The South Downs Way
Winchester to Eastbourne, described in both directions
By Kev Reynolds
Guidebook to walking the South Downs Way National Trail, a 100 mile (160km) route between Winchester and Eastbourne through the South Downs National Park, described in both directions over 12 stages. Easy walking on ancient and historical tracks, taking in wooded areas, delightful river valleys and pretty villages. With 1:25K OS map booklet.
Seasonscan be walked at all times of year - this is one of the driest and warmest parts of England
CentresEastbourne, Alfriston, Lewes, Amberley, Burint, Exton, Winchester
DifficultyThe South Downs Way is a waymarked bridleway; very few stiles; few towns/villages en route; 12 stages (max length 12 miles)
Must SeeBeachy Head, Long Man of Wilmington, Ditchling Beacon, Clayton Windmills, Butser Hill, Winchester
The South Downs Way National Trail is a 100-mile (160km) walk between Eastbourne and Winchester, staying within the glorious South Downs National Park for its entire length. Described in 12 stages of up to 12 miles (19km), the route is described in both east-west and west-east directions. The South Downs Way is a waymarked bridleway with very few stiles, and the trail can be walked at any time of year. The step-by-step route descriptions are illustrated with extracts from OS mapping for every stage and a separate conveniently sized booklet with 1:25,000 maps for the entire route is included. The guide also provides detailed practical information on getting to the trail, facilities and accommodation en route.
The South Downs Way
Walking holidays and baggage transfers
Getting there – and back
Using the guide
Trail Description – Westbound
Stage 1: Eastbourne to Alfriston (Footpath route via the Seven Sisters)
Stage 1(a): Eastbourne to Alfriston (Bridleway route inland via Jevington)
Stage 2: Alfriston to Southease
Stage 3: Southease to Housedean (A27)
Stage 4: Housedean (A27) to Pyecombe
Stage 5: Pyecombe to Botolphs (Adur Valley)
Stage 6: Botolphs to Washington
Stage 7: Washington to Amberley
Stage 8: Amberley to Cocking
Stage 9: Cocking to South Harting
Stage 10: South Harting to Buriton (Queen Elizabeth Forest)
Stage 11: Buriton to Exton
Stage 12: Exton to Winchester
Trail Description – Eastbound
Stage 1: Winchester to Exton
Stage 2: Exton to Buriton
Stage 3: Buriton to South Harting
Stage 4: South Harting to Cocking
Stage 5: Cocking to Amberley
Stage 6: Amberley to Washington
Stage 7: Washington to Botolphs (Adur Valley)
Stage 8: Botolphs to Pyecombe
Stage 9: Pyecombe to Housedean (A27)
Stage 10: Housedean (A27) to Southease
Stage 11: Southease to Alfriston
Stage 12: Alfriston to Eastbourne (Footpath route via the Seven Sisters)
Stage 12(a): Alfriston to Eastbourne (Bridleway route inland via Jevington)
Appendix A Useful addresses
Appendix C Recommended reading
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Washington (Stage 6/7 eastbound: 6/7 westbound) Please note that the pub in Washington referred to in the guidebook is currently closed, and its future is uncertain. Please also note that the following b&b options noted under Washington in the guidebook have also closed for business: Long Island, School Lane, and Whiteacres in Glaseby Lane.
Appendix B - page 191
Cherry Tree Cottage is no longer operating as a B&B.
Please note that the Hikers Rest Cafe at Saddlescombe (p63 eastbound route: p157 westbound) has changed ownership and is now called The WildFlour Cafe.
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A lifelong passion for the countryside in general, and mountains in particular, drives Kev's desire to share his sense of wonder and delight in the natural world through his writing, photography and lecturing.
Claiming to be The Man with the World's Best Job, he has enjoyed a fruitful partnership with Cicerone since the 1970s, producing over 50 books, including guides to five major trekking regions of Nepal, and to numerous routes in the European Alps and Pyrenees, as well as walking guides for Kent, Sussex and the Cotswolds.
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