Britain’s Best Bridleway The 161 kilometre long South Downs Way follows the old routes and droveways of ancient man along the chalk coast and ridges of the South Downs.
The undulating route provides a wonderful trip for long distance walkers. A blend of relatively easy walking, beautiful landscape and delightful scenery along the Downs of Sussex and Hampshire, the route surpasses most expectations of a walking trip in England.
The South Downs Way is famous for its rolling chalk grassland, deep dry valleys, and extensive views over the Weald to the north and the sea to the south. The western end of the South Downs Way is at the historic city of Winchester.Further west the South Downs Way follows the scarp across West Sussex, often wooded closer to the Hampshire border but more and more open – classic Downland – as East Sussex nears.
The Downs are cut by the major river valleys of the Ouse, Adur, and Arun and there are numerous attractive villages along the foot of the downland slope. These include East Meon, Buriton, South Harting and Amberley. One of the most attractive villages is Alfriston, its parish church, called the ‘Cathedral of the Downs’, while Lullington is a Norman village hiding the ‘smallest church in England’.This is a landscape full of history, and the Trail follows a route that has been used since the end of the Ice Age.
At the far eastern end of the route the footpath follows the spectacular chalk cliffs of Seven Sisters and Beachy Head, while the Bridleway takes a route above the ancient chalk figure of the Long Man of Willmington.
South Downs way is a perfect escape from the busy city life and can be done within a week. However those of you who would need few days rest after the trek we recommend staying at Thistle Brighton, situated just half an hour away from Eastbourne, where the South Downs Way ends.