Route 4

Selmeston to Arlington via Berwick Station

2.7 miles / 4.4 km Easy

This walk takes you past archaeological sites and a nature reserve, with the opportunity for some bird-spotting along the way!

Leave Selmeston Church and at the lych gate turn right and walk along the inside edge of the churchyard to the southeast corner where you exit by the small gate. Turn left onto a tarmac road which runs along a greensand ridge (this continues all the way to Berwick Station). This road is called Shrubby Lane and in the fields nearby a Mesolithic site was excavated – worked flints unearthed here are on display in the museum in Lewes.

Follow the road through the trees, on the right are pits where sand has been excavated, probably to mix with local clay for brick making. There was a large brick works by the railway ahead at Berwick. The road leads to Green House. The path continues straight ahead between the house (to its left) and the outbuilding. Follow the path straight ahead between hedges, do not turn off it. The path runs along the top of a small cliff on the left from which sand has been excavated again. The path emerges from trees, continues between hedges until reaching Stonery Farm (on your left). The track up to Stonery Farm from the right offers a shortcut back to Berwick Church via the Vanguard Way. Continue straight ahead with Stonery Farm on your left. The path follows the hedge and then crosses an open cultivated field before descending between hedges into Berwick Station.

The Pilgrim Path can be accessed here by rail and the Berwick Inn offers the chance for refreshments. Cross the railway line and turn right immediately before the garage. The path leads between the garage and adjacent house into an open pasture. Walk across the field, keeping a ruined flint building on your right. Then through another field (often cultivated) to a fence and small stream. Cross the bridge and walk up the hill following the fence on your right. At the top of the hill keep to the fence as it bears right and then for a very short distance left. Go through the gate and follow the fence on your right down to the tarmac road.

Turn left and walk up the road. At the reservoir turn right and go through the gate to walk along the full length of the dam beside the reservoir (Arlington Church can be clearly seen across fields on your right). This area has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) on account of the habitat offered to migrant and nesting birds. Cross a stile into the field on your right and turn right. (To visit the bird hide continue straight ahead through the gate along the path that takes you into the wood around the reservoir. After about 150 yds (135 m) ahead take the first small path left down to a bird hide. Backtrack to rejoin the Pilgrim Path at the end of the dam.)

Walk down across the pasture field keeping an area of scrubland on your right until you reach the metal footbridge over the Cuckmere River. Cross the river and take the path to the left diagonally across the pasture to a stile. Keep the hedge on your left and take the stile first left through the hedge and across a bridge over a small stream. You enter a beautiful pasture which was the site of a medieval village that used the river for transport. The undulating surface indicates where streets and houses were. You enter Arlington churchyard through the southwest corner.