The South Downs

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    Seven Sisters from Cuckmere, in the South Downs, England  (Daniel Lange/Shutterstock)

 

Seven Sisters from Cuckmere, in the South Downs, England (Daniel Lange/Shutterstock)

Looking for some Great British adventure inspiration? You're in the right place. Here you'll get an independent, ad-free lowdown on Britain's top 50 adventure locations - the online yin to the paper yang of our Joyously Busy Great British Adventure Map.

Why Go To The South Downs?

Like many of Britain's national parks, the South Downs may lack an exciting, evocative name but it really is one of Britain's finest locations for adventures. Just some of things you can do on the South Downs that you can't do anywhere else..

  • Explore Britain’s newest national park, the only one in the south-east and the closest to London
  • Hike the South Downs Way national trail, one of Britain's great journeys, from Winchester to Eastbourne
  • Marvel at the white cliffs of the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head, soaking up the famous view from the Cuckmere Meanders

Want to find out more? Read on for great photos, articles, videos, top tips and other content to fire up your adventure appetite. Got a question? Ask away.


Tell Me More

Britain’s newest national park, and the only one in the south-east. Stretching for 87 miles from Winchester to Eastbourne, it covers the chalk hills of the South Downs and parts of the western Weald’s wooded hills and valleys. Highlights: the South Downs Way, Cuckmere Meanders, the Meon Valley, the white cliffs of the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head. Highest point: Black Down (280m).

 Friston Forest, South Downs  (Louise Bottomley/Shutterstock)

Friston Forest, South Downs (Louise Bottomley/Shutterstock)

The essential journey in the South Downs is the.. wait for it... South Downs Way, which includes the rather heady Beachy Head...

 
 

A really weird short film... 

Arty...

 

A post shared by Jamie Knight (@jwhknight) on

 

Getting To The South Downs, Maps & Guides

Getting there: An hour from London by car (1.5 hrs from Bristol) or 1.5 hrs by train (3 hrs from Bristol).

Travel times from where you are: See the South Downs on Google Maps.

Maps: Find the right Ordnance Survey maps and / or get a month's free subscription to their excellent OS Maps app.

Guidebooks: Rough Guide to Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

Walking route guidance: South Downs Way national trail.

Tourist board: not really, but here's the South Downs national park site.


Even More South Downs Adventure Inspiration

    Swans over the River Cuckmere, South Downs  (James LePage/Shutterstock)

 

Swans over the River Cuckmere, South Downs (James LePage/Shutterstock)

A good intro from the Ordnance Survey's GetOutside blog

Read about some intriguing places in East Sussex and West Sussex courtesy of Atlas Obscura.

Listen to these episodes from the BBC's Ramblings podcast:

 

A post shared by Tope (@tosho0) on

 
Any view that includes Chanctonbury Ring is a good view.
— Bertrand Russell

What Next?

Click here to see 49 other Great British adventure locations and tell us about your adventures, plans and suggestions for these pages.


Britain's Best Outdoorsy Bits... Mapped!

Liking what you see, but fancy keeping it old school with an actual paper map? Our Joyously Busy Great British Adventure Map features all of Britain's best outdoorsy bits (including the Top 50), plus some enjoyably random and vaguely useful stuff too. Available either as a 2-sided fold-out map or a framed wall map (office furniture and fake plants not included).