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      our holidays > Walking Holidays > UK > Escape to the South Downs

Escape to the South Downs

England’s newest National Park
This Holiday in a nutshell
  • self-guided hotel-to-hotel walking, luggage transported
  • rolling countryside, expansive views
  • explore Petworth, a renowned antiques centre
  • stay at two fine pubs with good food


Rudyard Kipling described the landscape in this delightfully rural corner of southern England as “blunt, bow-headed, whale-backed downs”; and the rolling, elevated chalk grassland of the South Downs – offering expansive views across the Weald towards the North Downs from its northern escarpment – makes for exhilarating walking country.

The Downs… too much for one pair of eyes, enough to float a whole population in happiness, if only they would look.
Virginia Woolf (Diaries)

You first see the South Downs in the distance from your first country inn, as you head out to explore Petworth, together with its historic country house and surrounding parkland. On the following day you get a leg-up to the escarpment, now on the South Downs proper, where you follow the ancient ridgeway, which today has acquired the status of a National Trail, ‘The South Downs Way’. As your walks unfold, you have opportunities to encounter prehistoric burial sites and hill-top forts, high points with panoramic views, ‘living’ modern chalk sculptures, ancient yew groves, pretty villages with traditional pubs, shady woodland, and grassland with myriad wildflowers and butterflies. Your accommodation, two traditional but well-heeled hostelries providing excellent food, is another highlight of this short but satisfying break.

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 Average Temperatures & Rainfall
  J F M A M J J A S O N D
°C 8 8 11 14 17 20 22 22 20 15 11 8
mm 65 48 47 51 48 45 49 47 43 70 65 67

The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.

You should always be prepared for wet weather, whichever month you are travelling.