Normally railway companies update their train times twice a year, on or around 12th December and at a similar time in June.  Southern have left their winter changes very late but have now announced them.

They will only fully come into operation in full on 4 January.  There will be an interregnum from 12 December to 3 January where there will be no published timetable.  Instead times will be updated on travel planners such as National Rail Enquiries as follows:

  • For journeys on dates between Sunday 12 December and Saturday 18 December; journey planners will be updated from Monday 6 December
  • For journeys on dates between Sunday 19 December and Thursday 23 December; journey planners will be updated from Monday 13 December
  • For journeys on Friday 24 December, the early shutdown to services is already updated in journey planners. The temporary service reductions during the day, however, will be updated on 13 December
  • For journeys on dates after Sunday 26 December to 3 January; journey planners have already been updated . Find details here

Travelman has been going through the timetables from 4th January and has found the following:

  • Trains on the Uckfield line go back to an hourly service off peak during the day.
  • Other local services are set out in timetable U which you can find here
  • Seaford still has no through trains to London. Have these disappeared for ever?
  • There is no sign of through trains to London Bridge which may also have disappeared for ever.
  • There are still 2 trains an hour Brighton/Lewes/Seaford but the 12.30 departure from Lewes only manages to get as far as Newhaven Harbour before returning from there at 12.58, meaning Seaford travellers have a gap in their service at lunchtime.
  • Other than this service, Newhaven harbour has no trains outside rush hours. Is this the beginning of the end for that station.
  • The Lewes-Brighton shuttles are not reinstated during the day off peak, meaning that there is something of a gap-toothed service to Brighton, leaving Lewes at 04,13, and 43 minutes past the hour, returning from Brighton at 11, 31 and 41 minutes past the hour.
  • Off peak trains to London are hourly at 27 minutes past the hour in the mornings Monday to Friday and half hourly normally at 27 and 57 minutes past the hour afternoon off peak and Saturdays.
  • Eastbourne off peak trains leave Lewes at an infuriating 27, 47 and 57 minutes past the hour,  giving a half hour gap if you miss the 57.  All but the 27 minutes past the hour service go on to Hastings, which means that you could have a wait of 50 minutes if you mistime your journey to Bexhill or Hastings.


If the government uses its normal formula of the retail price index plus 1%, rail prices will rise 4.8% at the beginning of January, the biggest price hike for ages.

The government has not yet announced what it will do.  Travelman wonders why.

Buy your tickets in December if you can.


For Brighton buses see here

Compass bus has not yet announced its services.



Compass Travel wants drivers based in Lewes  £11.60 per hour.


Just supposing your wanted to discourage people from travelling sustainably and shopping locally, whilst encouraging people to drive around in cars and shop at Amazon,  wouldn’t the best thing to do to make people wear masks on public transport and in shops, whilst not bothering to make people when moving around in packed pubs and clubs?

Travelman could turn into a conspiracy theorist.


A selection of local walks

Lewes Town walk

A tour of the historic market town of Lewes, taking in the usual sites,and some less well known ones. This walk can be combined with any other route starting or finishing at Lewes. 5.47 Km / 3.40 Miles- take your guests.

Lewes and Iford via Rise Farm

A short, tranquil and unknown walk through the Iford Brooks taking in Lewes, Rise Farm and Iford, with a curious history.  7.54 Km / 4.69 Miles

The Battle of Lewes and the Battle of Offham Combe

A walk following the fortunes of Edward, son of King Henry 111 in the battle of Lewes, with additional stories of battles in access land.  Townscape, downs, woods and rivers

Inside the race course

Here is a walk of about 3 and a half miles on the downs with trees. Most of the paths were dedicated about in the 1990s by Iford Farms so some people still don’t know about them.  Starts from Lewes prison.

Lewes and Kingston walk

8km, 5 miles.  A walk with something for everybody- downland views, four pubs, , Anne of Cleves House, the Priory and a windmill- and not too much effort either.

The secluded Balsdean Valley

9.4miles 15.1km There can be few places where you can be so cut off so near to big towns and cities as Balsdean and Standean Bottoms and there can be few places where you can get such panoramic views in all directions, sea, downs and towns.

Malling Down

A short walk on Malling Down, above Lewes, with grand views over the surrounding area and Malling Nature Reserve, also visiting the Martyrs Memorial. 5.57 Km / 3.46 Miles

The Stanmer Skyline Walk

A grand circuit of the skyline above Stanmer village, with woodlands and varied far reaching views, on a route originally designed for wheelchair users and so mostly firm underfoot in all seasons and with no stiles.  A few gates.  5.5 miles