South Downs

The South Downs of East Sussex offer the opportunity for superb downland walking in what has been, for many years, one of England's best known and best loved areas, recently - and deservedly - designated as a National Park. The sense of space is truly exhilarating, with far-reaching views over both the English Channel and the Sussex Weald. The underfoot conditions are excellent, even during wet weather, and the chalk grassland supports a marvellous variety of flora and butterflies as well as numerous birds of prey.


Inviting path rising up the side of a downland ridge


The chalk outcrop which forms the South Downs rises dramatically from the Sussex Weald to form a high north-facing escarpment. To the south the Downs roll gently down to the coast before ending abruptly in a line of massive and startlingly white cliffs. The short cropped grass drapes over the folds of the hills like velvet, Iron Age remains top the hills, and one of Britain's best known National Trails, the South Downs Way, runs along the ridge of the Downs.


View of Wilmington Long Man with cow parsley in the foreground


Your walks will take you along the clifftop path above Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters, through the Birling Gap and along the Cuckmere Valley, up to the exhilarating summit of Firle Beacon and further inland to visit the Wilmington Long Man. You will also walk the excellent stretch of the South Downs Way from the distinctive 'Jack and Jill' windmills at Clayton to the wonderful viewpoint of Ditchling Beacon, and drop down from Plumpton Plain to visit the historic town of Lewes. Your holiday will be based in the delightful village of Alfriston where the steep hills dip down to the River Cuckmere.

Unless you ask us to customise your trip, and choose alternative accommodation, your holiday in the South Downs will be based at a comfortable family-run guest house in Alfriston. Your room will have ensuite bathroom facilities and you will have a choice of continental or full English breakfast. Alfriston has a number of inns and restaurants serving meals in the evening.

If you prefer hotel accommodation we can arrange a room at Deans Place Country Hotel in Alfriston. Deans Place is a beautiful mellow brick-built manor house surrounded by four acres of lawns and gardens. The hotel, which has a heated outdoor swimming pool, offers a range of standard and feature rooms, many with wonderful views over the Cuckmere Valley. Harcourts Restaurant prides itself on the use of the finest local produce. The additional cost for accommodation at Deans Place Country House Hotel will depend upon the room type chosen and whether you wish to include evening meals in the hotel restaurant.


What's included in the price of this holiday?

SOU map

Bed & Breakfast
Holiday Options

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Grade:Easy - Moderate
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Easy Easy
Grade:Easy - Moderate
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Easy Easy
Grade:Easy - Moderate
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Travel information
Rail: Berwick (Sussex)
Onward travel: Taxi

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