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Central Wooded Downs

From Arundel to Rowlands Castle, the rolling chalk downland is covered with swathes of woodland, with distinctive beech and yew hangers clinging to the slopes. The open hilltops give widescreen views over vast fields, while the woods and coombes feel secluded and far away from modern life.

This area is dominated by vast fields dotted with ancient woodlands, such as Charlton Forest near Cocking which is said to be one of the largest beech plantations in Europe. There’s also Eartham Wood near Chichester and the vast Houghton Forest near Arundel.

The National Trust-owned Drovers Estate near Singleton has been a sporting estate since medieval times. Hidden away amid the woodlands and gentle valleys of the South Downs, it feels secret and timeless. From the highest point on Hat Hill there are panoramic views of Goodwood racecourse, Singleton village and the Roman city of Chichester.

Kingley Vale National Nature Reserve is famous for its grove of twisted and ancient yew trees, among the oldest living things in Britain. Of the 58 species of butterfly that breed in England, 39 have been recorded at Kingley Vale, including Chalkhill Blue, Holly Blue and Brimstone.