THE Vanguard Way

Please note: this route was created by the Vanguard Way Association, we have adapted it into sections linking to transport and accommodation.

South London to the coast

East Croydon to Newhaven 66 miles (79 miles with connections)

What is the Vanguard Way?

The Vanguard Way Long Distance Walking Trail starts in the in-auspicious surroundings of East Croydon and takes you all the way to Newhaven on the Sussex coast. Along the route, you’ll cross the M25 and the Greenwich Meridian, walk along the North Downs Way and through the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, then eventually reach the South Downs Way, beautiful Cuckmere Haven and the chalk cliffs of the magnificent Seven Sisters. It is 66 miles long although our version has an added 13 miles for connections.

Check out Lizzie’s blog post about our recent walk covering Part 2-3

For more information on the route, visit


How we are walking the trail

We have divided up the full trail into manageable day walk chunks and worked out train or bus connections for all days. We have decided to complete the walk over three weekends. This means we are walking roughly 13 extra miles to connect with trains and accommodation. Also, a warning for purists: we skip the odd mile or two when coming on and off the path.

The Vanguard way – maps and stats

Please note this information is based on how we have divided up and are walking the route and not the official Vanguard GPX maps.


East Croydon to Oxted

Start East Croydon Station
End Oxted Station
OS Route Vanguard way East Croydon to Oxted
Difficulty Hilly
Length 13 miles (20.9 km)
Average time 6 -7 hours
Total ascent 1520ft


Oxted to Lingfield

Start Oxted Station
End Lingfield Station
OS Route  Vanguard Way Oxted to Lingfield
Difficulty Moderate
Length 12.31 miles 
Time  5-6 hours
Total ascent 838ft


Lingfield to Forest row

Start Lingfield Station
End Forest Row
OS Route  Vanguard Way Lingfield to Forest Row
Difficulty Moderate
Length 9.1 miles (14.6km)
Time  4- 5 hours
Total ascent 918ft


Forest row to Buxted

Start Forest Row
End Buxted Station
OS Route  Vanguard Way Forest Row to Buxted
Difficulty Hard
Length 11.77 miles (22.5km)
Time  6 hours
Total ascent 1420ft


Buxted to Lower Dicker

Start Buxted Station
End Lower Dicker
OS Route  Vanguard Way Buxted to Dicker
Difficulty Moderate
Length 13.13 miles
Time  6 hours
Total ascent 1051ft


Dicker to Cuckmere

Start Lower Dicker
End Cuckmere, Seven Sisters Country Park
OS Route  Vanguard Way Dicker to Cuckmere
Difficulty Moderate
Length 11.83 miles 
Time  5-6 hours
Total ascent 912 ft


Cuckmere to Newhaven

Start Cuckmere Station
End Newhaven Town Station
OS Route  Vanguard Way Cuckmere to Newhaven
Difficulty Easy
Length 6.7 miles
Time  3-4 hours
Total ascent 420ft


Cuckmere to Newhaven

Start Cuckmere Station
End Newhaven Town Station
OS Route  Vanguard Way Cuckmere to Newhaven Alt
Difficulty Easy
Length  8.48 miles inc Cuckmere Haven
Time  4-5 hours
Total ascent 420ft