Here’s a suggested seven day itinerary which should be helpful if you plan to organise your own accommodation and use our baggage transfer service. If you’d prefer for us to take all the hassle out of arranging your trip, our seven day walking holiday is perfect if you’re a bit short on time and looking for a challenge.
Winchester to East Meon – 18 miles / 29 kms
This is a long day’s walking with quite a few climbs so we’d recommend making an early start. Just after Exton there are temporary routes and it’s easy to get lost so take care to follow the signs.
- The cathedral city of Winchester.
- Beacon Hill – it’s a nature reserve and commands outstanding views of the surrounding countryside.
- Old Winchester hill – great views and there is a fine Iron Age hill-fort site at the top.
- Meon Springs – beautiful spot where you can get refreshments and fill up your water bottles.
- The pretty village of East Meon.
East Meon to Cocking – 17 miles / 27 kms
This is a long day’s walking with some very steep climbs so we’d recommend making an early start. From East Meon, head south east across country to rejoin the South Downs Way rather than rejoining it where you left it just after Meon Springs, otherwise you will add an extra 4-5 miles to an already very long day!
- Butser Hill – highest point on the South Downs Way at 270 metres.
- Queen Elizabeth Country Park – large area of beautiful mixed woodland.
- The picturesque village of Buriton ( half hour (in total) detour from the way).
- Harting Down – fantastic views across the Weald, it’s possible to see the North Downs on a clear day.
Cocking to Amberley – 12 miles / 19 kms
A fairly easy day’s walking, it’s worth making the detour down to Bignor Villa and the White Horse pub.
- Heyshott Down – great views inland.
- Bignor Roman Villa – dating back to 3rd Century AD, with amazingly preserved mosaic floors. It’s 1.5 miles from the South Downs Way and just off the old Roman road Stane Street.
- Bignor Hill – fantastic views right along the Downs.
- Amberley Working Museum – excellent museum of local history, just off the way.
- Amberley village – one of the prettiest villages in the South Downs, just off the way.
- First views of the sea to the south.
Amberley to Upper Beeding – 13 miles / 21 kms
A relatively easy day, so you can take your time.
- Views of Amberley Brooks nature reserve after climbing out of Houghton Bridge and Amberley.
- Chanctonbury Ring – said to be haunted, it’s the site of an Iron Age hill-fort dating back to the 6th Century BC. Fantastic views out to sea and along the downs.
- Bramber Castle – the remains of a Norman castle on the banks of the River Adur, less than a mile from Steyning.
Upper Beeding to Lewes / Kingston-nr-Lewes – 20 miles / 33 kms
A very long day, so make sure you get an early start. Lovely views all the way out to sea, along the length of the downs and inland.
- River Adur – views south towards the stunning hillside Abbey at Lancing College.
- Fulking Hill – spectacular 360 degree views.
- Devils’s Dyke – legend has it that the Devil dug the valley to drown the parishioners of the Weald..
- Jack & Jill Windmills – famous local landmarks that can be seen from miles around.
- Ditchling Beacon – heading east from here, there are fantastic views inland across the weald and towards ashdown forest.
- Lewes – a very historic town, a mile or so from Kingston. This is an alternative overnight stop to Kingston on this itinerary.
Lewes / Kingston-nr-Lewes to Alfriston – 13 miles/ 21 kms
There are stunning ridge top views most of the way, keep your camera handy!
- Monk’s House, Rodmell – this was the home of Virginia Woolf, now owned by the National Trust and open to the public.
- Iford Hill – great views inland towards Mount Caburn to the north and the sea to the south.
- The picture postcard village of Alfriston.
Alfriston to Eastbourne – 12 miles / 19 kms
The spectacular Seven Sisters make a fitting finale to the South Downs Way. The path ends on the outskirts of Eastbourne – you can either walk the extra couple of miles along the seafront into the town centre or get a taxi – there’s no shame in that after walking 100 miles or so in 7 days!
- Cuckmere Valley – where the river Cuckmere meanders it’s way to the sea
- Seven Sisters – iconic, glorious coastal scenery, arguably the highlight of the whole South Downs Way
- Beachy Head – spectacular chalk cliff jutting into the English channel with fine views west across the Seven Sisters and east over Eastbourne and beyond.