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Inside the racecourse, Lewes

4/11/09

Here is a walk of about 3 and a half miles on the downs with trees. Most of the paths were dedicated about in the 1990s by the owner of the  old racecourse, so some people still don’t know about them.

It starts at the junction of Neville Road and Spital Road, by the prison.  You can get buses 28,29, 121, 125 128, 166 or the village rider to or near the start.

Although it is on the downs there is some mud!

Take the track leading west behind the prison and ignore paths and tracks to the left, keeping just above the backs of the houses on the Houndean Estate. Start to go downhill into Houndean bottom and, where a track comes in from the left, keep straight ahead.  Bear slightly left and, at a junction, keep straight one and head up into woodland.

It is hard to miss the path now and goes through the woods, still climbing.  You are now walking inside the old racecourse.  Follow the path round the inside of the racecourse.  At the end of the wood the path starts to become a bit muddy as the owner allows horses to use it, but this problem only continues for a little while.

You then head south-east, passing the old grandstand. And some fine views. Many Lewisians will know that it was here at Lewes racecourse that the kind of gangsterism featured in “Brighton Rock” really took place. Brighton racecourse was too near the forces of law and order, whereas at Lewes gangs could get away before the police arrived.  Keep walking as near to the old racecourse as you can until you return to the track you started off on. Turn left and return to your starting point.