GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

The South Downs Way

99 miles (160 km)

This beautiful 100 mile long trail runs from Winchester to the coastal town of Eastbourne. It takes you through some of the most beautiful areas of the South Downs National Park - England's newest National Park.
The views are stunning as you follow the undulating route through the East Hampshire and Sussex Downs. The trail is open to walkers, cyclists and horse riders.

The South Downs Way OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

The South Downs Way Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking

Pubs/Cafes

Near the Devil's Dyke there's a couple of pretty villages with nice pubs to stop off at. Head a short distance west from the hill and you can visit The Shepherd & Dog in the little village of Fulking. The charming pub traces it’s history back to the 14th Century and has a very good menu. There's an outdoor area where you can enjoy fabulous views of the South Downs. It's a great place to relax and enjoy refreshments on a warm summer day. You can find the pub about half a mile north west of the viewpoint at a postcode of BN5 9LU for your sat navs.
In Poynings, just to the north, there's another fine option in the shape of the Royal Oak. There's a beautiful garden area here too, with a newly refurbished Barbecue Area to enjoy in the summer. You can find it in the village at a postcode of BN45 7AQ.
Bob's Cafe is also in Poynings and a real treat. There's a splendid outdoor area right next to a large field so there are open and expansive views to enjoy here. The friendly cafe has an interesting history and includes a table tennis table, and a long rail to hitch your bicycle (or dog) to. Dogs are allowed in the adjacent room too. You can find it at a postcode of BN45 7AL.
The Saltmarsh Cafe & Rooms is located at Exceat in the Seven Sisters Country Park. The delightful cafe is set in a 16th Century farmhouse and includes a pretty courtyard where you can relax on warmer days.  The rustic café, kitchen and bar serves a delicious menu with a focus on fresh Sussex produce. Dishes make good use of foraged and seasonal ingredients for a rich and distinctive flavour. Saltmarsh also does high quality accommodation if you'd like to stay in the area. You can find the cafe near the start of the walk in Exceat, on the East Dean Road at postcode BN25 4AD.
The village of Plumpton is located near to Lewes and Ditchling Beacon. Here you'll find the worthy Half Moon Inn. The former 19th century coaching house serves high quality food including an excellent Sunday roast. There's ample parking and a lovely garden for summer days. You can find them on Ditchling Road with a postcode of BN7 3AF for your sat navs. They're also dog friendly. In the village you could also visit the 16th century Plumpton Place, Plumpton race course and the noteworthy Plumpton College. This institution farms over 2500 acres of land and has become one of the leading centres for land-based education in the UK.
Near Harting Down you can take a small detour to visit the White Hart in the worthy village of South Harting. The village pub has bags of character and a very good menu. Outside there's a delightful garden area where you can relax on a summer day. You can find them at a postcode of GU31 5QB for your sat navs. While in the area it's also worth visiting the National Trust's Uppark House and Garden. Here you'll find a fine 17th century Goergian House surrounded by lovely gardesn with views of the English Channel. The author H.G Wells stayed in the house during the late 19th century. The class divisions he observed here inspired his socialist views which later manifested themselves in work such as 'The Time Machine'.

Cycle Routes and Walking Routes Nearby

Photos

South Downs Way start Eastbourne

South Downs Way start Eastbourne

Chantry Hill South Downs Way

Chantry Hill South Downs Way

Gate on the South Downs Way, Gander Down - geograph.org.uk - 322502

Gate on the South Downs Way, Gander Down. The sign on the gate explains that there is a permissive footpath across the field (seen as a worn route headed for the trees over the brow of the hill), although the post standing in the field says 'No public access'. The public right of way hugs the edge of the field, requiring you to do a U-turn in the pointed eastern corner of the field. One of the medieval hollow ways can be seen going from middle right to top left of the picture.

Temporary route to Beacon Hill for cyclists and horse riders on the South Downs Way - geograph.org.uk - 1430833

Temporary route to Beacon Hill for cyclists and horse riders.  In March 2009 a new temporary route for horse riders and cyclists was opened between Old Winchester Hill and Beacon Hill. This new route replaces the old temporary route that ran though Warnford. The South Downs Way website says "The route has been changed to improve the safety of users until agreement can be reached on a permanent route across the valley ... The old route is still usable but is not recommended and is not signed as the South Downs Way." The temporary route is likely to be in place until March 2011. This view is the upper part of a permissive stretch approaching the trig point on Beacon Hill, just beyond the wooden gate.

Waymarkers on a post, South Downs Way - geograph.org.uk - 1430776

Waymarkers on a post. This post is on the steepest part of the descent from Beacon Hill to Exton Village. The acorn symbols on the waymarkers indicate a national trail, the South Downs Way which runs from Winchester to Eastbourne. There was a gap in the trail across the Meon valley, and following various complications (involving public enquiries) there are split routes for footpath users and bridleway users at this point. The additional footpath waymarker indicates that this is the footpath route.

Old Winchester Hill - geograph.org.uk - 1430653

View of the Old Winchester Hill spur (and hillfort) across the Meon valley from Way (descending from Beacon Hill to Exton village). The South Downs Way national trail crosses the Meon valley and ascends Old Winchester Hill to the right of the wooded area.

Four-way finger post near Cheesefoot Head - geograph.org.uk - 147846

Four-way finger post near Cheesefoot Head. Four bridleways meet at this point: the Way makes a right-angled turn (the left-facing fingers), Fawley Lane retreats down the ridge of Fawley Down (the right-facing finger in shadow) and the fourth direction takes you to the start of Warren Lane. Behind the signpost are a clump of beech trees behind the small car park at Cheesefoot Head and the A272 road.

Shady gateway, Lomer - geograph.org.uk - 391318

Shady gateway, Lomer

Video

Route Highlights

Winchester

The county town of Hampshire, with its beautiful cathedral, marks the start of the trail.

Beacon Hill

Part of the hill is a National Nature Reserve giving a commanding view over the Hampshire Basin to the south, from the lower Itchen Valley and New Forest, the Solent and Isle of Wight and round to Portsdown Hill (over which the top of Portsmouth's Spinnaker Tower can be seen).

Old Winchester Hill

Chalk hill surmounted by an Iron Age hill fort and a Bronze Age cemetery. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a National Nature Reserve. Part of the South Downs National Park

Butser Hill

Chalk hill and one of the highest points in Hampshire and also the highest point in the South Downs National Park

Queen Elizabeth Country Park

This country park contains 1400 acres (6 km²) of open access woodland and downland within the East Hampshire Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Amberley Wild Brooks

This wetland area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest which floods in winter and is known for its wildfowl. It is situated next to the River Arun while the pretty village of Amberley lies just to the north. Also nearby is the splendid Parham House with its deer park and gardens.

Devils Dyke

Devil's Dyke V-shaped dry valley is the result of solifluction and river erosion.

Ditchling Beacon

Third-highest point on the South Downs giving fantastic views of the Downs.

Exton

You will pass right through the pretty village of Exton on the River Meon (right).

Alfriston

This historic village with its lovely church and water meadows has plenty of pubs and cafes for refreshments. It is situated conveniently right on the trail.

Long Man of Wilmington

The Long Man of Wilmington is a hill figure located in Wilmington, East Sussex, on the steep slopes of Windover Hill. The figure dates from the sixteenth or seventeenth century.

Eastbourne

The popular seaside town marks the end of the trail

GPS Files

GPX File

The South Downs Way.gpx (right click - 'Save As')