Parking Information for the South Downs, Sussex
In the area that we visited there are two car parks actually on the Downs. One is about a mile to the east of Firle Beacon on Bostal Hill (Map) and the other is just over a mile to the west of Firle Beacon (Map). Both are on the top of the ridge and both are free. You can see the position of both these car parks, and how to find them, on the Ordnance maps of the area.
There are 2 car park parks in Alfriston one, accessed from West Street, is free but limited to 3 hours the other is a Pay & Display and charges, in September 2007, were £2.00 for up to 4 hours and £4.00 for up to 10 hours. These charges apply between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM.
There is also free roadside parking in some of the modern streets to the west of High Street. There certainly isn't room in the old parts of Alfriston to park. If, for example, you wanted to walk up towards Firle Beacon then the obvious place to park would be King's Ride (Map) which you've got to walk up to get on the footpath anyway. Access from High Street would be via Star Lane next to the Star Inn.
The car park at High and Over, about 2 miles south of Alfriston, is free (Map) but the car parks at Exceat (Seven Sisters Country Park) are chargeable at £2.50 for up to 2 hours and £3.50 for over 2 hours - motor cycles being free. Note that the Exceat car parks are closed before sunset.
South Hill Barn Car Park on Seaford Head is also free but finding it is an entirely different matter. See the page about the Sussex Coast for details.
The National Trust Car Park at Birling Gap is also free although there is talk of introducing charges. There is also an overspill car park just off to the left as you drive in the entrance.
The above information is based on our visit to the South Downs in September 2007.