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Walk the South Downs Way

Listed under Walking in Eastbourne, United Kingdom.

  • Photo of Walk the South Downs Way
  • Photo of Walk the South Downs Way
  • Photo of Walk the South Downs Way
  • Photo of Walk the South Downs Way
  • Photo of Walk the South Downs Way
  • Photo of Walk the South Downs Way
  • Photo of Walk the South Downs Way
  • Photo of Walk the South Downs Way
Photo of Walk the South Downs Way
Photo by flickr user Elsie esq.
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This walk is actually best done from Winchester to Eastbourne, but you can do it either way, you can also cycle it. The trail follows prehistoric pathways towards the then capital Winchester and there are Bronze Age barrows all along the trail. It's 160 kms and takes between seven and ten days at a slow, sightseeing pace and there is plenty to see, including the Adur Valley, Parham Deer Park, Meon Valley and Seven Sisters.

Most of the tracks are wide and grassy and sheep are grazed on parts of the track and there are beautiful seasonal wildflowers, including wild orchids. There are some steeper cliff sections, with stunning cliff views across the Channel, by it is flat for the most part.

They say that this is the best trail for weather, and it was certainly consistent when I walked it, we were able to walk each day under partly cloudy but bright skies, but the British are never happy either way, I've heard people complain that when it's sunny the chalky ground is too glary for their sunglasses.

There are plenty of nice looking pubs to shelter in if necessary, or if you're like me and can never seem to carry enough water, to top up your liquids. Some of the trail is on private property or National Trust land which you're not supposed to camp on, so its best if you book your accommodation before you go. You're never too far from a town though so you can't really get stuck.

South Downs Way information from National Trails.

Written by  Russ Claridge.

Other expert and press reviews

“Ten ways to enjoy the South Downs”

By: Annabelle Thorpe for First Published: Wednesday 1 April 2009 The South Downs are often referred to as the lungs of south-east England; a much-needed swathe of countryside backed by the ever-broadening coastal sprawl. Sandwiched betwe… Read more...

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