The South Downs is fantastic riding country. The chalk downland provides good going even after rain. There are 1200km of bridleways spreading through the National Park for riders to enjoy – everything from a gentle trot along a country track to a hack up to the top of the Downs. Up there you’ll find the most celebrated of our routes – the 160km long South Downs Way.
If you are looking to ride your own horse along some or all of this National Trail, you may find the South Downs Way Visit Planning Map helpful as it highlights the horsebox friendly car parks that provide access to the South Downs Way. There are also a series of water taps and troughs along the route so horse and rider need never go thirsty. You can also download our Horse Riding in the South Downs National Park leaflet for tips on responsible riding and information on the British Horse Society.
For those that haven’t their own horse, there are riding schools and stables around the park, offering lessons and riding tours for all ages and abilities. Many will collect you from local stations and drop you back at the end of the day.
One thing to watch out for – 85 per cent of the South Downs is farmland. You should watch out for farm animals grazing on what might appear open land, and avoid jumping hedgerows. Dog walkers also love the South Downs, so you may encounter dogs off their leash.
You can find a list of registered and approved riding centres on the British Horse Society website.