length of the hedge. At the end of the field turn left and then right through a gate. Walk up the track with the hedge on your right up to the railway crossing. The railway runs along the same sandstone ridge that connects Selmeston to Berwick Station. Take great care in crossing the line and descend following the fence and scrub on your left.

After approximately 100 yds (90 m) cross the fence and walk between two fences with a reed bed on your left, which is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Cross the next stile into the field and walk straight ahead with a fence and ditch on your left. At the top of the field go through the gate on your left, turn immediately right and follow the hedge up to the next gate. Go through the gate and continue straight along the track to the A27.

Cross the A27 and walk down Milton Street. Take the first footpath on your left (approximately 200 yds/180 m). Follow this path in a straight line through fields until you reach the edge of Wilmington village. Before entering the village (refreshments are available at the Long Man Inn) turn right and take the permissive path south up the hill behind the gardens. The path leads between houses, continue straight ahead (do not take the path on your left) until it joins a tarmac track leading up the hill to Wilmington Church.