Enjoying

The South Downs National Park covers an area of 1,600 km2 offering a landscape as diverse as it is breathtaking.

Green rolling pastures, open spaces, ancient woodlands and river valleys truly encompass the National Park’s ethos of being one of ‘Britain’s Breathing Spaces’. While bustling towns and traditional villages steeped in history offer a multitude of cultural opportunities.

There is so much to do and see in this area, from walking, cycling or horse riding across the Downs, exploring wildlife in the wetlands, visiting one of the many heritage sites to experiencing opera at the world famous Glyndebourne.

The extraordinary South Downs Way offers a real opportunity to escape the hustle of everyday life. Along this 160 kilometre National Trail, you can walk through ancient woodlands, carpeted with bluebells; watch roe deer darting through wildflower meadows; witness hares boxing or even spot a red kite hunting above.

We all have a shared responsibility to care for the National Park and the South Downs National Park Authority works closely in partnership with local communities, conservation organisations, volunteers, local authorities, businesses and farmers. You can play your part too by being sensitive to the needs of wildlife, farmers and farm animals.

Fantastic opportunities exist for you to enjoy the areas special qualities through the rights of way network and areas of open access land, but please remember there is no ‘right to roam’ in the rest of the National Park as most of this area is private land, managed by farmers and foresters.

Enjoy walking in the countryside and treat it with respect:  Find out more about the Countryside code.  

The National Park status means that we have a responsibility to preserve the natural special qualities that make the South Downs a place to be treasured and enjoyed now and for future generations.

By following the links on these pages you can discover all the fantastic opportunities for recreation and cultural experience the South Downs National Park has to offer.

Buy the official map!

The full colour map clearly illustrates the National Park boundary as well as highlighting all Rights of Way, cycle routes and the South Downs Way National Trail.

Find out more

Plan your visit

There is so much to see, do and enjoy. Check through the links and information on this website to make the most of your trip.

Try and be green

Walking boots hanging from a South Downs Way trailpost