South Downs Way

Description

    SW
  1. Name South Downs Way
  2. Length of trail 163 km, 101 miles
  3. Length in days 8 days
  4. Start of trail Eastbourne
  5. Traildino grading EW, Easy walk, nature trail

South Downs Way

101 miles, 162 km, 8 days

National Trail

The South Downs Way is a National Trail, like its northern neighbour, the North Downs Way.

The Way is one of the most popular walks in England. The 100 mile or so start in Bournemouth, and here the walker is offered two choices. The coastal path runs along spectacular chalk cliffs, among them the Seven Sisters. This stretch is for walkers only. The inland leg is also accessible for cyclists and on horseback, as is the rest of the trail up till its end point in the historical city of Winchester.
 
The Downs essentially is a range of broad hills, mostly bare, cultivated with crops and grassland, offering good views over a patchwork of fields on both sides. The path mostly stays on the crest of the hills, but often dips into North South running ceasures where one usually has to cross, often in perilous  circumstances, busy roads. That's one thing to mention: sandwiched between London and the cities in the south, this is a busy part of the country. 
 
Originally, the chalk hills offered a rich and varied biosphere for all sorts of rare plants and insects, but these days, the only places you may spot these living treasures, are sites protected by conservationist organisations. All the rest of the country is quite dullified, the result of the interaction of farmers wishing to earn a decent living and consumers wishing to pay low prices.
 
Accommodation on the trail itself is scarce. A few Youth Hostels and the odd village. Most of the villages lie in the lowlands, way off the path. But the before mentioned suicide road crossings come in handy here, because regular bus services will carry you off and on the trail, into the villages and even seaside resorts like Brighton.
 
It may be lovely weather on the downs, with all kinds of birds and warblers whirling around, and even Red Kite and Raven in the air. But there also may be ferocious winds and rains, which, in a open landscape, is surely going to test your guts: be well prepared. 
Select some tracks
South Downs Way, 161km
South Downs Way (Inland Route), 13km

Map

South Downs Way

Books

Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Hampshire: 40 Coast & Country Walks
  • With a network of over 4,800 km of rights of way and two national parks, Hampshire offers a myriad of adventures for walkers. The jewel in the county`s crown is the New Forest, one of Britain`s most stunning national parks and a remarkable example of a medieval hunting forest. The South Downs, England`s newest national park, also presents... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Atkinsons Walks V1 - Southern England
  • ”ATCHISON`s Complete Hills of Britain Series” is a comprehensive guidebook series in 10 volumes. Each book divides a region of Britain into 50 separate walking areas, each with a major impressive hill to walk around - or ascend. It illustrates 3 superb walks for each area; a 2hr easy walk, a 3-4 hrs keep fit walk, and a challenging 5-7 hour... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Hampshire & The New Forest Year Round Walks
  • These 20 circular walks, varying in length from 2 to 7 miles, take in renowned beauty spots, hidden gems and must-sees from across Hampshire & the New Forest. The guide has been divided into seasons, so you`ll find a recommendation for every day of the year. Highlights include: * Spring: Hurstbourne Tarrant with its thatched cottages, and the... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Day Walks on the South Downs: 20 circular routes in Hampshire & Sussex
  • Day Walks on the South Downs features 20 circular routes, between 6 and 14 miles (9km and 22km) in length, suitable for hill walkers of all abilities.The routes are split into three geographical areas - Hampshire, West Sussex and East Sussex - and include walks to the most historic and beautiful areas of the South Downs National Park, including... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • A Journey Through South-East England: Broadstairs to Lewes
  • A Journey Through South-East England:Broadstairs to Lewes follows Brian`s latest walking adventures through the South-East of England. Brian has previously walked over 1,000 miles for his last two walking companion guide books, Finding My Place and Walking My Patch. In this book, Brian shares the details of four complex walks: Broadstairs to... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Guide to East Sussex Pub Walks
  • Discover the beautiful countryside around East Sussex with this guide to some of the best walks in the area. These 20 circular routes vary in length from 21/2 to 7 miles and are centred on a broad variety of pubs - all recommended for their good food and warm welcome.Explore the region`s diverse landscape, with walks ranging from the flatlands... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • South Downs National Park: 10 Leisurely Walks
  • 10 carefully curated walks in the Lake District/South Downs National Park for the casual and less experienced walker, with a focus on Accessible routes, Quieter areas, Parking and public transport options, Info for dog walkers, Telling the stories behind the walk, Nature notes, Refreshment stops & Taking your time. Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • The South Downs A Dog Walker`s Guide
  • With its ancient woodland, river valleys and rolling hillsides, the South Downs, spanning the southern coastal counties of Hampshire and Sussex, is a dog-walker`s delight.This collection of 20 tried-and-tested circular walks has been written specifically for dogs and their owners, allowing for maximum off-lead time. These routes, covering the... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • South Downs - 20 Country Walks For All The Family
  • Batsford`s Walking Guides is an exciting new gift series of walking books, aimed at the weekend, family walker. These small-format, portable, hardback books have an attractive retro feel, with nostalgic line drawings and hand-drawn maps. Each of the 20 walks have been carefully selected to appeal to family walkers, most are circular and none... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
2019
  • DK Eyewitness `Back Roads` Great Britain
  • Take to the open road with Back Roads Great Britain and discover 25 leisurely drives through the country`s beautiful villages and stunning landscapes. Explore the spectacular scenery of the Lake District, follow a whisky trail through the Highlands or discover picturesque coastal villages in Cornwall. Packed with insider tips and information,... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • South Downs Park Rangers Favourite Walks
  • Walking guide to the South Downs National Park, with 20 best routes chosen by the park rangers. Each walk varies in length from 2 to 10 km and can be completed in less than 4 hours. 20 best routes chosen and written by National Park rangers Walks from 2 to 10kmDetailed description for each walk with highlights clearly marked... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • South Downs National Park Pocket Map
  • Handy little full colour map of South Downs National Park. Detailed mapping and visitor information to the National Park along with a selection of photographs. Map at a scale of 1:125 000 (1cm to 1.25km, 2.0 miles to 1 inch). This small map gives a great overview of the South Downs National Park, and is the perfect companion... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • West Sussex: A Dog Walker`s Guide
  • A leisurely stroll in the countryside is always a pleasure for dog walkers. But after leaving the familiar local routes there are always the worries of suddenly finding a field full of sheep, or a busy road, not to mention the difficulty of knowing which pubs and cafes will welcome dogs. Here is a collection of 20 tried and tested circular... Read more
More books…

Maps

De Zwerver
Netherlands
  • Wandelkaart - Fietskaart South Downs Way | Harvey Maps
  • The South Downs Way, a 160km / 100 mile National Trail from Eastbourne to Winchester, presented at 1:40,000 on a light, waterproof and tear-resistant map from Harvey Map Services. The route is shown on nine panels, with additional small street plans of Eastbourne and Winchester. Map legend and the accompanying notes are also in French and... Read more
Bol.com
Netherlands
2017
  • Thames Path Adventure Atlas
  • The A-Z Adventure series features the accuracy and quality of Ordnance Survey`s Explorer mapping in a convenient book, therefore eliminating the need to fold and re-fold a large sheet map to the desired area. OS Explorer is Ordnance Survey`s most detailed mapping at a scale of 1:25 000 showing public rights of way, open access land, national... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
2017
  • Thames Path Adventure Atlas
  • The A-Z Adventure series features the accuracy and quality of Ordnance Survey`s Explorer mapping in a convenient book, therefore eliminating the need to fold and re-fold a large sheet map to the desired area. OS Explorer is Ordnance Survey`s most detailed mapping at a scale of 1:25 000 showing public rights of way, open access land, national... Read more
» Click to close
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • England Coast Path Camber to Folkestone Adventure Map
  • The A-Z Adventure Series of maps combines the best of OS and A-Z, creating the perfect companion for walkers, off-road cyclists, horse riders and anyone wishing to explore the great outdoors.This official Camber to Folkestone Adventure Map section of the England Coast Path, a new National Trail around England`s coast. More than just a path, it... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • England Coast Path Camber to Folkestone Adventure Map
  • The A-Z Adventure Series of maps combines the best of OS and A-Z, creating the perfect companion for walkers, off-road cyclists, horse riders and anyone wishing to explore the great outdoors.This official Camber to Folkestone Adventure Map section of the England Coast Path, a new National Trail around England`s coast. More than just a path, it... Read more
» Click to close
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • England Coast Path Folkestone to Ramsgate Adventure Map
  • The A-Z Adventure Series of maps combines the best of OS and A-Z, creating the perfect companion for walkers, off-road cyclists, horse riders and anyone wishing to explore the great outdoors.This official Folkestone to Ramsgate Adventure Map section of the England Coast Path, a new National Trail around England`s coast. More than just a path,... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • England Coast Path Folkestone to Ramsgate Adventure Map
  • The A-Z Adventure Series of maps combines the best of OS and A-Z, creating the perfect companion for walkers, off-road cyclists, horse riders and anyone wishing to explore the great outdoors.This official Folkestone to Ramsgate Adventure Map section of the England Coast Path, a new National Trail around England`s coast. More than just a path,... Read more
» Click to close
More maps…

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