South Downs Way – Eight Days – Medium Pace (1)

Photo of Cocking

This is suitable for anyone with a decent level of fitness. There is one very long day but generally this will allow you to enjoy your surroundings and have a little time to explore the towns and villages you are staying in.

 

 

 


South Downs Discovery now offer high quality, self guided walking holidays. We take care of everything, leaving you to concentrate on the stunning scenery.


Winchester to Exton – 12 miles / 19 kms

Photo of Winchester Cathedral

Discovery Notes

Starting from the magnificent Winchester cathedral, this is a gentle(ish) introduction to the South Downs Way.

Highlights

  • The cathedral city of Winchester.
  • Beacon Hill – it’s a nature reserve and commands outstanding views of the surrounding countryside.
  • Old Winchester hill – great views and there is a fine Iron Age hill-fort site at the top.

Exton to Buriton – 13 miles / 21 kms

Photo of Buriton

Discovery Notes

Just after Exton there are temporary routes and it’s easy to get lost so take care to follow the signs.

Highlights

  • Old Winchester hill – great views and there is a fine Iron Age hill-fort site at the top.
  • Butser Hill – highest point on the South Downs Way at 270 metres.
  • Queen Elizabeth Country Park – large area of beautiful mixed woodland.
  • The picturesque village of Buriton

Buriton to Cocking – 11 miles / 18 kms

View to Harting from Harting Down

Discovery Notes

There’s lots of woodland on this stretch so plenty of shade.

Highlights

  • Harting Down – fantastic views across the Weald, it’s possible to see the North Downs on a clear day.

 

Cocking to Amberley – 12 miles / 19 kms

Photo of Houghton bridge

Discovery Notes

A fairly easy day of walking, and it’s worth making the detour down to Bignor Villa and the White Horse pub.

Highlights

  • Heyshott Down – great views inland.
  • Bignor Roman Villa – dating back to 3rd Century AD, with amazingly preserved mosaic floors. It’s 1.5 miles from the South Downs Way and just off the old Roman road Stane Street.
  • Bignor Hill – fantastic views right along the Downs.
  • Amberley Working Museum – excellent museum of local history, just off the way.
  • Amberley village – one of the prettiest villages in the South Downs, just off the way.
  • First views of the sea to the south.

Amberley to Upper Beeding – 13 miles / 21 kms

Photo of Bramber Castle

Discovery Notes

A relatively easy day, so you can take your time.

Highlights

  • Views of Amberley Brooks nature reserve after climbing out of Houghton Bridge and Amberley.
  • Chanctonbury Ring – said to be haunted, it’s the site of an Iron Age hill-fort dating back to the 6th Century BC. Fantastic views out to sea and along the downs.
  • Bramber Castle – the remains of a Norman castle on the banks of the River Adur, less than a mile from Steyning.

Upper Beeding to Lewes / Kingston-nr-Lewes – 20 miles / 32 kms

Jill Windmill from Jack & Jill Windmills

Discovery Notes

A very long day, so make sure you get an early start. Lovely views all the way out to sea, along the length of the downs and inland.

Highlights

  • River Adur – views south towards the stunning hillside Abbey at Lancing College.
  • Fulking Hill – spectacular 360 degree views.
  • Devils’s Dyke – legend has it that the Devil dug the valley to drown the parishioners of the Weald.
  • Jack & Jill Windmills – famous local landmarks that can be seen from miles around.
  • Ditchling Beacon – heading east from here, there are fantastic views inland across the weald and towards ashdown forest.
  • Lewes – full of history, lots to see and do.

Lewes / Kingston-nr-Lewes to Alfriston – 13 miles / 21 kms

Photo of Alfriston

Discovery Notes

There are stunning ridge top views most of the way, keep your camera handy!

Highlights

  • House, Rodmell – this was the home of Virginia Woolf, now owned by the National Trust and open to the public.
  • Iford Hill – great views inland towards Mount Caburn to the north and the sea to the south.
  • The picture postcard village of Alfriston.

Alfriston to Eastbourne – 11 miles / 18 kms

Photo of the Seven Sisters

Discovery Notes

The spectacular Seven Sisters make a fitting finale to the South Downs Way. The path ends on the outskirts of Eastbourne – you can either walk the extra couple of miles along the seafront into the town centre or get a taxi – there’s no shame in that after walking 100 miles or so in 8 days!

Highlights

  • Cuckmere Valley – where the river Cuckmere meanders it’s way to the sea
  • Seven Sisters – iconic, glorious coastal scenery, arguably the highlight of the whole South Downs Way
  • Beachy Head – spectacular chalk cliff jutting into the English channel with fine views west across the Seven Sisters and east over Eastbourne and beyond.