Communicating the South Downs

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Brighton to Lewes via Falmer

Exploring the South Downs from Brighton couldn’t be easier with Falmer only a 10 minute train journey away. The beautiful Stanmer Park is only a short walk from the station (via the subway under the A27), and is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Here you’ll find enchanting woodlands and vast open spaces, all set on a historic site dating back to Neolithic times. There are plenty of things to get up to at Stanmer Park. Wander through the woodlands, have an energetic game of Frisbee, or discover the knapped flint Stanmer Church built in 1838 (open on Sundays between 2pm-5pm). If you’re lucky you might even spot some of the wildlife that can be found here such as Buzzards, Kestrels, deer, cowslips and orchids.

Feeling peckish? Stanmer Park is the perfect setting for a picnic, alternatively you can enjoy a bite to eat at Stanmer Park Tearooms or the grand Stanmer House, a beautiful 18th Century Country house. Once you’re suitably refreshed continue on your journey, catching the train the bustling market town of Lewes only 6 minutes away.

Anne of Cleves House Museum, given by Henry VIII to his wife as part of a divorce settlement, is only a short distance from the station. In this 15th century Wealden hall-house you’ll experience how the Tudors and Elizabethans lived, and discover role of this medieval home in the tale of Henry VIII.

Next take a step even further back in time, head to Priory Park to discover the remains of the 11th century Priory of St Pancras. To get there simply take a left off Cockshut Road and follow the street under the subway until you reach the entrance on your left. The first thing you’ll see is the magnificent sight of the Priory remains set against the breath taking backdrop of the South Downs. Take in the impressive interpretation panels guiding you in the footsteps of the medieval French monks that established this, the first Cluniac priory in England. Stroll through the recreated herb garden growing plants that the monks would once have used for both medicinal and culinary purposes, and imagine how the building might once have looked.

After soaking in the rich history of Lewes end the day with some retail therapy by following the signs to the town centre, continuing through the High street over the River Ouse until you reach Cliffe High Street. Enjoy the atmosphere, browse the quirky independent shops, or find your own piece of history in one of the many antique shops full of treasures waiting to be discovered.

Visit the charming Georgian Brewery shop stocking prize winning ales from Harveys Brewery, the oldest independent brewery in Sussex with a history dating back over 200 years. You’ll also be able to spot Harvey’s iconic Victorian Gothic tower, which has been adapted to house their brewing plant. If you’re eager to sample some of Harvey’s magnificent local ale the John Harvey Tavern lies just across the road. Here you can enjoy a pint alongside a hearty home cooked food before getting the train back home to Brighton.

Attractions

Stanmer Park
Lewes Road, Brighton, Sussex BN1 9SE

Stanmer Church
Stanmer Church, Lewes Road, Brighton, Sussex BN1 9SE

Anne of Cleves House Museum
52 Southover High Street, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 1JA
01273 474610

Priory Park & Priory of St. Pancras
Cockshut Road, Southover, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 1HP

Harveys Brewery
The Bridge Wharf Brewery. 6 Cliffe High Street, Lewes, Sussex, BN7 2AH
01273 480217

Food & Drink

Stanmer Park Tearooms
Stanmer Park, Lewes Road, Brighton, Sussex BN1 9SE
01273 604041

Stanmer House
Stanmer Park, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 9QA
01273 680400

John Harvey Tavern
Bear Yard, Cliffe High Street, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2AN
01273 479880

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