Here’s a suggested six-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 six-day walking holiday is ideal if you are short on time and looking for a real challenge.
Winchester to East Meon – 18 miles / 29 km
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 – has great views and there is a fine Iron Age hill-fort site at the top.
- Meon Springs – a 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 km
This is a long day’s walking with some very steep climbs so we’d recommend making an early start. From East Meon, head southeast across the 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 – the highest point on the South Downs Way at 270 metres.
- Queen Elizabeth Country Park – a 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 Storrington – 17 miles / 27 km
Another fairly long day so it’s advisable to make an early start, particularly if you plan to make the detour to Bignor Villa or spend some time in the pretty downland village of Amberley.
- Heyshott Down – great views inland.
- Bignor Roman Villa – dating back to the 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.
- Views of Amberley Brooks nature reserve after climbing out of Houghton Bridge & Amberley.
Storrington to Pyecombe – 18 miles / 29 km
Another long day, so it’s the obligatory early start again we’re afraid. Some of the best views on the whole of the South Downs Way, enjoy!
- 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, it’s around a mile from the way.
- Pretty downland town of Steyning, just over a mile from the way.
- River Adur – views south towards the stunning hillside Abbey at Lancing College.
- Fulking Hill – spectacular 360-degree views.
- Devil’s Dyke – legend has it that the Devil dug the valley to drown the parishioners of the Weald. Fantastic views.
- Jack & Jill Windmills – famous local landmarks that can be seen from miles around.
Pyecombe to Rodmell – 15 miles /24 km
Magnificent views all the way!
- Ditchling Beacon – heading east from here, there are fantastic views inland across the weald and towards Ashdown forest.
- Iford Hill – great views inland towards Mount Caburn to the north and the sea to the south.
- Lewes – a very historic town, it’s a 2-mile detour from the way but worth it if you have the time and energy!
Rodmell to Eastbourne – 21 miles / 34 km
The Coastal Route Via Cuckmere: 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 6 days!
- The picturesque village of Alfriston is right on the way.
- Cuckmere Valley – where the river Cuckmere meanders its 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.