Route 2

Berwick to Alciston

1.1 miles / 1.7 km Easy

A short walk on flat but at times uneven ground across the fields and well worth it when you reach Alciston and see the views along the Low Weald and Downs.

Leave Berwick Church with its famous Bloomsbury paintings and walk down the path from the church door and follow this round to the left and along between two walls to the car park. On your left is the large old Victorian Rectory. From the car park walk down the lane until you reach a mini-roundabout in front of the Victorian flint house which used to be the village school.

Take the road that leads off to the left towards the barns. At the junction continue straight ahead up towards the farm cottages on your right. Continue straight ahead along the path which heads out across open fields towards Alciston, which is due west. After about 400 yds (365 m) you reach a hedge. Turn left (do not cross the stile ahead of you). After about 100 yds (90 m) turn right through an opening. Follow the path along the edge of the field with a hedge on your right towards Alciston.

When you reach the edge of Alciston turn right through a gateway and then immediately left over a stile into the pasture field adjacent to the churchyard. Changes in the level of this field are due to medieval terraces on which monks possibly cultivated vines and there were medieval fish ponds in the group of trees in the dip to the north. Walk along the side of the flint wall, cross a stile and enter the churchyard, which is on a mound and circular in outline, indicating its ancient origins.

Alciston churchyard is under conservation management to encourage wild flowers and insects. Three species of orchids grow here among the grass, and in the spring, cowslips are abundant, followed by a white froth of cow parsley. There are beautiful views to the north across the Low Weald and back to the Downs beyond Berwick. There are benches in the churchyard where you can rest.