Day 1 Arrival in Amberley or Arundel
From your point of arrival, use the public transport information we provide to make the journey to Amberley or Arundel.
Day 2 Amberley - Steyning10.6 or 11.2 Miles / 17 or 18 Km 5-7 Hrs 420 Metres
After a possible short train ride from Arundel to Amberley, you will pass a number of dew ponds, a famous feature of the Downs. You then visit the famous Chanctonbury Tree Circle, site of an Iron Age hill-fort dating back to the 6th Century BC – and said to be haunted. Enjoy fantastic views all around from here. With some luck you will further on be able to see the stunning hillside Abbey at Lancing College and the coast at Brighton. Continue to Steyning, where you can visit the nearby remains of an impressive Norman castle overlooking the River Adur.
Day 3 Steyning - Pyecombe8.7 Miles / 14 Km 4-6 Hrs 470 Metres
This walk offers spectacular 360 degree views, in particular from Fulking Hill. You might want to explore the impressive dry valley of Devil’s Dyke, allegedly dug by the Devil himself to drown the parishioners of the land between the North and South Downs. Near the end of the day you pass through the 1,000 year old hamlet and farm of Saddlescombe, once owned by the Knights Templar.
Day 4 Pyecombe - Lewes9.3 Miles / 15 Km 4-6 Hrs 300 Metres
Stunning views along the downs as well as north towards the villages and landscape at the foot of the downs and the occasional view to Brighton and the sea for the entire walk. You will pass Jack and Jill, the twin mills at Clayton, as well as several dew ponds and the highest point of the South Downs in Sussex at Ditching Beacon. A short transfer will bring you to your accommodation in the attractive, historic town of Lewes where there is lots to explore – from one of the oldest Norman castles in England to the Anne of Cleves House, given by Henry the VIII’s to his fourth wife.
Day 5 Lewes - Southease6.8 Miles / 11 Km 3-5 Hrs 230 Metres
After a transfer to the trail and a short climb, you will experience mostly easy walking along the top of the Downs with wide views to the north and south. You have the option to visit the 16th century Monk’s House in Rodmell, where Virginia Woolf used to live, before you cross the River Ouse. You can get some refreshments at the nearby YHA South Downs Hostel, while you wait for the transfer to your B&B.
Day 6 Southease - Alfriston6.8 Miles / 11 Km 3-5 Hrs 275 Metres
A transfer to the trail is followed by a very straightforward, easy walk along the top of the Downs with fine vistas all around. Enjoy views of Mount Caburn, an outlier of the Downs to the north, before you pass the high point of this walk at Firle Beacon. The route then bears more southerly towards the charming, old village of Alfriston, once famous for smuggling and home to two of the oldest inns in England.
Day 7 Alfriston - Eastbourne10.6 Miles / 17 Km 6-8 Hrs 695 Metres
This day is without a doubt the highlight of the entire South Downs Way. You start with a lovely riverside walk, followed by a visit to historic Friston Forest. From there you pass the ancient meanders of the Cuckmere River before the route climbs up to meet the English Channel at the iconic and glorious chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters. Follow the cliffs (at a safe distance) to Beachy Head, with its spectacular lighthouse, before your journey comes to an end at the pleasant Victorian seaside town of Eastbourne.
Day 8 Departure from Eastbourne
There are regular bus & train services from Eastbourne to London and other destinations in the UK. Full details provided upon booking.
> England Hiking Tours > South Downs Way > Gentle Hikes > 8-Day / 7-Night Gentle
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