More Information about the South Downs, Sussex

The South Downs covers a large area from Winchester in Hampshire to Eastbourne in Sussex a distance of about 100 miles and the South Downs Way long distance footpath runs the whole length. This section covers only the area we visited which was centred on Alfriston. Apart from the South Downs Way there are footpaths all over the Downs affording access to some very beautiful countryside. You would be advised to purchase the appropriate Ordnance Survey maps, either 1:50,000 or 1:25000, to cover the area that you wish to visit. These maps will show all the public footpaths.

There are enough paths that you should be able to find a circular route from almost any point back to that same point and don't forget about buses! With bus timetables and a bus map you could arrange to walk as far as you are able in a day and return to your starting point by bus.

This part of the South Downs also includes the chalk cliffs on the coast from Beachy Head to Seaford and this stretch of coast can be absolutely breathtaking on a sunny day. There are a number of viewpoints for the chalk cliffs - Seaford Head for looking at the Seven Sisters from a height, Cuckmere Haven beach, when the tide is low, for looking at the Seven Sisters from ground level and the top of the cliffs anywhere between Cuckmere Haven and Beachy Head. Just remember that on top of the cliffs the view is down - you'll need a good head for heights especially when there's nothing between you and a 'many hundreds of feet' drop.

We found Alfriston to be a good centre for seeing the Downs but it's not the only place. It is, however, possible to walk straight out of Alfriston up onto the Downs to the west or to the east and to the coast at Cuckmere Haven where the Seven Sisters cliffs start - a level walk of about 5 miles.


Contact information for South Downs Tourist Information:

There are many Tourist Information and Visitor Centres around this area.

This information is based on our visit to the South Downs in September 2007.