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CoolStays Guide to the South Downs National Park
Travel Guides

CoolStays Guide to the South Downs National Park

8th September 2020

The South Downs National Park sits within three counties in the South East - East and West Sussex, and Hampshire - and stretches for 140km from Winchester to Eastbourne. It is a gigantic swathe of marvellous and varied landscapes that have been shaped by centuries of human habitation. With rolling chalk downland, enchanting woodland heaths, and striking white cliffs that fall into the sea, there really is something for everyone.

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CoolStays Guide to the South Downs National Park

The South Downs Way

First up, avid walkers and cyclists will want to set out and see as much of the landscape as possible. And the best way to do this is by venturing out onto the South Downs Way that spans the entire length of the park. This was the first bridleway National Trail in England and is a 160km route that is beautiful, diverse, and almost entirely off-road!

With so much on offer you can choose a section and walk it as quickly or as leisurely as you want - we like to wander at a snail’s pace from quaint country pub to quaint country pub.
CoolStays Guide to the South Downs National Park

Devils Dyke

Devil’s Dyke serves up one of the most striking views in the National Park and one that painter John Constable considered “the grandest in the world”. The Dyke is a deep and long grassy valley that’s carved right into the hills. At 100 metres deep, 1km long, and 400 metres wide from rim to rim, the Devil’s Dyke is a real spectacle.

There are a number of fantastic walking routes from the Dyke, as well as plenty of activities to partake in from hang-gliding and model airplane flying to simply picnicking on a hillside in the sunshine.
CoolStays Guide to the South Downs National Park

Seven Sisters

A quintessentially British view, the chalky, rippling cliffs of the Seven Sisters really are a sight to behold. They rise up from the beach between Seaford and Eastbourne, and include the famous beauty spot of Beachy Head.

These cliffs are designated and protected as a 'Heritage Coast' and offer up the most perfect example of chalk cliffs in Britain. Visitors to the Seven Sisters will also be able to wander along a meandering river valley that twists and turns through large open grassland that is a popular spot for activities such as walking, bird watching, canoeing and paddle boarding.
CoolStays Guide to the South Downs National Park

The Kingley Vale Trail

We’ve ticked off giant vistas and huge, sheer white cliffs, and now it’s time to take you to one of the most underrated forests in the UK. This reserve, which is located near Chichester, has one of the finest yew forests in western Europe, which includes a grove of trees that are known to be among the oldest living things in Britain!

Enjoy wandering around these gnarled old trees with twisting trunks and arching branches, whilst keeping your eyes peeled for green woodpeckers, buzzards and bee orchids!
CoolStays Guide to the South Downs National Park

Make sure you sample the local produce!

This region is a treasure-trove for lovers of food and drink. There are over 20 vineyards, and more than 50 breweries in the South Downs, many of which offer you the chance to enjoy a tour and sample their goods - just make sure you’re not the designated driver!

The South Downs also has exquisite dairies that produce over 80 regional cheeses, as well as many award-winning artisanal food-makers. So you can enjoy delicious ice cream, beautiful charcuterie, and decadent pies, along with a whole host of other tasty treats. 

Where should you stay?

Coolstays have a huge variety of fabulous accommodation options across the entire length of the South Downs including glamping options, cute cottages, plenty of vineyard stays, and one iconic lighthouse!

Here's just a few of the highlights below and check out the full South Downs collection here.

Adhurst Estate Yurts

Petersfield - Hampshire

Sleeps 4

A magical, rural glampsite in the lush Hampshire woodlands, where four cosy yurts boast luxury home comforts…

Coppicer's Lodge

Petersfield - Hampshire

Sleeps 6

A romantic, off-grid lodge in the magical Hampshire woods complete with private glamping facilities and spellbinding vistas...

Brocklands Farm Glamping

West Meon - Hampshire

Sleeps 6

Safari on the South Downs at this glampsite, with views over the Meon valley and nature on your doorstep.

The White Horse

Chilgrove - West Sussex

Sleeps 14

Charming inn with marvellous rooms, private hot tubs, and lovely country views, situated near the Goodwood Estate in West Sussex.

Blue Door Barns

Lewes - East Sussex

Sleeps 2-4 per barn

Rustic charm meets pure luxury - Fabulous 16th century converted barns offering a stunning getaway tucked neatly between Lewes and the South Downs

The Grain Store Lewes

Lewes - East Sussex

Sleeps 6

Ultra-contemporary converted granary in the heart of the Sussex Downs, replete with modern luxuries and three double bedrooms

The Hovel at Housedean

Lewes - East Sussex

Sleeps 2

Romantic converted barn in the South Downs National Park with a private patio and wood-burning stove, close to Brighton and Lewes.

Belle Tout Lighthouse

Eastbourne - East Sussex

Sleeps 12

Lighthouse converted in to a charming and unique B&B, slap bang on the South Downs Way, complete with panoramic views of the English Channel, the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head.

Flint Barns

Alfriston - East Sussex

Sleeps 30

Wonderful wine estate living in the splendour of the South Downs National Park - and ideal for larger groups

Little Burpham Cottage

Arundel - West Sussex

Sleeps 5

A charming, historic Grade II listed cottage, beautifully refurbished and set among the rolling green hills of the South Downs.

The Barn at North Lodge

Privett, Alton - Hampshire

Sleeps 2

This charming rustic conversion offers guest a luxury relaxing stay with sweeping views of the surrounding Hampshire countryside.

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