The Sussex Downsman Hike generally follows the route of the South Downs Way from Bignor Hill to Eastbourne with minor modifications to suit checkpoints.

There are a number of different “Classes” available dependant on the age and ability of the team taking part. These range from the full route (approximately 60 miles) to a 15 mile section.

Start points depend upon the Class being entered, but are at Bignor Hill, Chantry Hill, Steyning Bowl and Devil’s Dyke.

Service Areas are located at major landmarks / car parks along the route, where the team’s designated Service Crew provide food, drink, running repairs and morale boosting to the team.

No contact between the Service Crew and team is permitted at any other points.

Service Areas will be situated in the following locations:

SU973129 Bignor Hill
TQ087119 Chantry Hill
TQ162095 Steyning Bowl
TQ258109 Devil’s Dyke
TQ333129 Ditchling Beacon
TQ367092 Falmer
TQ432055 Itford
TQ469058 Firle Beacon
TQ531032 Littlington
TV585986 Eastbourne

Additional Checkpoints between the Service Areas will be situated at the following locations:

TQ033125 Amberley
TQ117128 Washington
TQ197094 Upper Beeding
TQ294128 Pyecombe (note that this checkpoint moved in 2015)
TQ364115 Balmer
TQ412053 Mill Hill
TQ563012 Jevington (note that this checkpoint moved in 2013)

The entire route is covered by the OS Outdoor Leisure series (1:25,000 scale) of maps, sheets numbered 10, 11 & 25 or OS Landranger series (1:50,000 scale) of maps, sheets numbered 197, 198 & 199.

Teams can be seen at a distance from a number of Checkpoints. Stick to rights of way and don’t cross ploughed fields or climb fences. Don’t give the Checkpoint Staff the unpleasant job of disqualifying or penalising you.

Wherever possible, main roads should be crossed via bridges as dictated by the South Downs Way or the positioning of checkpoints. In particular, this applies to the A24 at Washington, A23 at Pyecombe and the A27 at Falmer. If you cross any of these roads on the tarmac, you will be immediately disqualified (if you survive). They are extremely dangerous crossings and you must use the footbridges. In particular, teams appear to have a problem with the A24 at Washington.Make sure you know where the footbridge is. The Checkpoint is right at the end of the bridge (see map reference above), so if you approach the Checkpoint from the wrong direction, you WILL be disqualified. No more exceptions will be made to this rule. Please also note the footbridge at Itford which must be used when leaving the Service Area. Please note that time spent at Checkpoints and Service Areas will be included in your overall time for the event. In and out times are recorded solely for the benefit of the organisers in tracking teams.

At the finishing Checkpoint, the arrival time of the last team member is recorded, not the first!