Halnaker Windmill in East Dean
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The Five Best Pub Walks near East Sussex

Because nothing beats a decent walk followed by a refreshing pint or three.

Naomi Chadderton
Naomi Chadderton
An experienced editor and journalist specialising in news and lifestyle.

With spring approaching, it's high time to start heading out to enjoy what good old Blighty has to offer in terms of countryside walks and delicious, home-cooked pub grub.

There’s no better time to support your local and, if you can combine it with a leisurely stroll, what’s not to love? If you’re based in East Sussex or simply fancy a day trip to this beautiful county with your designated driver in tow, be sure to check out these five pub walks where hopefully, it will all end in beers.

1. The George Inn, Robertsbridge

Facade of the George Inn pub in Robertsbridge

The pub: Robertsbridge is a charming little village that lies five miles north of Battle, and slap bang in the centre you’ll find The George Inn. A former 18th century coaching inn, it’s a favourite with the locals for its hearty, modern dishes made with locally sourced produce, be it cod from Rye or Hastings or its very own homemade burgers crafted from fresh Sussex beef. If you’ve brought your dog along for the walk, they’ll be most welcome here too.

The walk: This particular pub walk is five miles in total, starting at the public footpath leading south-east out of Robertsbridge village. Head through Park Wood, past Keepers Cottages to John’s Cross, and after crossing the main road you’ll pass Mountfield Court. Head north-west over the railway line and follow it north back towards Robertsbridge. You’ll see some sweeping country views along the way, and a crisp pint will be waiting for you at the finish line.

Tree and fields near Robertsbridge

2. The Beachy Head, Eastbourne

Facade of Beachy Head country pub

The pub: Offering some of the best views of South Downs in town, The Beachy Head is a cliffside gem with plenty of history – it’s been around since the 1880s and was even used as a listening post in World War Two. A quintessential country pub, we recommend heading here on a Sunday for its renowned roast, where they don’t skimp on the gravy.

The walk: The Seven Sisters cliffs walk is probably one of the most well-known trails in the country, and those spectacular white chalk cliff views make for one of Britain’s most photographed stretches of coastline. Start your walk in Seaford and follow the coastal trail that ascends to Seaford Head Nature Reserve for your first sea views. Continue onto Hope Gap where you can reach the beach, before following the trail to Cuckmere Haven. You’ll then make your way across this to the Birling Gap before walking on to Belle Tout Lighthouse. Continue on to Beachy Head, and reward yourself with some fine grub at the pub.

Sea view from the top of the Seven Sisters white cliffs

Walk to the Seven Sisters white cliffs

The Seven Sisters white cliffs

3. The Anchor Inn, Barcombe

Pub garden in front of the Anchor Inn at Barcombe

The Pub: A remote riverside pub where you can hire out a rowboat with your beer, the Anchor Inn sits right on the banks of the River Ouse, just north of Lewes. Serving up real ale, lagers and fine wine alongside healthy pub classics, like grilled fillet of hake served with spring vegetable and chorizo and pork medallions topped with stilton and apricot sauce, the pub also boasts a lovely garden if you’re visiting on a sunny day.

The walk: You’ve got two pre-pint walk options here – either park at the pub and head north along the riverbank, then loop back through Burtenshaw’s Wood and a section of Roman Road for a 3.5 mile stroll, or park at Barcombe Mills and walk north along the disused railway line to the pub. If you fancy it, head back along the riverbank afterwards.

River weir near Barcombe

4. The New Inn, Winchlesea

Black and white facade of the New Inn at Winchelsea

The Pub: The New Inn is an 18th century coaching inn that prides itself on the quality ingredients of its food, making for a particularly fine location for thirsty ramblers. You can’t go wrong with the pie of the day and, with its oak beams, open fires and cask ales, it’s the epitome of old English pub.

The walk: The New Inn is the perfect place to join the 1066 Country Walk, which snakes around the north-west tip of the village - there's a newly-revamped trail that takes you past the cellar door of Charles Palmer Vineyard at Winchelsea. If you’re up for walking six miles, head right out the pub on the footpath to Rye, and then loop back through Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. Alternatively, enjoy a meander along the Royal Military Canal by heading onto the Saxon Shore Way.

Coat of arms at Winchelsea country village

Winchelsea Village

Aerial view of Winchelsea military canal

Winchelsea Military Canal

Pink and purple shingle flowes at Winchelsea harbour

Winchester Harbour Shingle Flowers

5. Star and Garter, East Dean

Stone facade of Star and Garter pub at East Dean

The pub: The lovely 18th century Star and Garter pub sits at the foot of the South Downs in East Dean village, near Goodwood. Locally sourced ingredients are used to produce an exciting menu of beautifully presented, tasty food, including plenty of vegetarian options.

The walk: Head up onto the South Downs to enjoy a four-and-a-half-mile north circular stroll that starts at the pub, heading north past the church and out of the village on the bridleway. The path leads uphill, then through lush forest, where it eventually merges with the West Sussex Literary Trail. Once you meet the South Downs Way head right and walk east for half a mile before turning right along the bridleway that leads downhill to Brockhurst Bottom. Carry on in the same direction on the footpath that eventually runs into New Road and back into East Dean village.

Halnaker windmill in fields at East Dean
Halnaker Windmill
Stone house at countryside junction in East Dean village
East Dean Village
Landscape of fields and trees around Singleton
Landscape around Singleton
Long grass scene at South Downs national park
South Downs National Park