Below you'll find the PDF guide for 2 weekends in the South Downs
1) Petersfield to Amberley
2) Lewes to Eastbourne
- Petersfield to Amberley
The South Downs National Park is a fantastic, easy hiking location for Londoners in need of some fresh country air. An hour's morning train journey and you're on grassy paths with excellent views, amidst butterflies and wild flowers, often with birds of prey hovering overhead. On a good day you can see for miles from the many viewpoints, to the sea and inland across the south-east. The paths are good and navigation is easy.
This section also has many interesting ancient sites of interest such as ancient burial grounds, mysterious tumuli and monuments. Unlike much of the South Downs, this stretch is quite varied as you go through a good mixture of grassy, chalky downland, country fields, and woodland.
This would be an ideal walking weekend for the less experienced walker, or for anyone at those times of the year when getting further afield would be more difficult.
Petersfield to Amberley: Route walkthrough
Petersfield to Amberley: Photo walkthrough
UPDATE March 2015! Sadly Alfriston Youth Hostel has now closed; this leaves only B&Bs, pubs or Hotels in Alfriston. If you are looking for a cheaper place to stay, the nearby town of Seaford may be your best bet. There is a bus service between Alfriston and Seaford (find times on traveline.info). I'll be updating the guide as soon as I can. In the meantime if you are stuck, please ask me for help.
- Lewes to Eastbourne
This is a beautiful two day walk along the South Downs. The walking is easy but the views are rewarding and give a fantastic flavour of this part of the world. Starting in the characterful town of Lewes (pronounced Lewis), following an adapted version of the South Downs Way national trail, this route follows grassy tracks along chalky hillsides over a series of lovely viewpoints to the village of Alfriston. At times you feel as though you can see across the whole of the south-east of England.
On Day 2, you will visit the site of the Long Man, a mysterious chalk figure carved into the hillside, before reaching the sea at Cuckmere Haven, where the winding river has to be seen to be believed. The next sight is the spectacular 'Seven Sisters' white cliffs. Forget the white cliffs of Dover, this is the real deal. Follow the coast to Eastbourne, where you head home.