View from Devil’s Dyke

(Click on the images for a larger view)

The legendary view from Devils Dyke is quite spectacular. The hills surrounding the valley rise to 217 metres and offer views of the South Downs, The Weald, and – on a clear day – the Isle of Wight. It is the site of ramparts which is all that remain of an Iron Age hillfort. It is a popular local beauty spot for the Brighton and Hove area, being an easy journey of just a few miles.

Local folklore explains the Dyke as the work of the Devil due to the V-shaped dry valley on one side of the hill top.  It is in fact the result of river erosion more than fourteen thousand years ago.

In late Victorian times Devil’s Dyke became a tourist attraction, complete with a fairground, two bandstands, an observatory and a camera obscura, all served by a branchline from Hove. During its heyday, Devil’s Dyke was a huge attraction for the Victorians, with 30,000 people visiting on Whit Monday in 1893.

The artist John Constable declared this spot ‘the grandest view in the world’. Vast views over the Sussex Weald ensure Devil’s Dyke remains as popular as ever, both in winter and in summer – which is why I chose to illustrate this magnificent view in both seasons! Have a look at the view in summer here.