Ditchling Beacon

  • Location: South Downs, northeast of Brighton
  • Distance: 0.9 miles / 1.45 km
  • Height gain: 143m
  • Average gradient: 9%
  • Max gradient: 16%
  • KOM – Michael Kwiatowski 4.05 – 13.8mph (2014 Tour of Britain)
  • Course record in hill climb – S.Dangerfield, 3.45 (1995) (not sure which version of course)
  • Direction: Southeast
  • 100 climbs – #22
  • Everesting attempt? – 62 times (1 lap = 2.9 km) Approx total = 180 km
  • Nearby climbs – Steyning Bostal


Ditchling Beacon is a popular road hill climb. It is tackled by many amateurs on the annual London to Brighton bike ride. It averages 9%, but gets up to a maximum of 16%, with quite a few false flats.



I rode Ditchling Beacon in 2020 after a two stage hill climb organised by Brighton Mitre. It is a hill I had heard a lot about but had never ridden up. When I was descending, I saw a long line of cars stuck behind cyclists (most of whom were walking). There was some kind of charity ride or sportive and the hill was full of cyclists. I managed to time my run to avoid the walking cyclists. Traffic notwithstanding, it’s a great climb, not too steep, nice corners and a great view.


National Hill climb Championship 1995

In 1995, the National Hill Climb Championships were held on Ditchling Beacon. It was won by Stuart Dangerfield in a time of 3.45.

1994 Tour de France

In 1994, the Tour de France went up Ditchling Beacon on its way to Brighton

Sean Yates and Lance Armstrong at the top of Ditchling Beacon – Tour de France, 1994. Photo Credit

Ditchling Beacon has also featured in races such as the 2014 Tour of Britain. It proved a decisive moment in splitting the field before the finish in Brighton.




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