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South Downs Way National Trail

Multi-dayNational TrailSelf-Guided

Activity

Walking Break

Availability

All Year

Grade
Walking Days

8

Number of Nights

9

Guided

Self Guided

Region

South Downs

Terrain

Coast, Downland, Forest, Heathland, Meadow, Rivers, Stile Free

Suitability

Couples, Experienced Walkers, Family, Group, Solo Walkers

£850.00

  • 100 miles
  • Stunning South Downs views
  • Historic landmarks
  • Delicious local food, wine and beer
  • Nature reserves and country parks
  • Iron Age hill forts
  • Cathedrals
  • Bignor Roman Villa
  • Amberley Working Museum
  • Amberley Village
  • Devils Dyke
  • Alfriston Village
  • The Seven Sisters
  • Birling Gap
  • Beachy Head
  • Vineyards and breweries
  • Castles and stately homes
  • Tranquil river valleys
  • Historic lighthouses
  • Stunning coastline
  • Virtual guide
  • Adventure Pack
  • Personal Service
  • Bag transfers
  • Expert local knowledge
  • Full support

If completing a National Trail is your goal, walking the South Downs Way will be hard to beat.  We may be biased, being that it is on our own door step and we have not only guided, instructed and explored here with 100's of guests, but also lived here for many years - but it is undoubtedly one of the best and is a walking holiday not to be missed! Starting at the medieval capital of England, Winchester, this historic 100 mile route travels through the heart of the South Downs National Park before finishing at the infamous chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters, Beachy Head and the seaside resort of Eastbourne.  Walking the South Downs Way showcases some of the best countryside in southern England and the country.  Loved and celebrated by poets and writers across the years, everyone who visits the South Downs is won over by its charm and beauty.  This walking holiday is the perfect escape.

With glorious views across Hampshire, West and East Sussex, across to the North Downs and out across The Channel, the South Downs Way is not only one of the oldest national trails but is also the only national trail in the country to be situated entirely within a National Park. The trail will take you through a rich and varied landscape; from undulating chalk downland, ancient woodland, tranquil river valleys, patchwork fields, nature reserves, picture postcard villages and iconic coastline - all rich in history, heritage and fascinating geology. The South Downs has many protected and diverse habitats which are home to unique wildlife, fauna, flora and make this place all the more special.  With Skylarks and Red Kite dominating the skies, Roe Deer and Hares in the fields and rare orchids and rampions on the ground - there is so much to discover and delight.

You will be spoiled for choice for places to eat and drink along the trail. With welcoming pubs and restaurants, quaint sandwich shops, and local artisan bakeries all awaiting you.  There are numerous opportunities to sample local food, wines and beers along with our seasonal recommendations and try our special list of 'must taste delights'.

At the end of each day when you arrive at your accommodation, there are numerous country pubs and restaurants many offering local produce and providing a tranquil setting to enjoy some well-earned refreshment after your ramble.  After breakfast, its time to head out onto the trail with your Virtual Guide on a GPS route for guidance and keeping you informed of points of interest along the way. In the meantime your bags will be transferred to your next overnight accommodation and will be ready for your arrival.   

The South Downs Way is achievable for anyone with a decent level of fitness.  The route is clearly signposted on well maintained paths with no stiles and there is good access to all parts of the route via roads and public transport (regular trains runs from Gatwick and London to Winchester, Petersfield, Amberley, Southease, Lewes and Eastbourne). The trail itself is gently undulating with some longer ascents and descents dotted in between some long flat crest walks, woodland and riverside paths. This walking holiday can be enjoyed all year round.

What's Included

  •    9 nights handpicked en suite accommodation in selected hotels, farmhouses, village inns, guest houses and family B&Bs with full English or Continental breakfast
  •    8 days walking (this is our recommendation, however you can choose if you would like less or more days)
  •   Bespoke, individual service
  •   Virtual Guide & OS Maps App.
  •   Personalised itinerary
  •   Full route plan, trail notes, OS map, GPS
  •   Nature spotters guide
  •   Local history, heritage and geology info
  •   Local service information - taxis, banks, medical services etc.
  •   Treats for the walk
  •   Kids adventure pack (if required)
  •   Recommended refreshment stops
  •   Bag transfers between accommodation. You only need to carry a small day sack with the clothes and provisions for the day’s walk.
  •   Full support from our Sussex HQ before your trip, and during your trip, even out of office hours

Our adventures are flexible and available on a date to suit you (subject to availability) for a total of 8 walking days and 9 nights accommodation (additional nights are available if you would prefer to enjoy this route at a more leisurely pace , or if you would rather up the tempo and complete the route in less days - we can arrange this for you.  We are also happy to provide a customised itinerary if you would like to include some down days to enjoy local places of interest - we would be delighted to advise you on the numerous options available). This particular package works out at approximately on average 12/13 miles per day walking, with a couple of slightly longer days. You will check into your first night's accommodation in Winchester on Day 1 to give you a chance to explore this fabulous historic city before you begin your walk the next day. We strongly advise booking your trip in advance as places are limited. Your last nights' accommodation is in the delightful seaside town of Eastbourne where you can relax and reflect on your achievement.

Prices are based on a 'from' price, depending on accommodation type and availability.  Accommodation is based on two sharing an en-suite room, staying on a bed & breakfast basis (single accommodation is available at a supplement). When selecting the accommodation we work with helpful, friendly hosts with good quality, characterful accommodation as close to the trail as possible. Our preference is to provide en suite accommodation, however in some of the more remote locations accommodation is limited and occasionally we may have to book rooms with shared bathrooms or accommodation further off the trail may require additional transport (especially if the booking is made at short notice), but we will always let you know if this is likely to be the case.

On booking you will receive a fully detailed itinerary, confirmation of your accommodation and a price quote. Your lunch and evening meal isn’t included in the package, but we include full details and recommendations for each meal option in your itinerary. You will normally be within walking distance of a pub, restaurant or at your accommodation and will make recommendations based on our knowledge of the area. We suggest budgeting an additional £30 per day per person for lunch and dinner.

Why Use Us?

With your bag transfers all taken care of, all you need to concentrate on savouring the views of this glorious corner of the country and putting one foot in front of the other.  You can have complete confidence that we will take care of your every need.

We are out and about in the South Downs every week guiding and instructing and we have walked the routes and trails many, many times. The area is like a second home to us, so you can be sure that you will be receiving the very best in terms of experience and expertise.  We work extremely closely with the National Park to ensure that all our trips, walks and activities are delivered sustainably and in line with their ethos.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss your booking in more detail and we would be delighted to share our knowledge and passion for this stunning area with you to help ensure you have the perfect trip.

"We felt completely secure in the hands of Pied a Terre from start to finish. They took our brief quickly and efficiently and responded with an ideal bespoke walk for us incorporating all the key features we requested. The accommodation was spot-on and everything went like clock-work, from the itinerary to the baggage transfer" Mr Oldfield, October 2021