The South Downs is situated in the South East of England covering two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is expected to become a National Park in April 2010 being fully operational in 2011.
Thousands of visitors come to the South Downs every year for relaxation and to enjoy the peaceful countryside, varied landscapes and outdoor pursuits.
The South Downs covers the areas of Winchester, the Meon Valley, Petersfield and the Hangers, Midhurst and Rother Valley, Chichester, Petworth, Arundel and the Arun Valley, Steyning and Chanctonbury Ring, Brighton and Hove Downs, Lewes Downs, Alfriston and Cuckmere.
The “South Downs Way” is a popular 100 mile National Trail that runs from the city of Winchester to the coastal town of Eastbourne. When travelling the South Downs Way you will pass through many beautiful towns and villages from Winchester to Exton, to Buiriton, to Cockling, to Storrington, to Fulking/Devils Dyke, to Lewes, to Alfriston to Eastbourne.
The South Downs Way is used by walkers, cyclists and horse riders. You will not find a lot of accommodation on the actual trail but the villages and towns that are within a short distance usually have a choice of guest accommodation to choose from including quaint bed and breakfasts, luxurious hotels, traditional farm houses, guest houses and welcoming pubs. Those bringing horses will find several establishments catering for equine friends.
The South Downs has a lot of historical features including Saxon churches, very old “Dew Ponds” (where some today still provide water for sheep and cattle), Cross Dykes, Bronze Age Hill Forts and tumulus burial sites.
There are several hundred attractions that cover the South Downs including National Trust Houses and Gardens, Theme Parks, Zoo’s, Nature Reserves, Fishing Lakes, Golf Courses and two County Parks (the Queen Elizabeth Country Park in Hampshire and the Seven Sisters Country Park in East Sussex) both suitable for families and individuals looking for a great day out.