Rich chalk grasslands, ancient woodland and clifftop views
South Downs Way
What is the South Downs Way?
The 100 miles (160 Km) long South Downs Way National Trail follows the old routes and droveways along the chalk escarpment and ridges of the South Downs between the ancient city of Winchester to the seaside resort of Eastbourne. The route provides the visitor with the opportunity "to get away from it all" without having to travel too far in this busy part of England.
The South Downs Way runs entirely within the South Downs National Park. Running along a chalk ridge means that the Trail drains and dries out quickly making it good year round and the elevated position ensures you are rewarded by breathtaking views across the English Channel and Isle of Wight to the south and over the wooded Weald of Sussex and heathland ridges to the north.
Whether you’re walking, on a mountain bike or on horse back the South Downs Way passes through a varied landscape of protected habitats including internationally important chalk rivers, internationally rare species rich chalk grasslands and beautiful ancient woodland.
From Winchester you'll head in to the gently rolling Hampshire countryside. You'll pass through pretty villages such as Chilcomb, Exton and Meonstoke and enjoy several natural reserves including Beacon Hill and Old Winchester Hill.
History lovers will be spoilt for choice - make sure you leave time to explore the Iron Age hill fort at Old Winchester Hill, the Bronze Age burial mounds near Treyford known as the Devil's Jumps, the mosaic floors at Bignor Roman Villa and Amberley Museum.
There are many breathtaking viewpoints along the trail - take in the stunning views from Beacon Hill, Butser Hill (the highest point along the South Downs Way) and of course the amazing view from the cliffs between Cuckmere Haven and Beachy Head.
How long does it take to complete the South Downs Way end to end?
How hard is the South Downs Way?
Which direction should I walk the South Downs Way in?
Who can enjoy the South Downs Way National Trail?
Taking your dog on the South Downs Way
What is the best time of year to walk on the South Downs Way?
Can I buy South Downs Way merchandise?
Can I buy a South Downs Way National Trail completion certificate?
Guidebooks for the South Downs Way
Maps for the South Downs Way
South Downs Way Merchandise
Map of the South Downs Way
What are National Trails?
Which trails are National Trails?
Are there National Trails in Scotland?
Scotland's Great Trails are:
- Annandale Way
- Arran Coastal Way
- Ayrshire Coastal Path
- Berwickshire Coastal Path
- Borders Abbeys Way
- Cateran Trail
- Clyde Walkway
- Cross Borders Drove Road
- Dava Way
- Fife Coastal Path
- Formartine and Buchan Way
- Forth & Clyde/Union Canal Towpath
- Great Glen Canoe Trail
- Great Glen Way
- Great Trossachs Path
- John Muir Way
- Kintyre Way
- Loch Lomond & Cowal Way
- Moray Coast Trail
- Mull of Galloway Trail
- River Ayr Way
- Rob Roy Way
- Romans and Reivers Route
- Southern Upland Way
- Speyside Way
- St Cuthbert’s Way
- Three Lochs Way
- West Highland Way
- West Island Way