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Hike the white cliffs and rolling hills of the South Downs

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Hike the white cliffs and rolling hills of the South Downs

Hiking Collection by Dan Hobson

9

Tours

37:58 h

85.5 mi

7,625 ft

The South Downs is a magical place where rolling patchwork hills meet white coastal cliffs and rare wildlife flourishes amid historical sites. It is a timeless landscape of sweeping rivers, tranquil woodlands, golden beaches, idyllic villages and ancient vineyards.

The newest national park in England, the South Downs was awarded the status in 2011 due to it having internationally-important wildlife habitats, many well-preserved historical sites, as well as a diverse, tranquil and unspoiled landscape.

Covering an area of 628 square miles (1,627 km2), it is England’s third largest national park; stretching 87 miles (140 km) west from Eastbourne to Winchester. Close to London, and only a stone’s-throw from Brighton, it is an easily-accessible national park.

This Collection introduces you to the diverse and beautiful landscape of the South Downs. From all-day challenges to leisurely saunters; hill climbs to beach hikes; ancient history to modern chic – there is something for all interests and abilities here.

In these routes you take an exhilarating hike along the chalk cliff-edges of the Seven Sisters; admire extensive views from some of England’s best-preserved Iron Age hillforts; visit; hike in the footsteps of Romans; explore decadent country estates; walk through fairytale woodlands; plus lots more.

This is by no means a definitive list of Tours in the South Downs. Ultimately, in such a large national park the options are endless. That said, these hikes – ordered from leisurely to challenging – should provide you with plenty of inspiration.

A good option to stay when visiting the South Downs is the historic market town of Arundel. Located at the heart of the national park, the picturesque town is steeped in 1,000 years of history and boasts myriad independent shops, art galleries, restaurants, cafes, a thriving events calendar, and lots of accommodation options.

Arundel Railway Station is well-served by trains from around the country and offers direct services to London. There are good bus links around the national park from Arundel, too.

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Around Arundel — South Downs

    Easy
    01:12
    2.77 mi
    2.3 mph
    175 ft
    175 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This leisurely loop explores the historic market town of Arundel. While the distance is short, you can easily make a day of this Tour if you decide to explore some of the iconic sites along the way, such as the cathedral, castle and wetland nature reserve.

    

    From the car park, hike beside Mill Road, cross

    by Dan Hobson

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  • Easy
    01:44
    3.88 mi
    2.2 mph
    350 ft
    375 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This leisurely loop explores a country estate that’s hailed as one of the finest surviving examples of an English landscape. Historic herds of deer, ancient oaks, pretty ponds and a quaint folly all combine on this Tour.

    

    Petworth Deer Park was designed by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown in the 18th century

    by Dan Hobson

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  • Intermediate
    01:39
    3.91 mi
    2.4 mph
    175 ft
    175 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Great for any fitness level. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This family-friendly Tour explores Alice Holt Forest, a magical place where nature, beauty and fairytales combine.

    

    With lots of trails to explore, perfect picnic spots, ponds, play areas and a much-loved cafe, Alice Holt Forest is a brilliant place to bring the entire family for a day. Fans of the Gruffalo

    by Dan Hobson

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  • Intermediate
    03:55
    8.83 mi
    2.3 mph
    775 ft
    775 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The abundant wildlife, exceptional beauty and ancient history you experience on this route make it a real South Downs classic.

    

    From the car park, cross the road and join the South Downs Way. Follow the national trail over Salt Hill and take the footpath to the right, just before the cluster of trees and

    by Dan Hobson

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  • Intermediate
    04:43
    10.6 mi
    2.3 mph
    950 ft
    950 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Fine hilltop views, peaceful woodlands, quirky architecture, abundant wildlife and the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Roman’s – this Tour is packed with interest and beauty.

    

    From the car park, follow the Monarch’s Way to the summit of Bignor Hill, which affords far-reaching views over Slindon

    by Dan Hobson

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  • Intermediate
    04:32
    10.0 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,050 ft
    1,050 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Cissbury Ring and Chanctonbury Ring are two of the best-preserved Iron Age hillforts in the country. This route takes you to both, via some glorious countryside.

    

    From the car park, it’s a short but steep ascent to Cissbury Ring. Your climbing efforts are richly rewarded with breathtaking views that stretch

    by Dan Hobson

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  • Difficult
    05:52
    13.4 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,050 ft
    1,050 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Along the 100 miles (160 km) of the South Downs Way, you explore some of England's most treasured countryside between Winchester, the country's first capital, and the white cliffs of Eastbourne.

    

    This challenging hike takes you along the final stretch of the national trail via some of its most iconic

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  • Difficult
    07:04
    16.1 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,300 ft
    1,300 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This challenging yet highly rewarding hike takes you above the rolling patchwork pastures of the South Downs to explore the ancient history that’s hidden within the landscape.

    

    From the historic town of Lewes, you head southeast on the public footpath and begin the ascent of Mount Caburn. At 480 feet

    by Dan Hobson

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  • Difficult
    07:17
    16.0 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,800 ft
    1,800 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This challenging circuit really gets to the heart of the South Downs National Park.

    

    Taking you through rolling countryside, along the edge of the glorious Seven Sisters cliffs, beside the sweeping River Cuckmere and through sleepy villages; this hike is the perfect way to get acquainted – or reacquainted

    by Dan Hobson

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Questions and Comments

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    9
  • Distance
    85.5 mi
  • Duration
    37:58 h
  • Elevation
    7,625 ft

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