Avoiding roads round Hangleton (8.7km run/walk)
Updated: May 13, 2020
This route has become a firm favourite. It’s a lovely walk from Hove or Hangleton and if you’re feeling energetic then it makes for a great run at around 8km.
I set out to spend as much time away from roads as I could and was happy to discover that it was easier than expected.
Distance: Approximately 8.6km starting from Aldrington Station
Mode: Walk or run
Knoll Park - I didn’t know this existed until a couple of weeks ago. There's a path through the North Side of Hove Cemetery that leads to this secret slither of green space. You'll find basketball courts and a play park (all locked up for now of course) and a playing small playing field. You might even spot a couple of weed-smoking teens hiding from their parents. I'm glad to have stumbled across this as it's a much nicer way to reach Benfield Valley than slogging along Old Shoreham road.
Benfield Valley - tucked behind the Hollingbury Sainburys, Benfield Valley is a quiet green corridor up to the South Downs. You can also cut through this strip of green to get to Mile Oak.
Benfield Valley Golf Course - who knew Brighton and Hove had so many golf courses?! There’s a footpath that goes around the corner of a beautiful flint barn and up the hill, alongside the golf course. It's a lovely way to access the Downs. Take a breath at the top to enjoy the view out to sea.
West Hove Golf Club - what looks like a new path, takes you up the hill alongside the A27 to join the old Dyke Railway Trail. I'd recommend going at sunset for an epic view, without having to mission all the way to Devils Dyke.
Pubs and Picnics (for the post COVID-19 era)
There are a few places along this route that could make for a good picnic spot:
The playing fields next to Benfield Valley
Picnic benches by the flint barn on Benfield Golf Course (not sure if these are ok for public use)
Alongside West Hove Golf Club (the road traffic could be noisy)
Just up from the Dyke railway track before you cross back over the A27 towards home
Starting from Aldrington Station, this route takes you along Old Shoreham Road. During the current lockdown, it's quiet and fume free. After, I think it'll still be worth it as the most of the route is off-road. Head North on the path through the middle of Hove Cemetery and bear left into Knoll Park.
Exit out of the top left corner onto Stapley Road. A right and a left will take you down Hangleton Gardens. Straight ahead across the road you’ll see the sign for Benfield Valley.
When you reach a crossroads in the path turn right, keeping Hove Park High School’s playing fields on your right. Walk straight ahead until you pop out onto Hangleton Lane. Cross the road and take the footpath that goes behind the houses.
This takes you onto Benfield Valley Golf Course, where you’ll turn right alongside the pretty flint building and head up the hill. Stop at the top to turn around and check out the view out to sea.
Follow the footpath and turn left to cross the footbridge over the A27 - turn right when you reach the other side. Where the path bears left, go through the gate on your right. This takes you up a graveled track between West Hove Golf Club and the A27.
At the top of the path, you’ll meet the Dyke Railway trail (ferrying our ancestors to the Downs from 1887 to 1938 apparently). Turn right and cross back over the A27. Then take a left up the path that runs along behind Kings School and West Blatchington Primary.
This Bridleway will bring you out onto Downlands Drive. Head down the hill and rather than turning right on the bend at the end, take the steps down to cross and get onto Nevill Road.
And...I think you can work out your way home from there!