Westham to Cooden Walk

Westham to Cooden Walk

by Robert Veitch

For February, Robert Veitch looked south for inspiration; taking a train to Pevensey and Westham, discovering a wonderful trek through history, across shingle and railway lines to journeys end in Cooden

From Pevensey and Westham Station, walk north along Eastbourne Road to the mini-roundabout. Turn right into High Street and wander past knapped flint walls, zebra crossings and Tudor framed buildings. Amble over herringbone block paving past The Parish Church of St. Mary to the west gate of Pevensey Castle.

Once through the gate, a thin stripe of tarmac bisects this impressive historical fortification once occupied by Romans, the Normans and more recently the Home Guard. Follow the path out through the east gate and under the arch, turning right into the car park.

At the far end of the car park, once through the wooden gate, veer right and plod through the squelchy surface to the four-way fingerpost. Bear left, then left again between the ditches. Turn right, past the decapitated oak, striking out across Anderita Park towards the electricity poles in the distant southwest corner.

The stile leads to the railway line, which must be crossed with great care, then another stile.

Wander across the meadow towards the gap in the hedge and distant spire. There may be sheep along the way. Please treat livestock with due care and respect. Beyond the wooden post continue across the second meadow in the same general direction.

Turn right at the next finger post, then cross the metal bridge and follow the Langney Sewer for 350m, before crossing over via the wooden bridge. Trek straight on, towards the sound of traffic, arriving at the A259 a few minutes later after passing through a kissing gate.

Cross carefully to the service road opposite then turn right into Timberlaine Road. 200m later turn left into Millward Road. Then turn right beside the 200 year old Martello Tower No.61, and walk across the piazza then up the steps to the beach.

Turn left and let the shingle beach exfoliate any remaining mud on your walking boots. All being well, you’ll have the prevailing southwesterly wind at your back and not the brutal northeasterly headwind your correspondent endured.

There’s no escaping the fact that it’s just over 2 miles to Martello Tower No.55 or the best part of an hour. A pair of glacé cherry coloured outfall indicators will appear a whisker before half way.

100m beyond Martello Tower No.55 turn left and amble down to the relative tranquility of the concrete road. Turn right and follow the road, over the level crossing at Normans Bay Station to the t-junction.

Turn right onto Sluice Road, and remember to walk on the right hand side towards the traffic. After almost half a mile and 25m beyond the second of two brick bridges, a pair of stiles on the left lead uphill. It’s the first and only climb of the day, and very gentle at that.

Once over the brow, follow the fence line down to a stile at the end of the field, then onto Hooe Level. Across the adjacent meadow a bridge awaits, then another meadow and another bridge. Turn sharp right and walk through the gate 100m to the east, then across another meadow and through another gate. Stay parallel to the reed filled ditch, following its meanders for a few minutes, underneath the power lines to a bridge. There’s a stile on the far side of the bridge, which leads through the undergrowth to the golf course.

Follow the path along the periphery of the 6th fairway, then behind the tee and across the 5th fairway to a gap in the undergrowth. Emerging at the 4th hole, cross the fairway towards a small wooden post that leads into scrub, emerging at the 2nd fairway. Across the other side of this fairway, a stile  leads to a track, which continues east to Clavering Walk.

At the end of Clavering Walk, turn right and amble south along Cooden Sea Road towards the railway bridge, before arriving at the 114 year old Cooden Beach Station.

Journeys end has arrived. Maybe it’s time to take the train home and put those weary feet up. On the other hand it could be time for tea and cake, or something more rewarding and more indulgent. The south coast is your oyster.

  • Distance: 61⁄2 miles
  • Walk Time: 23⁄4 – 3 hours
  • Stiles: 7
  • Map: Explorer 124
  • Refreshments: Available in Pevensey Bay, Cooden, Bexhill, and sporadically along the way
  • Footwear: Walking boots are recommended
  • Parking: www.wealden.gov.uk www.rother.gov.uk
  • Trains: 2 per hour in both directions

Robert has tested the route personally, making sure it is suitable for walking. However, even he cannot guarantee the effects of the weather, or roadworks, or any other factors outside of his control. If you would like to send your feedback about a local walk, please email editorial@sussexliving.com