Black Cap canter

A scenic 12 mile run that starts with a steady climb onto the downs before turning west and following the South Downs Way to Firle car park. The route then heads south dropping down through Black Cap Farm towards Newhaven, making its way through the tiny hamlets of Norton and Bishopstone and back to the outskirts of Seaford, returning to the start via some twittens.

Stage 1 – Leisure Centre to Bo Peep

Leaving the leisure centre run north along Alfriston road until you reach the north-eastern edge of the town. Turn left onto the track here and run northwards up to Fiveways, then passing three gates before you reach the car park at Bo Peep.

Stage 2 – Bo Peep to Poverty Bottom

From Bo Peep turn left and follow the South Downs Way. Continue along the marked path over Firle Beacon until you reach Firle Bostal car park. At the road, turn left, heading towards Black Cap Farm. The path passes buildings on left and right and you may be joined by the farm dogs. There is a gate leading into a field. Cross the field, go through the next gate and bear left through two more fields to the bottom of the hill. Through another gate the path continues along the valley bottom until you reach a t-junction. Here you must turn right, keeping the hedge on your right-hand side. Run up the chalk path, extremely slippery after rain. After about 200m turn left down another chalk path, which is enclosed, to arrive at Poverty Bottom.

Stage 3 – Poverty Bottom to Leisure Centre

The chalk path becomes a muddy track, and then a metalled road by the water pumping station. Keep on this road through the hamlet of Norton and the village of Bishopstone. Just after the church the road bends round to the right, but you should continue on a path diagonally across the field on your left. Follow this to the end, going up over a wall and through a gate. Cross Grand Avenue and continue straight ahead along another path through another field. At the end the path becomes a paved footpath. Follow this path through a series of twittens through the housing estate. A final steep passage leads you to Carlton Road. Bear right here and run to the end. Turn left and run to mini-roundabout at the junction of Belgrave Road and Blatchington Hill. Turn right and run down the hill. At the bottom turn left and with the pond on your right run up Sutton Drove back to the leisure centre.