Special Places to visit in the South Downs
Stop anywhere in the South Downs and it is hard not to find an inspiring view.
There are stunning, panoramic views to the sea and across the Weald as you travel the 100 mile length of the South Downs Way from Winchester to Eastbourne, culminating in the impressive chalk cliffs at Seven Sisters. From near and far, the South Downs is an area of inspirational beauty that can lift the soul.
Below are some of the iconic spots of the South Downs, worth checking out either on a day visit or if you intend on spending a little bit longer with us.
Seven Sisters Country Park
One of the iconic images of the South Downs National Park is the rippling wall of chalk stretching to the horizon at the Seven Sisters. These monolithic peaks and dips are the remnants of dry valleys, which are gradually being eroded by the sea.
A walk from Beachy Head takes in the hugely impressive chalk cliffs along to the iconic Seven Sisters and looks inland from the UK’s highest coastal point across the gentle, rolling chalk downs and valleys.
A few miles further west along the South Downs Way is Birling Gap, part of the Seven Sisters and one of the longest stretches of unspoilt coastline in the south.
Find out further information on getting around the National Park using a South Downs Discovery Ticket.
Nestled in the Arun valley, Arundel is a charming market town easily accessible by train from London. The town is steeped in history stretching right back to the Norman Conquest of England, with Arundel Castle being first established in 1067.
The town also promises a number of different trails, great for walking, running and mountain biking.
Visitors can choose to relax in one of Arundel’s many pubs or cafes, or, for something a little different, pack your swimwear for an afternoon dip in the heated lido.
For more inspiration on trails, hikes and places to visit, check out these self-guided routes.
South Downs Way
The only National Trail situated entirely within a National Park, the South Downs Way is a 100 mile trail stretching from Winchester in Hampshire to Eastbourne in East Sussex.
Our ancestors have been walking the ridgeline of the South Downs for as far back as we can discover, all sharing the views that found Virginia Woolf “overcome by beauty more extravagantly than one could expect.”
Today the South Downs Way offers inspiration and escape as we follow in their footsteps, whether ambling on an after-lunch stroll or rising to the challenge to hike, run or ride it over several days.
Whoever you are, there are countless ways to enjoy this trail and all that it connects. It is the central thread running through the patchwork of culture and nature that is the South Downs National Park.
If you’re planning on tackling the trail, either in sections or as a whole, head to the South Downs Way National Trail website.