Where rolling countryside meets the sea
The South Downs National Park is Britain’s newest National Park. Stretching from the city of Winchester in Hampshire to the cliffs of Beachy Head near Eastbourne in Sussex, the park is home to 631 square miles of rolling hills, ancient woodland and dramatic coastline.
The park is renowned for its natural beauty spots. Don’t miss Beachy Head, home to the UK’s highest chalk sea cliff, giving stunning views over Eastbourne and the English Channel; Devil’s Dyke, the longest, deepest and widest ‘dry valley’ in the UK; and the Seven Sisters Country Park, part of the Heritage Coast and home to seven majestic white cliffs.
In addition to an abundance of natural beauty, the park is home to several archaeological sites and significant historical places. Explore the prehistoric enclosures and burial mounds at Cissbury Ring and Petersfield Heath Barrows, Iron Age hillforts at St Catherine’s Hill and Old Winchester Hill and medieval castles including Bramber Castle.
There’s plenty to see and do at South Downs National Park, from walking, cycling and horse riding, to paragliding, hang-gliding, golf, zorbing, mountain-boarding and a range of water sports. The park is also home to the South Downs Way National Trail, a 100-mile path which you can enjoy as one long journey over several days, or in smaller trips.
1. Visit the Great Hall in Winchester, home to the mysterious Arthurian round table
2. Spend a day at the Queen Elizabeth Country Park and explore the 1,400 acres of open woodland and 20 miles of trails for walkers, cyclists and horse riders
3. Take in the spectacular views from the Devil’s Dyke or Beachy Head
4. Get a glimpse of The Long Man of Wilmington, a mysterious 235-feet long outline of a man on the slopes of Windover Hill
5. Explore the South Downs Way National Trail
Find out more: www.southdowns.gov.uk