The South Downs Way

The South Downs Way is one of 15 national trails in England and Wales. It was the first bridleway national trail in England and is the only national trail to lie entirely within a national park, running right through the heart of the South Downs National Park.

A Remarkable Trail

100 miles of chalk downland walking separate the Cathedral city of Winchester – the ancient Saxon Capital of Wessex and England – and the Victorian seaside resort of Eastbourne.

Stretching over a rare, large area of outstanding natural beauty, the South Downs Way follows old  droveways along the chalk escarpment and ridges of The South Downs from Winchester to to the white chalky cliffs of the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head.

The South Downs Way affords exceptional views of the Isle of Wight and the Solent, the high heathlands of the Western Weald and Blackdown, the heavily wooded Weald of Sussex, and the receding ridges of the Chalk Downs themselves as well as the distant ridge of the North Downs.

For nature lovers, The South Downs Way passes through an extraordinary range of diverse habitats including ancient woodlands, river valleys, chalk grassland, mixed farm land and coastal habitats.

23 Years Experience

The South Downs Way Walk organisers – Footprints of Sussex – have a vast amount of experience of organising guided and self-guided walking holidays on The South Downs Way.

We have been leading walks and offering holidays along the The South Downs Way for over 23 years and have been organising and leading the annual South Downs Way Walk, on behalf of West Sussex County Council, for the past 15 years.

That’s how we and our team know the South Downs and the national park so well.

The Annual Walk

This is an organised nine day walk along the full 100 mile length of The South Downs Way, one of England’s finest national trails. It will take place from 10th to 18th June 2016.

For the past 36 years it has been enjoyed every June by hundreds of people from all over the world. It is, by tradition, a supported rather than a guided walk, with everyone free to walk at their own pace each day. However, our team of experienced leaders walk the South Downs Way trail with you and you can rest assured that there will always be knowledgeable people nearby to help you with directions, first aid or just a friendly smile.

With luxury coach transport provided to and from the South Downs Way trail each day, our annual supported walk is by far the simplest way of completing this inspiring and beautiful walk.

The direction of the South Downs Annual Walk changes each year and in 2016 the walk will begin in Winchester and finish in Eastbourne.

Each day averages around 11 miles; This year’s sectors are as follows:

Winchester – Exton – Queen Elizabeth Park – Cocking – Whiteways – Washington – Devils Dyke – Newmarket Inn – Alfriston – Eastbourne.