The South Downs are England's newest national park and well worth a visit. The iconic landscape between Eastbourne in East Sussex and Winchester in Hampshire is ideal for walking, trekking and biking (hence the three relevant Cicerone guidebooks). But there are are more than these three reasons to explore the South Downs.
The South Downs Way
The South Downs is officially one of the warmest and driest parts of the UK. So it is a great destination for all year round activity when other areas may let you down weatherwise The South Downs Way was the first National Trail to be developed as a bridleway throughout its entire length. So you can walk, run, cycle or ride this delightful 100 mile route.
The South Downs Way is also the only national trail to entirely run within a national park - so there are no bad bits! With far-reaching views, pretty villages, woodlands and largely dry easy walking this is a justifiably popular national trail.
Walking in the South Downs National Park
If you don't fancy committing to the South Downs Way then there are many day walks you can enjoy. The 40 walks in Kev Reynolds' guidebook range from under 5 miles to 11 miles, including visits to Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters, Ditchling Beacon and hundreds of prehistoric sites. Each walk is circular and there are walks for all ages and abilities.
Mountain Biking on the South Downs
The routes in the South Downs take cyclists over roller coaster ridges with superb views of the English Channel; weave around dedicated woodland singletrack; give the buzz of fantastic downhills and offer varying degrees of challenge across a beautiful and diverse landscape. There are also excellent pubs and cafés for re-fuelling - vital after a long day.
Feature · 14 Sep 2015
Here Kev Reynolds, prolific chronicler of the outdoors from the Himalaya to what he calls his own ‘Kentish Alps’, and author of two Cicerone walking guides to the South Downs, shares three precious moments from many years of walking through his local landscape.
Walks in the South Downs National Park describes a varied mix of coast, down and countryside walks.
Mountain Biking on the South Downs features 26 routes set throughout the length and breadth of the Downs rolling hills.
The South Downs Way - a lovely 100 mile walk through the historic national park