The South Downs Way

The South Downs Way is a 100 mile long distance trail in the South of England, it has a mixture of rolling country side and coastal scenery. Starting in the city of Winchester, and finishing in Eastbourne, with views of the English Channel, this trail shows off the real beauty of Southern England. Highlights of the South Downs Way includes ‘Devils Dyke’, claimed to be the deepest chalk dry valley in the world and Beachy Head, the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain.

Each day you will be guided along The South Downs Way to the next B&B, there is no need for you to worry about being lost, we will be with you from the moment you set off in the morning to the moment you enter your B&B in the evening. You will only be expected to carry your day sack (what you will need to keep you warm, dry, fed and watered for the day). Everything else will be transported to your next B&B for you. Everything will be arranged for you so all you need to worry about is the walking itself!

South Downs Way Itinerary:

Day 1 – Arrive in Winchester

This is your chance to get to the start of the holiday by making your way to Winchester. We will have a B&B arranged for you for this first night, so you just need to turn up and tell them your name. If you plan to get the train to Winchester and would like a lift to your B&B this can usually be arranged (free of course) just email us and let us know. In the evening you will usually get a chance to meet the rest of your group as well as your guides at a local pub for a drink or two.

Accommodation – B&B in or near Winchester

Day 2 – Walking to Exton – 12 miles

Today you will be walking to Exton, it is 12 miles of walking, and takes about 6 hours to get there. You will be starting at Winchester Cathedral and crossing over the River Itchen before making your way outside of the city. From here the rollings view will begin and continue for much of the rest of the day.

Accommodation – B&B in or near Winchester

Day 3 – Walking to South Harting – 16.5 miles

Today you will be walking to South Harting which will take 7 – 8 hours and is 16.5 miles long. Todays highlights include views from two National Nature Reserves; Old Winchester Hill (198 m) and Buster Hill (270 m), the latter of which is also the highest point on the South Downs Way.

Accommodation – B&B in or near South Harting

Day 4 – Walking to Amberley – 19 miles

Today should take about 7 – 9 hours to get to Amberley, it is 19 miles in length, the longest day of the walk. Today’s highlights include the ‘Devil’s Jumps’, a series of burial mounds, which date back 3000 years. You will also being making a gentle ascent of Bignor Hill from which you will get views right across The South Downs towards Arun Valley.

Accommodation – B&B in or near Amberley

Day 5 – Walking to Bramber – 13 miles

Today you will be walking to Bramber, it is 13 miles away and will take around 6 hours to complete. You begin with a tricky climb up to Amberley Mount, but will then be rewarded by a stunning ridge walk over to the summit of Rackham Hill and will continue on this ridge for much of the day.

Accommodation – B&B in or near Amberley

Day 6 – Walking to Kingston – 16.5 miles

Today is another long and tricky day, with three main ascents, however the views are well worth the effort for this 16 mile day, which should take around 7-8 hours to complete. Today’s highlights include Devils Dyke’, claimed to be the deepest chalk dry valley in the World and also the ‘Jack and Jill’ Windmills which are a rather distinctive landmark on the South Downs Way.

Accommodation – B&B in or near Kingston or Alfriston

Day 7 – Walking to Alfriston – 12 miles

Today’s 12 mile walk along the South Downs Way is relatively easy compared to yesterday and it should take you around 5 hours to complete it. It includes some excellent ridge walking as you cross two picturesque ridges separated by the Ouse Valley. Today also marks the beginning of some coastal views which will become more and more spectacular with each mile you now walk.

Accommodation – B&B in or near Alfriston

Day 8 – Walking to Eastbourne – 11 miles

Today is shorter day of just 11 miles which begins easily along Cuckmere River. However, the going will soon get tougher as you tackle the undulating walk over the cliff tops of the Seven Sisters until eventually walking all the way to Beachy Head itself, the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain. The trail then descends downhill all the way to Eastbourne’s seafront Promenade.

Accommodation – B&B in or near Eastbourne

Day 9 – Drive back to Winchester

Today we will pick you up from your B&B in Eastbourne and drive you back to Winchester or to a train station if you have arranged this with us beforehand. From here it is time to say goodbye and make your way home.