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Secret Paths of Lewes

In 2015 travelman undertook a survey of the footpaths and rights of way of Lewes, and found some paths that he had not known about before.

You may be interested in them.  Here they are:

Footpath 11, parallel to Cockshut Lane and the A27


The path is shown in purple. This path runs parallel to and very close to bridleway 9, Cockshut Lane,which is shown in green which is a tarmac single track road used by occasional vehicles.  It was completely obstructed for many years.  But in 2015, as part of other work, it was cleared.  I asked ESCC to sign it.  They said they would not because the bridleway was nearby and there were few cars. 

However they then signed it at the western end.  The western end is well used, probably by dog walkers who turn into the park to the north, using a bridge not shown on the map. It is more pleasant than the track and there is no fear of cars  There are marks of use on the eastern side to but by May 2015 this part had been covered in nettles.  If you use the path a way through will be cleared. 

The bridges over the Cockshut do not exist and it would be silly to try to get them back, and the path is obstructed through the gardens to the very east.

Footpath 4 through the car park opposite the Southdown Club

Most people who want to walk from Southover past the Southdown Club and then under the A27 tunnel.  But if you do this and fall over in one of the many potholes between the club and the tunnel you will have no come back on anyone because you will have been trespassing.

The legal right of way goes diagonally across the car park opposite the Southdown Club and then descends a bank opposite the bridge.  For many years a few determined walkers used this route, but this year it is completely blocked by vegetation.  You can see the route of the path on the map above.

If some keen walker would go out with some pruning equipment then the path would be open again.  I have asked the county council to do this, but am not holding my breath.

Footpath 37 from Juggs Lane to an overlook over the Ouse Valley


When, after the second world war, pressure by the Ramblers Association and others meant that local authorities had to set up a definitive map of rights of way.  The job was done parish by parish and sometimes landlowners "persuaded" locals not to put forward rights of way.  This may have been the case in places like Glynde, which has far fewer rights of way than places like Firle.

Sometimes a right of way was recorded which went to the end of the parish, but then stopped, because it was not recorded in the next parish.  It looks like this is what happened to this path, which goes right up to the Kingston border and then stops.

You might think that this makes it not much use, but in fact the path is a great place to sit and watch the Ouse Valley.  On a warm summer evening for example, you can watch the shadows gradually lengthen and then return for an evening drink in the Swan.

To find the path walk up Juggs Lane towards Kingston.  Cross the bridge and walk up the hill.  Pass a couple of houses.  The lane is then fenced and hedged and continues in a straight line.  Towards the end of this stretch of Juggs Lane the route of this path 37 turns left.  It is blocked by a fence, but this does not matter too much because you can simply continue to the point where Juggs Lane enters an open field.  Turn left here and then bear right to follow the secret path to a good viewpoint.

If you know anyone who is old enough to remember walking the rest of the path do get in touch.  Until 2026 it will still be possible to claim the rest of the path and put it on the map.

Lewes footpath 51, a cut through from the Malling industrial estate to Spences Lane

It is not shown on ordnance survey maps and it is not signposted, but is clearly shown on the county council's definitive map as a right of way.  It is a potentially useful short cut to Malling.

Coming from Asda you walk down Brooks Road, past Homebase, until you come to the T junction.  Opposite, slightly to the right, you can just make out a path which goes down the side of industrial unit number 1.  Follow this path, which turns right and then left, to emerge in Spences Court and then, ahead, Spences Lane.

In the other direction, walk down Spences Lane until you come to Spences Court. There is a drive into Spences Court.  Walk down this and keep ahead at the end, slightly to the left, on grass.  The path turns right and then left and emerges in the industrial estate.